The aroma of old books, on the other hand, is derived from the chemical breakdown of compounds within the paper. Among other chemicals, paper in old books generally contain cellulose and small amounts of lingin – more than that found in modern books. It's the degradation of these chemicals that contribute to the smell we all know too well.
Can't get enough of that bookish scent? Check out this Smell of Books aerosol spray (Classic Musty Smell sounds right up my alley) and Paper Passion perfume!
This post may or may not add a more literal meaning to the phrase "Go stick your nose in book."