What causes that old-book smell in libraries? According to Popular Science, it’s cellulose decay caused by the breakdown of lingin, a compound typically found in paper pulp.

The view from Dennis Cooper's window in Paris.

What happens in bookshops when nobody’s looking: a stop-motion animation video set in Toronto’s Type bookstore.

Echoes of Simon Reynolds? At Vanity Fair, Kurt Andersen argues that for the past two decades, pop culture has been stuck in a feedback loop: “The past is a foreign country, but the recent past—the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s—looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.”

Roald Dahl stamps are now available in the UK.

Did he father a child out of wedlock? Does he have a much-younger mistress? Right-wing Turkish media outlets are using unsubstantiated tabloid tactics to undermine novelist and political dissident Orhan Pamuk.

What Can X Teach Us About Y? Slate calculates that at least eighteen books coming out in 2012 have titles that follow that formula, and via a nifty quiz, challenges readers to guess what they are.

Advertisement