Beyond the Book: Why do books smell good? (and Book Perfume)

Bibliosmia – The act of smelling books


My old copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone smells SO GOOD. I just can’t help but sniff it every time I pick it up :P. Books smelling is my guilty pleasure and it’s also one of the reasons why physical books are preferred by many readers. However, have you ever wonder what causes the smell of books?

( I know ^ THAT^ looks kind of intimidating. If you are interested, you can click here and read the full text.)


For those who prefer video:


You love the aroma so much that you want to wear it? Here! 😀

Now you’ll smell like one. P-E-R-F-E-C-T.


Got a Kindle and you miss the smell (aka me)? Get this!





*Disclaimer: this post is NOT sponsored. I just accidentally discovered the products and would like to share it with you guys 😀

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I was casually scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard when I saw this info graphic and so, I decided to write about books aroma. I knew that there’s a perfume that smells like books, but an aerosol e-book enhancer? Never heard of that. It’s ‘the accidental discovery’ in the process of researching (lol). Still, a ‘real’ book is irreplaceable. No matter how technology evolves, traditional ways/things still have their advantages and value.

I had a great time understanding the causes of the aroma of books and I hope you do too! Thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you in my next post 🙂

Beyond the Book: Heroes

What does it take to be a hero?

There’re lots of quotes on the internet about heroes and who they are.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. – Christopher Reeve


A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. – Bob Dylan


Everybody is a hero in their own story if you just look. – Maeve Binchy


So what makes a hero?

Let’s take a look:

Here’s a summary in case you couldn’t watch the video:

Joseph Campbell studied myths from all over the world and published a book called ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’, retelling stories and explaining how they represent the Hero’s Journey. So, what is the Hero’s Journey?

Think of it as a cycle.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 9.28.55 pm

1. Status Quo, the starting point

2. Call To Adventure – the hero receives a challenge

3. Assistance – the hero gets help from someone older and wiser

4. Departure – the hero leaves his/hers comfort zone and enters the special world

5. Trials

6. Approach – it’s time to face the hero’s worse fear

7.  Crisis – the hero’s darkest hour

8. Treasure – the hero claims his/her treasure

9. Result – it varies between stories: either the monster bow down to him/her or it chases him/her as the hero flees

10. Return – the hero returns to the ordinary world

11. New life – the challenge changes the hero

12. Resolution

What do we have in common with Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and Frodo? We’re humans, just like them! We leave our comfort zone, have an experience that transforms us, and then we recover and do it again.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek – Joseph Campbell

So take the challenge! Whatever your challenge is. Recover, and do it again. You could be a hero yourself.




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My thoughts:

I’ve read loads of books with a hero protagonist (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, Legend, Steelheart…). They all have similarities: they are brave, selfless and loyal. Are those the qualities that a hero should have?
Maybe. Yes. But there’re more.
In my opinion, a hero doesn’t need to save the world or wear a cape. A hero is a person who, in spite of hardships, continues to walk forward.

For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America’s hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest. – J. Michael Straczynski

So what do you think makes a hero?

(a little sneak peek: next BtB post will be about Book Aroma)


Beyond the Book: Invisibility

Very often, something in a book will catch my attention. Whether it’s an idea, a question, or an object, I’ll always want to know more about it. Well, instead of going to the library like Hermione does, I go on the Internet. Usually I’ll find a lot of interesting facts that fascinate me, so after some preparation and planning, I’m here to present you *drumroll* – ‘Beyond the Book’! It’ll be a new feature here on my blog! Even though it won’t be a weekly feature (researching needs time!), I’ll post as frequently as possible 😀

Let’s start with SUPERPOWERS!


In the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, some people have superpowers. Kenji Kishimoto has the power to be invisible, which is REALLY cool. How about being invisible in real life? Is it possible? Take a look:

If you couldn’t watch the video, here is a summary:

Modern technology allow us to be invisible in some way, but none of them can make us appear invisible from all angels and distances while we’re moving. We can’t be invisible from within. Even if we could, it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience:

1. You couldn’t wear any clothes and carry anything as they would reflect light

2. People and drivers wouldn’t see you so you would be hurt (ouch)

3. No perfume or breathing noises!

4. What if someone spills hot coffee on you? What if it rains? Boom. You’re visible.

5. Not only liquid, but dusts could make you visible too!

6. You wouldn’t be able to see anything. To be invisible, light need to pass through your body, which means your retinas wouldn’t catch any light.

7. When you’re sick, doctors could not help you!

8. What if everyone is permanently invisible? It’d be boring!


Hmm. Being invisible from within isn’t really an option. How about an invisibility cloak like Harry’s?


In case the video is too long and you don’t want to watch it, here’s a brief summary:

Optical camouflage

There’s a camera behind the subject which takes images of the background. Then it’s projected into a box of mirrors called the combiner, then onto the cloak. It is the closest thing we have today to an invisibility cloak like Harry’s, but we need cameras everywhere, and to be honest, it’s does not look so ‘invisible’.

We could sew LED lights onto the cloth, but nah, not good enough for sci-fi fans.

Since an atom’s electrons absorb light when they move, we could make them invisible by stopping them from moving. However, we could only make identical atoms disappear using one frequency of light. Something as complicated as a human being? Some part would be gone but some part’d still be here. Problem. Let say there’s an invisible flash light with thousands of laser to make us completely invisible. There’s still a difficulty – we’d be blind.

Maybe Harry Potter’s right. We need a cloak.



Metamaterials have a refractive index that bends microwaves. As the microwaves hit the coil they are deflected around it. Anything in the middle appears to be invisible. However, microwaves have a large wavelength (about 3 inch long), and visible light has a wavelength between 400 to 700 nanometers. You’ll have to scale down the metamaterial a million times. It wouldn’t be a cloak anymore.

Some people managed to bend visible light using metamaterials on a nano scale. Pretty sure they could scale it up after some time. So, we could make a jumpsuit with futuristic metamaterials.

Visible light is composed with different magnetic waves, each with their own frequency (we see as different colours). If you make a jumpsuit with metamaterials, you’ll have to make 3 layers for each colour – red, blue and green.

Viola! You’d be invisible!

Almost. Almost.

We still couldn’t see anything.



When a beam-splitter is struck by a light beam, it divides the light into two. 4% is redirected 90 degrees and the remaining 96% passes straight through. So if we cover our eyes with these lenses, they could redirect a tiny percentage of light flowing around the metamaterials into our eye. We could see, but others will only see a faint outline of our eyeballs. Not perfect, but still, it’s the closest we could get currently.


Problem solved. There’ll be invisibility cloak on sale soon!



If superpowers were real: Invisibility – Joy Lin

Sci.Fi.: Physics of the Impossible – Invisibility HD (720)

How Stuff Works: invisibility cloak

Gif from tumblr


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My own thoughts:

Let’s say we could be invisible.

It’ll be cool if people use invisibility morally and for good purposes, but what if thieves or murderers use it? It would be disastrous. That’s the thing about science and technology. We, of course, need to overcome the technical problems, but we also need to address the moral problems.

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Phew. Here’s my first ever ‘Beyond the Book’ post. I hope you guys find it interesting 😀  A sneak peek: next ‘Beyond the Book’ post will be about HEROES.