The quote certainly speaks about the sense one gets in a room full of old books. Do you notice anything different about reading a used book versus a brand new one? The pages of a used book seem to flip with ease from passages being read and reread by previous readers. There may be pages with corners dog-eared from someone who marked their spot so they could return to it at a later time. Was there a distraction that pulled the reader away from the book, maybe a child who awoke in the night needing attention or a neighbor who stopped by unannounced?
Many used books have notes in the margin, as if the reader might converse with the author someday or wanted to remember a special thought. And many books have beautiful scripted names and addresses entered in the front cover to ensure the book is returned if loaned to another. Yes, when you buy a used book there is more to the experience then the story it tells. Consider giving a "homeless book" somewhere to belong. The AAUW Used Book Sale runs from September 19th-21st, followed by Literacy Day on September 22nd. More information is available at http://www.booksale-aauw-dearborn.info/ .
And as to the answer to the previous question: Who is credited with introducing the first coffee table book?
David Brower of the Sierra Club is credited with the modern day idea of coffee table books. The first book was published in 1960, as Mr. Brower thought that the images of nature should be presented on oversized pages, so the reader's eyes would need to browse around the image, rather than taking the whole of it in with one glance.
The idea was also attributed as early as the 19th century in Britain. And as early as 1580, Michel de Montaigne wrote in his essay Upon Some Verses of Virgil: "I am vexed that my Essays only serve the ladies for a common movable, a book to lay in the parlor window...".