We used to have to take one advance copy of each book to our boss. It seemed like he’d hardly look at it before he’d stuff his nose deep into it and inhale the smell. A letterpress printed book did smell special. Is it the ink, the glue, or the oil on all the large machines it required to make the book? I expect it was all of the above, and more. A book printed by offset has a smell of course, but not nearly as suggestive of the whole process of manufacture. And a digitally printed book is “smell-lite”. Perhaps we need to spray our Kindles and iPads with this product, which the eager world has obviously been waiting for with bated breath.

Go-to-hellman has a post on the subject of book smell with links.