How to store books

How to store books

One of the many items that a lot of people tend to put into storage is old books.  While books can often seem as though they are pretty resilient in nature, especially in comparison to the electronic items that many people have started to replace them with, the reality is that books face a number of hazards when being put into storage for an extended amount of time.  Taking the right precautions can be a big help when it comes to trying to stop the elements and various pests from damaging your books.

Before you pack a book away you should make use of a soft paintbrush in order to remove dirt and dust from its cover and pages.  It is absolutely vital to make certain that the book remains dry, so it should not be wiped down or have any moisture at all introduced to it.  If a book already has a damp feel to it or has a musty smell, you should try to air it in a dry room before it is packed away.  If damp books are put into storage then mildew is likely to ensue.  If it already has mildew or mold on its pages, you may need to seek professional help or at the very least not put it into storage.  While you are using a brush to clean your pages you should be on the lookout for insect eggs, which resemble little black seeds and can often become lodged between the binding and the pages.  If you do come across them then your only recourse is to give the book a thorough cleaning; however, bug sprays and the like should never be used, as they tend to react with the paper and end up damaging the book.

Packing books in the correct manner is also useful for keeping away both insects and moisture.  Each book should ideally be wrapped in a protective and clean material such as bubble wrap and then stored in a rigid box that will offer real protection from damage such as being banged or dropped.  A lot of hardcover books come in dust jackets that can be especially fragile and prone to small tears, which makes it all the more important to put additional packing around each individual book.  Though dust jackets were originally created to protect books, they are now seen as crucial in maintaining their value.

It is also important to make sure that you make use of the proper materials when you wrap and pad your books for storage.  A number of packing materials that are commonly used, including newspaper, should not be used when packing books.  Newspaper is acidic, and the ink within the newsprint can result in a chemical reaction that will damage the book.  Books can generally be packed in any manner that you wish; however, it is best to avoid packing them too tightly, as the pressure can cause them to bend and end up out of shape, or too loosely, as dents and bumps can be caused during transit.