In this short video, Richard from ABEbooks describes the distinctive smell of old books ("a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla, with an underlying mustiness") caused by hundreds of volatile compounds released during the slow oxidization of the paper, glues and inks.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.