Miss the smell of a book while reading your ebook? It is now possible to purchase an aerosol that replicates the smell of a new book or the “classic musty smell” of an old book. The new book smell comes from adhesives and chemicals in the paper, while the old book smell is the result of the breakdown of cellulose and lignin in the paper compounds over time.


The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) has published a major multi-author report entitled The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging People Where They Live and Learn. Highlights reported by compiler and co-author Lynn Silpigni Connaway

People associate the library with books and do not consider the library in relation to online resources or reference services.
People may not think of using libraries to get their information because they do not know that the services exist and some of the existing services are not familiar or do not fit into their workflows.
The context and situation of the information need often dictates how people behave and engage with technology.
Engagement and relationship building in both the online and physical environments is important for the development of successful and effective services.
The abstract and a link to the full report is at

No Off-Site for New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is building a new underground storage facility in which the 2.5 million items in the research collection will be barcoded and shelved according to size, not subject, with an automated retrieval system designed to fulfill user requests within 40 minutes. The system is expected to be operational by the end of spring, 2016. The library’s originall proposed to move the collection to a  storage site in New Jersey was met with strong protests from users.

Tom Mashberg, New York Times, November 15

Digital Book Sales Down

Third quarter digital book sales, which include e-books and audio books, were down 11.8% at HarperCollins and 10.7% at Simon & Schuster compared to the same period in 2014. Audio books have been showing increasing sales overall, so the decline is probably associated entirely with e-books.

Publishers Weekly, November 6, 2015

Devices for Reading

Ownership of dedicated E-book readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.) has dropped to 19% of U.S. adults, and 18% of those between 18 and 29 years of age, from a high of 32%. Tablet computer ownership has continued to grow, however, with 45% of adults, and 50% of those 18 to 29, owning tablets, while smart phones are now owned by 68% of adults and 86% of those 18 to 29. E-book sales have remained roughly constant at 510 million units,so the numbers suggest a movement from dedicated E-book readers to other devices.

Device data are from the Pew Research Center report Technology Ownership:2015, October 29, 2015. E-book sales data are from the Association of American Publishers.

New Seattle Bookstore

Amazon is opening a 5,500-square-foot bookstore in Seattle, with 5,000 to 6,000 discounted titles. Selections will be based on Amazon’s extensive data and will include reviews and ratings from the online site. (Seattle Times, November 2)

E-Books in France

Electronic books account for only two percent of book sales in France, according to the New York Times (Nov 2, 2015).  France, where publishers are able to fix the price of books in stores and online,  has more independent book stores than the United States.

Now you see it…

“In 1997, the average lifespan of a web page was 44 days; in 2003, it was 100 days. Links go bad even faster. A 2008 analysis  of links in 2,700 digital resources … found that about 8 percent of links stopped working after one year. By 2011  … 30 percent of links in the collection were dead.” Adrianne Lafrance, “Raiders of the Lost Web,” The Atlantic, October 14, 2015


Yes to Libraries!

65% of Americans 16 years of age and older believe that closing their local public library would have a major impact on their communities, but only 46% visited a library or bookmobile in 2014. From the Pew Research Center report “Libraries at the Crossroads,” September 15, 2015.

Book Sharing

Should folks who want to set up a “Take one, return one” free mini-lending library outside their houses or along the side of the road require a permit? Conor Friedersdorf, in the February 20, 2015 issue of the Atlantic, has a report of the problems that people young and old have had with local zoning ordinances when they simply wanted to help their neighbors share books.