Alright - I don't know what is up with the world today that my daily reads include such weird and crazy things. Most mornings, my reads include things like the latest shady thing that Bruce Ratner has done and debates about higher ed policies, yet it seems like today is full of really crazy shit. First, there is the hipster video and now there is this (via).
First, I find it hard to believe this:
Why do we love books so much? Perhaps it's the smell.In a survey of 600 college students 43% identified smell –- either new book smell or old -- as the thing they most love about books as physical objects.
I can think of one of two things. First, the survey was designed in such a flawed manner (it was conducted by Zogby after all, no need to flay that dead horse) that they asked dumb questions. I mean, I might "miss" the smell of traditional books, but you know what I would miss more -- being able to fit it in my backpack so that I could reference it during class. Or, I might miss the fact that my backpack doesn't weigh six to eight extra pounds because I have to lug my laptop everywhere. Or, maybe I miss being able to take notes in the book while I read. But, I guess I just "don't understand kids these days." The second thought that I have is that smell is just one of the many things that people rank highly and Cafe Scribe just wants to make headlines (it worked) by instituting this, which is—by far—the weirdest part of this:
In an attempt to win over skeptical college students, CaféScribe.com today announced plans to launch the world's first smelly e-book. CaféScribe.com CEO Bryce Johnson says that beginning in the back-to-school month of September the company will send every e-textbook purchaser a scratch & sniff sticker with a certifiably musty “old book” smell.
“Students who use CaféScribe download our software to read and annotate e-textbooks and other documents on their laptops,” explains 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 sometimes find stuck to the pages of used textbooks.”
3 in 10 of the surveyed students associated “mustiness” with the books they most loved, although 16% -- possibly those most likely to hit the books early in the day – associated best-loved books with the smell of “freshly-ground coffee.” Other smells mostly failed to bring books to mind, although respondents were more likely to associate pleasant smells (cut grass, freshly baked bread, cookies baking) with books than unpleasant ones (sweat, mildew, grease).
Am I missing something? Am I the only one that finds the smell the last thing that I miss about books?