During the TOC Conference in June, keynoter Manolis Kelaidis talked about how much he loved the feel and smell of books, even those on his shelf that he’s never read. A compelling case for the codex form factor.
Now comes word that CafeScribe.com will be sending eBook buyers a scratch-and-sniff sticker to bring the musty smell of “old books” to digital reading. Says CafeScribe CEO Bryce Johnson:
By placing these stickers on their computers they can give their e-books the same musty book smell they know and love from used textbooks — without any of the residual DNA you often find stuck to the pages of used textbooks.
Likely just a clever gimmick (see Smell-o-Vision),though the underlying survey findings are worth noting:
A survey of 600 college students conducted by pollster Zogby International found that 43 per cent of students identified smell, either a new or old smell, as the quality they most liked about books as physical objects.
(Then again, a more cynical interpretation leaves one slightly distressed that before the quality of the contents, college students place the highest value on a book’s smell.)
What smell would you package with your favorite book?