Today, I’m going to write about books. It goes without saying that I love them. I could (and have) read for days because it’s easy to lose myself in another world.
It turns out there are scientific reasons I love books too.
You know that great smell an old book has? It’s caused primarily by lignin, a compound in the wood used to make paper. Lignin is similar in composition to vanillin, so as the lignin breaks down over time, it releases a vanilla scent. The paper is often treated with various chemicals as well, which, as they age, can add notes of camphor, wood, mushroom, and almond.
As it turns out, there’s also science behind the ease with which we can lose ourselves in a good book. Reading fiction, especially when it’s particularly descriptive, stimulates specific areas in the brain. Whether you read about something or actually experience it, your brain will respond similarly. There’s an excellent article on the subject here that I highly recommend.