The Book Smell

Whether old or new, we’ve all probably smelled a book at some point or another… I mean, who can help themselves when they just smell so darn good? book smell

And I do mean all books, despite the fact that they’re all quite distinct in their scent – whether it be an old book, new book, library book or textbook (and you cannot tell me that textbooks don’t have a particular scent of their own, they do, and often I associate it with long, long, depressing hours spent pouring over them the night before exams) people seem to have different opinions over which smell they prefer.

And then there are the people who are adamant that books either smell of nothing or don’t smell good at all… and I guess it’s a free world and they’re welcome to have that opinion. But I think that we can agree that products such as the Book scent by Commodity and the Paper Passion perfume just wouldn’t exist and people wouldn’t spend exuberant amounts to smell of a mixture of paper and ink if there wasn’t something enticing about the smell.  Of course, if you want to smell of book but don’t want to spend such amounts on a bottle of liquid – there are more affordable scents such as this one by The Library of Fragrance which do the job just as well.

And of course being the overly curious nerd that I am, I have actually researched the reason behind one of my favourite smells to find that the difference in smells is caused by the varying chemicals given off by books as they age, older books tend to have more lignin (a chemical which reinforces the structure of the tree) which produces the slightly vanilla-like smell that accompanies the muskiness that we relate to old novels. New books differ more in their scents as the development in book printing has meant a greater range of chemicals can potentially be used – meaning that not all new books will have the same smell.

The science aside though, the scent of books can also be changed by the people they have been in contact with – library books being a great example of that, and I think it’s almost like they carry a part of their owners in themselves which is a quite nice notion really.

Do you have a favourite book smell? Or do books not smell like anything to you, or maybe, just maybe you haven’t lived and smelled a book before? Is there a book scent that you do not like?

Tell me in the comments below 🙂

“I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling.” 

– The Angels Game, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Book Review: Hello Me, It’s You – Anonymous,Hannah Todd

Synopsis:hello-me-its-you-cover

“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”

Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.

This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.

Trigger warning: Due to its nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.


A big thank you to NetGalley for allowing me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

It seems quite counterintuitive to call this book uplifting given the fact that I basically cried from the first to the last letter, practically a ceaseless stream of tears fell from my eyes whilst reading.

Butin all honesty, this book is brimming with hope which inadvertently actually rubs off on you.

It was definitely not an easy read in the slightest, some of the topics covered within just hit too close to home for comfort. It definitely showed the real difficulties caused by mental illness and the struggles that people go through in order to try to overcome it.

Albeit in saying that, it was also hugely inspirational. Seeing that people had overcome some problems, and even seeing that most of them were trying even though they may not have been quite there at the point of writing the letter felt monumental. I think everyone at some point during their lives had wanted to go back in time to tell their younger selves something about their future, and in these cases – it was encouraging to see that most people were going for the “keep going, it really does get better despite what you may think right now”.

I loved each of the voices, and despite minor mistakes in the writing here and there – I genuinely thought they added a certain degree of naked truth to the contents of the novel, made it feel much more raw and candid.

I honestly think that this book will stay with me forevermore, the illustrations, as well as the letters themselves, made this book unforgettable and I honestly think that it deserves all of the stars for what it is trying to do. And  I can only hope that many more people will discover and read it, and that perhaps it can partake in fighting the stigma that still unfortunately surrounds mental health issues today; something that should have been stopped before it had even started but still weighs down upon everyone struggling in our society today –  and will shine a light on the fact that it is alright to ask for help if you do think you need it.

I definitely think this is a read for everyone and anyone, struggling with mental disorders or not. It is simply beautiful, phenomenal and I know it will stay ingrained in your hearts and minds for a long long while after you’ve read it.

My Rating: All of the Stars/ 5 

Inkitt for Android

So for quite a while now, I’ve been aware of and have sort of cooperated with a company called Inkitt.  The idea of Inkitt really intrigued me, a publishing house ‘ruled’ by readers? It sort of blew my mind. I can’t say I have used it very much at present, but I am definitely looking forward to doing so in the future.

But when I received an email with the news that Inkitt was looking for people to spread some very exciting news for them – I immediately counted myself in because I honestly think it’s such a brilliant idea that more people should be aware of.  I was in no way shape or form reimbursed for this post, I’m simply trying to spread this message in hope of reaching more readers and helping authors realise their dreams of becoming published.


THE INKITT APP BRINGS THOUSANDS OF NOVELS BY INDIE AUTHORS TO ANDROID

Inkitt empowers readers and publishers to discover world’s next best sellers

BERLIN, JANUARY 7, 2017: Inkitt, the world’s first readers and data-driven book publishing house is introducing an Android app for phones and tablets, globally available from today.

Inkitt’s iOS app became available back in November and was well received by users: The app was not only featured on the US App Store but also on numerous other App Stores around the world, as well as on the front page of Product Hunt, ranking in the top 10 in Tech.

Inkitt for iOS featured as a top Books app in the US App Store

Following the warm welcome by the iOS community, and in order to meet the demand of their own fast growing user base, Inkitt is now bringing their digital library with thousands of novels by emerging authors to Android devices.

“It was a great reward to see Inkitt featured as a top app in numerous App Stores around the world and receive such great feedback from users” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Readers were really excited about the iOS app but kept asking when we’re launching on Android too. We heard them, worked really hard and today we’re bringing Inkitt to Android devices. All readers will now be able to discover tomorrow’s bestsellers on the go and read great novels by upcoming authors wherever they are.”

Inkitt for Android – 4 key features:

  • Access to thousands of novels from all fiction genres: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, horror, romance, drama, action, adventure, YA and more
  • Personalized reading suggestions: hand-picked novels based on a reader’s favorite fiction genres
  • Customizable look to match user preferences (e.g. font size, color combinations)
  • Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them anytime

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Beyond being a platform connecting aspiring authors with book lovers, Inkitt’s mission is to become the world’s fairest publishing house: Its in-house developed algorithm analyzes reading behavior to determine the potential of a novel to become the next bestseller. Using this unique data-driven approach, Inkitt wants to ensure that great works by new and talented writers never again stay in the dark.

Since July, Inkitt has published 7 novels: Catalyst Moon: Incursion by Lauren L. Garcia (Fantasy), Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan (YA Romance), I Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben (YA Romance Mystery), Esper Files by Egan Brass (SciFi) and Caged by Onaiza Khan (Psychological Thriller),  King’s Lament by Lilia Blanc (Fantasy Romance) and Three Fat Singletons by J.M. Bartholomew (Humor Romance), six of which became bestsellers on Amazon.

Inkitt for Android will be available to download on Google Play from the 7th of January 2017


About Inkitt

On the surface, Inkitt (www.inkitt.com) is a platform where aspiring writers can share their novels and inquisitive readers can unearth fresh content. But under the hood, we are democratizing publishing: The Inkitt algorithm analyzes reading behavior to predict future bestsellers. In other words: if readers love it, Inkitt publishes it.


MEDIA CONTACT

marvin@inkitt.com

Happy Birthday To Me! (And To This Blog)

So it’s a Wednesday, which actually thankfully coincides with the day I post and the 2nd Blogiversary of this blog- making my busy, shit-storm (pardon my French but there was no eloquent way of putting it) last week of term slightly easier.

So it’s a Saturday now, and I haven’t wanted to post on here in a while. My absence, whilst probably only noticed by a few has been deliberate, in truth – I do not feel the desire to blog lately and this post is taking me much longer than it possibly should.  It was supposed to be posted on the 14th of December, and yet here we are, ten days later with it still in the editing stages.

I can’t actually believe it’s been two years since I first decided to post on this very website. It feels like much longer sometimes, but then others it feels like only a few months.

I guess that’s because over the last few months (or this year in general really) I’ve started taking the whole blogging thing more seriously, trying my best to keep to all the various schedules and blogging more etc. etc. with varying degrees of success – but I definitely put in a valiant attempt at the whole thing.

And I mean, that all counts for something…right?

Or at least it did.  Until pretty much now where I’ve started questioning it all.

But I mean, I cannot take for granted the things I have been able to do/ learn through blogging. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people; authors, publicists, booksellers, and bloggers alike and honestly it’s been a wild ride because I am an extremely awkward person when it comes to new people (to the point where my opening line once was “HI I’M RATHER AWKWARD AND KNOW NO ONE HERE SO MIND IF I HANG WITH YOU GUYS?” said in a slightly panicked/manic/crazed voice – but hey, no one judged which was great).

I also learned time management, to a certain extent – I mean, I will still do school work the night before it’s due, but hell – I will not allow it to get in the way of me posting even if that means procrastinating both while having the title of a biology essay as well as an unfinished post draft open and unfinished in front of me for hours. But hey ho. I’ve managed to agree the two somewhat this year, surprisingly also around exam time when I learned to be slightly more efficient with my time use which is definitely a good thing.

 I guess I just hope that this learning curve will continue to extend, but it’d be nice if it only extended in the upwards direction and not in the squiggle it seems to have been doing these past few weeks.

I’m definitely thinking of minimising the amount of books I review from publishers, I’ve made mistakes when I first entered the realms of NetGalley, which is the greatest invention going really, but I honestly shouldn’t have requested all those goddamn books which I’m now not sure I really want to read which has actually landed me up in an uncomfortable reading slump over the past year at various points. I’m thinking of taking reading back to the few review copies I’m lucky enough to get given by publishers and the few books I really CANNOT wait to read till after release. Most importantly though, I want to go back to reading books which have been on my to-read for a while but have been shoved to the back of the pile by the review copies my request-happy, younger, silly self decided to acquire.

I’m hoping that the above will enable me to enjoy this whole thing more, perhaps even as much as when I first decided to take blogging on as a hobby after ditching my other ones (I used to draw and write a lot, but both of which I have decided to retire for a variety of reasons which I couldn’t possibly name). Because despite wanting to delete this site at times, I don’t think I’m quite ready to let it go yet, and both my metaphorical and physical voices of reason have tried (and succeeded I guess) to convince me to continue it, at least for a little while. To the voice of reason that actually reads these, thank you – I think I would have had many a regret if you hadn’t been there.

So I guess

happy birthday to me.gif

and to this blog, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to those who have been here throughout the last two years, and there are definitely a few- thank you for sticking by with my hectic attempts at writing my posts and let’s hope for a few more years of this whole blogging thing.

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” 

-Anne Tyler

Writing Prompt: Describe A Person You Admire

I’m currently undergoing some sort of reading and blogging slump and it was suggested to me to try something a little different. A while ago in my English class, we were asked to write a piece on a person you admire, and me being the indecisive person that I am, decided to do it on authors – because why not nerd out in an essay if you’re given the perfect opportunity to? And I guess this post will be a slightly more reviewed version of that.

I cannot say if this feature will become a regular thing on my blog in between the usual reviews and general booknerdery, but this week I just couldn’t bring myself to write another review, so I’m sorry for anyone who has come here expecting this. I’m willing to take any criticism and comments on this particular piece, any ideas for improvement are welcome.

I will hopefully be returning with a review next week, but in the meantime – here goes nothing!

thumbs up gif.gif


When I met one of my ultimate, all-time favourite authors, I was disappointed.

Not because he was some grotesque, unpleasant person (because he truly was the opposite of both of those things; thankfully, I might add) but because he was… well – just an ordinary man dressed in equally normal jeans and a shirt who sounded much alike any other American I had ever come across.

And yet that didn’t stop me from becoming an incoherent, rambling mess when conversing with him on a pleasant night of ‘partying’ (if one may call a gathering of bloggers who ate flying saucers whilst discussing books and the like partying – if you can, then please invite me to more parties) in Central London.

Whilst ink had flown through my veins from a young age, begging to be released in the form of words on paper, I had never been able to achieve what my role models seemed to be doing with ease – creating something so alive and furiously vivid that it stayed in people’s minds and thrived on for long after they had closed the covers.

What more, allowing them to find themselves in the characters, so carefully crafted to give the transcendent illusion that they were not alone at that moment in time, or ever – making them realise that other people out there were struggling with the same problems and that there was a possibility that these issues could be overcome if they kept trying and stayed alive to see the sunshine at the end of the storm. That the end of one story didn’t have to mean the end of a beautiful series, and that any potential evil could eventually be overcome if enough sarcasm and wit and strength and friendship was applied.

If I was being honest, I would say that books had helped me too in that way, giving me the power to continue through life and dispelling the notion created by Disney that I would need a prince to come and save me, and making me realise that I, myself could achieve it.

All of this because of tattooed corpses of trees…

So when I met the creator and mastermind behind a particularly beautifully crafted tale, I was  disappointed, for I had expected a god-like giant of a being, possibly with a golden aura radiating around him and a pet Pegasus at his feet for ease and convenience of travel. And definitely not a human being who spent the night chatting away and answering each of our weird and wonderful questions with patience and care, whilst making everybody present feel welcome. (And looking back, I am in a way sure that this disappointment was for the best, for I think that the internal screaming would have reached dangerous levels had it been otherwise).

Despite these differences from the concept created by my imagination, I could simply not deny the fact  that he had still created the world that I had gotten lost in, a world that had open my eyes to new possibilities, a world that made me challenge some ideas I had not had the courage to do so previously, a world that had made me cry, and laugh – sometimes simultaneously in a strange flurry of emotions. Most importantly, he created a world that has stayed with me since then, reminding me of its words of wisdom such as “Per Aspera ad Astra,” in times of difficulty and need and comforting me with the knowledge that for the most part, whatever happens , the most important things in life will turn out all right.