How to store old books?

If you are lucky enough to own a set of old, cherished books, you are going to want to keep them as safe as can be. Old books are susceptible to some damage from heat, moisture, sunlight or any mishandling. If you want to take some precautions to avoid damage, here are some of the best tips. 

1.    It might sound obvious, but the best way to prevent a book from being damaged is to handle it with care. Pull a book from a shelf by its middle instead of the top of its spine. Wash your hands before touching and make sure to try them properly. If you are dealing with antique books, consider using white cotton inspection gloves. This will prevent the transfer of dirt or oil. When reading an antique book, use other items such as towels laid on both sides of the book to prevent tension of the spine and pages. Never use a pen or highlighter to take notes on a book and it is a good idea to keep them as far away as possible. If you are looking for a bookmark, avoid things created of acidic materials. Do not use regular notebook paper, post it notes, paperclips and avoid folding the corners of pages. Try using a piece of archival paper for a bookmark. To help repair a damaged book, use filmosplast tapes to rejoin ripped pages. It is always the best option to visit a professional book restorer to help you with this process

2.    To completely avoid damaging a book, you are going to want to store it in a place where it has no exposure to moisture or sunlight. The best storage areas have low humidity changes and maintain a normal temperature. Avoid attics and basements. If possible, try to maintain these conditions throughout the seasonal environment changes. If you do have a library in your home, the ideal temperature should be between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. If you have a home prone to humidity, try using a dehumidifier. Direct sunlight will cause ink and fabric bindings to wither and fade so consider a closet as a storage room. 

Try to keep the conditions of your storage area as consistent as possible. This means avoid areas where conditions can change drastically like basements prone to flooding or attics prone to leaks from roofs. These two places are also vulnerable to heat and humidity changes. Consider a dark, cool closet as a storage area. To prevent mold from forming, clean the area regularly. This means dusting often. Keep books of similar sizes next to each other to prevent the smaller ones from indenting into the larger sizes. Do not slant books next to each other and keep them directly upright.  

Tags: book, old book, storage, library, sell