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Old 11-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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Scientists plan to sniff out aging books

As this doesn't relate directly to eBooks, I decided to post this in the Lounge.

A research team hopes that in the future a book's history will be able to be determined non-invasively from its smell, perhaps via a hand-held sniffing device.

Discover Magazine:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80...mes-a-checkup/

Analytical Chemistry:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac9016049

Determining a book's age is important in planning for its long-term health, because as Wired.com noted, "Paper produced until about 1850 was made to last for millenniums," but new texts, using techniques like rosin sizing that increased the acidity of paper, don't have this longevity.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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wow. that's really interesting.

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Old 11-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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The paper of old books may last for "millenniums" (sic), but old books, unless stored in the correct conditions, are very prone to being attacked by fungus. If you look at an old book, you'll very often see little brown spots all over the paper; what's called "foxing"; this is a fungus infestation.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The paper of old books may last for "millenniums" (sic), but old books, unless stored in the correct conditions, are very prone to being attacked by fungus. If you look at an old book, you'll very often see little brown spots all over the paper; what's called "foxing"; this is a fungus infestation.
Good point, Harry!

That "old book smell" doesn't come only from deteriorating paper.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Good point, Harry!

That "old book smell" doesn't come only from deteriorating paper.
It's also why some people with asthma can't stand to be near old books; the fungus spores bring on an attack.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:26 AM   #6
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Science Daily just posted an article on this:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1202122041.htm
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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there is definitely something evocative about old books ....
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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They make me sneeze.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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...bless you....
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