Books, of course, are meant to be read and shared. But sometimes you might need to store some of your collection. To keep your books in mint condition while they’re packed away, follow these simple tips.
Give your books a gentle but thorough cleaning. Hold the book firmly closed and, with a soft brush or clean, dry cloth, gently wipe the book from the spine outwards. Remove any bookmarks, scraps of paper, flowers, paper clips and other fasteners.
Wrap each book in a paper towel or bubble wrap. Don’t wrap books in plastic bags, plastic wrap or foil, which encourage mold.
Pack the books in small, preferably new cardboard or plastic boxes. Don’t use boxes that have been used for food storage as the odors and residue can attract pests. Do not pack books with other items, especially fragile ones.
Organize your books into categories for easy labeling. Keep a record of which books are in which boxes. You’ll be able to find what you want much easier.
Pack similar size books within each box. Put the heaviest books at the bottom. Preferably lay each book (especially large, heavy ones) flat, one on top of the other. Arrange them with spines and fore-edges (the front edge opposite the spine) alternating.
If you need to store some books upright, pack them securely enough to keep them from leaning but not so tight they are crammed together. Do not stack items on top of them. Never store books resting on the spine or the fore-edge as this can seriously damage bindings. And do not over-pack as the books could get crushed. Allow space for the air to circulate.
Fill any empty spaces with packing material (not newspaper) and seal each box with tape, top and bottom. Wrap each box in plastic for added protection.
Place boxes on palettes or blocks to aid air circulation and as a precaution in case of flooding. Put boxes of hardbacks at the bottom of the pile if you are stacking boxes on top of each another. Do not stack them against exterior walls, as moisture can be transferred and absorbed from outside.
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