Electronic books with musty book smell launched

An electronic textbook Web site is launching a smelly e-book after finding college students like to be able to smell their books.

A survey of 600 college students conducted by pollster Zogby International found that 43 percent of students identified smell, either a new or old smell, as the quality they most liked about books as physical objects.


what's next, airplanes that molt?

Whether or not this is tongue-in-cheek, or the real thing I think it is great. If only to show that human beings need and appreciate that tactile stimulation of the senses. I like the fact that e-books have not taken off. It means there is still hope for the human race. There is nothing like the feel, look, and smell of a much loved book. True book lovers value the book as an object itself, not just its content. Our world has become so two dimensional, digitized and sanitized, with texts instead of letters, jpegs instead of photos, that people crave that third dimension. It is sad that it takes a scratch and sniff sticker to satisfy that craving. How empty and sterile our lives have become.

From an early episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Giles the librarian is talking to Jenny Calendar the computer teacher:
Jenny Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much?
Giles: The smell.
Jenny Calendar: Computers don't smell, Rupert.
Giles: I know. Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a - it, uh, it has no texture, no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly.

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