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This Is How to Store Old Books Correctly

Do you have some old books that you’re looking to store away for safekeeping? Perhaps you’re in the process of moving and need to take special care of a certain stack of books.

Whatever the case might be, you need to learn how to store old books properly. That way, they can stay in the best condition possible, no matter where you store them.

The process of how to preserve old books is important. Without following the right steps, you could damage them beyond repair. See below for several tips on book preservation and book storage that you might want to consider.

1. Organize by Size

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when storing books (new or old) is stuffing different sizes into the same box during transit. Doing so can lead to creases in paperback books or even tearing in hardcover books.

Start by purchasing a few heavy-duty cardboard moving boxes equal to the number of books that you have. Typically, you want to get one medium-sized box for each shelf of books you own.

Before you start putting the books into boxes, take them all out and place them on a table or the floor. Take the time to organize them all and stack them by size and cover.

For example, organize all your books by small, medium, and large. Then, separate those piles by paperback and hardcover books. You should end up with a small paperback book pile, small hardcover book pile, medium paperback book pile, and so on.

2. Keep Out of the Sun

Many people often organize their belongings a few boxes at a time while they pack for the big move. They construct a few moving boxes and lay them on the floor to fit as much stuff into one box as possible.

Typically speaking, this is a great strategy because it allows you to maximize the space of each box and store like-minded items together. Thus making it easier to unpack when you get to your new property.

However, when you leave the box open, you allow the sunlight to shine down on it. For most items, this won’t be an issue, but it can be quite harmful to your books.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays will cause fading on your books. It will ruin the exterior of the old books that hold so much value to you. For that reason, you need to pack one box of books at a time, then tape it shut before moving on to the next box.

3. Store in Climate-Controlled Space

Believe it or not, several things can be of detriment to your old books. The best way to store old books will be to place them in a climate-controlled room. There are several factors that you’re wanting to keep control of.

First, make sure that you keep it in a space with room temperature. If the temperature in the room becomes too hot, it can undo the glue in your hardcover books and force leatherbound books to crack.

If anything, you want to aim for a lower temperature. Anything at or below 75 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for old book preservation.

Next, you want to make sure there isn’t a lot of humidity in the room where you store your books. If the space gets too humid or musty, it can sabotage the quality of your book’s pages and structure.

Unfortunately, dry environments are almost just as bad for your books. It can cause your books to become fragile and start to crack, as well as dry out the quality of your hardcover book’s exterior.

The ultimate answer for this is finding climate-controlled storage space. That way, the temperature and humidity are always at optimal levels.

4. Clean for Dust Often

Anyone with a steady collection of books knows the dilemma of dust buildup all too well. It can be a detriment to the quality of your aging books.

While many people might feel that dust is harmless to the books at adds the mystique of them, it can actually lead to mold growth in your book’s pages. Not only that, but the buildup can sabotage the respiratory health of you and your family.

Take the time each week to clean off the dust on your bookshelves. Take a feather duster and clean each shelve, the top of the books, and in between each book to ensure a thorough cleaning.

If you keep your old books in a self-storage unit, then take a feather duster to the location once every few weeks to dust.

5. Invest in Shelving

It doesn’t matter whether you’re keeping your old books in your home, your vacation home, or a self-storage unit, you must invest in proper shelving for them.

Piling up the books will increase the risk of them becoming damaged. Even if they’re stored inside a box, it can be at risk. They could get damaged from a flood, have something dropped on top of them, or just fall and scatter onto the dusty and dirty floor.

Be sure to find a bookshelf that has plenty of room for the old books that you currently have in your collection, as well as room for the books you’ll add down the line!

How to Store Old Books: Attention to Detail

Now that you’ve seen several tips and tricks for how to store old books effectively, it’s time to get things going in that direction.

Be sure to read this article for more information on the 7 key mistakes to avoid for first-time self-storage renters.

For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further!