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Book shops, especially second-hand book shops used to be my third place. If I wasn't at home or at work then you should probably have looked for me in a book shop.

Then the Kindle came along.

I think the Amazon Kindle is a wonder of the modern age (in fairness antibiotics are pretty good too), but I always had some sympathy with the argument that we miss out on the smell of books.


Knowledge should be smelly

Giles is right. Smell can often trigger memory. Memory and smell are closely linked.

I'm particularly fond of Dover Publications' maths books. They're inexpensive, cover a range of topics, often have exercises and they survive long enough to acquire that booky smell.


A typical Dover math's cover.

A few weeks ago I opened a Dover book on my Kindle, and bizarrely the smell came back to me. I'm sure the memory triggered the smell rather than the reverse. At least I hope that's what happened. It's either that or my Kindle is growing mildew.