Musing by Moonlight: Why I Feel Like A Fraud

musing by moonlight

Welcome to my new series of posts Musing by Moonlight, where I take the opportunity to get off my chest anything and everything to do with books.
Or maybe not.
Depends how I feel.

Today I’ll be talking about the biggest reason I don’t feel like I fit in with other book bloggers. It’s a shameful confession, one I’ve kept secret for too long now. However, today I am spilling all! I cannot be the only book blogger who feels this way!

new book smell

I don’t like the smell of books.

New, old, somewhere in between. Libraries, bookshops, attics. Nope.

I feel like a fraud. How can I be a book lover, book collector, cover worshipper, paperback-loving gal if I don’t enjoy a good whiff of new or old books?


How can I own bookshelves upon groaning bookshelves of gorgeous hardcovers and paperbacks, visit my local bookstore every time I venture into the city, and think of my library as my own personal worshiping place if I don’t like the smell of books?

I feel like everyone else who loves books loves the smell of them. I don’t. They’re dead trees. They smell like smoke and burnt and processed things to me. I don’t like the smell of the pages or the glue.

It doesn’t stop me from buying paperbacks, but I most certainly will not be indulging in things like this:


or this:


Or this:

New Book Smell

Yuck! Who wants to smell like a musty old book shop? Who wants to smell like glue and binding and dead, mummified trees?


I suspect this is part of the reason why I don’t have a problem reading ebooks. A lot of other readers say they love the tactile and olfactory senses used when reading books. I just don’t get it.

Please tell me I’m not the only book lover who doesn’t like the smell of books.



About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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11 thoughts on “Musing by Moonlight: Why I Feel Like A Fraud

    1. Nemo

      I seriously thought I was the only book lover in the world who didn’t go mad for ‘new book smell.’ Thanks for outing yourself!

  1. Rashika

    bahaha I don’t love or hate the smell of books. They just are to me.
    Although I’ll admit to taking the occasional wiff to see what is so special .-.

    1. Nemo

      I’ve done that, too! It was the first thing that made me realise I didn’t quite fit in with the other booklovers of the world! but thank you so much for coming forward and showing me I’m not alone!

  2. Dani (@gold_lilies)

    We can be frauds together. I don’t think new books really have a smell and old books just smell like dust and sometimes mold. (Both of which I’m terribly allergic to, so I actually avoid used book stores.) But LOOKING at books, that I’ll do all day.

  3. breannepj

    Oh gee, I thought I was alone in this world.
    I don’t like the smell of books either! Old ones smell like dust, new ones smell like glue and paper – not a smell I want to associate with when I read a great story!
    And I too, don’t have a problem reading ebooks. Sometimes I prefer them, although I miss the feel of turning pages.

    1. Nemo

      We are not alone! I prefer reading on my Kindle, if only because then my books never leave the house or bookshelf and can keep looking shiny and new! (and smelling, too, ew!)

    1. Nemo

      Ew, yes, old book smell is GROSS. Old books themselves are lovely if they’re in good condition and not dusty and musty and falling apart.

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