Books are something we often collect after we read them. A good book can become part of who we are, which is why so many people are reluctant to give up the books that have meant the most to them – even if they are not first editions,or original prints, and can be easily bought at any major chain bookstore.
When a book is an antique, however, the need to keep it in great condition increases. If you are a collector, or, perhaps, didn’t even know that you had antique books in your collection, below are some important storage tips to make sure that your books are always well protected.
Many people swear by slipcases. These are containers that books are slid into, but they don’t end up protecting the spine. The problem with slipcases is that they can sometimes damage the book when taking it in and out because the width of the slipcase is not ideal for the width of the book. This leads some people to jam the books in, and once they are in, the pressure for the sides of the slipcase can warp the shape of the book.
Tall and thick books
Any books that are taller than 18 inches, and/or wider than 3 inches should be stored flat, not upright. You should also take care not to store any antique books in stacks of more than three books, or you risk damaging the covers.
Don’t back them tightly
If you are storing antique books on a shelf, it is imperative that you don’t pack them too tightly. You should be able to remove each of your books without having it rub against the bindings of the books on either side of it. Each book should, however, be close enough to the other books on the shelf so that they are able to support one another.
If you are storing your antique books in a self storage unit, your best bet is to opt for a unit that has a climate control option. This is because storing antique books in a climate that is not sufficiently humid will dry out the paper, and if the cover or binding is leather, it will dry that out as well, potentially causing cracks and tears.
Antique books are like pieces of history, and should be treated as such. These books have some special care requirements if you want to keep them in as close to their original condition as possible.
If you are an antique book collector, reader, or have inherited some books that could be considered antiques, keep the above storage tips in mind to ensure your books remain in mint condition for years to come.