If you are like many people, the books that you acquire over the years tends to become a part of you. There is something nostalgic and romantic about a physical copy of a book that drives many people to want to preserve them, almost like a piece of art within a piece of art. There are good and bad ways, however, to store your books. If you love your books and want to keep them for as long as you can, below are some tips for properly storing them.
Handle with Good Hygiene
Books and eating and drinking go hand in hand. You will avoid doing this, though, if you really love your books. Always keep a paper towel by your side if you are eating or drinking, and never turn the pages with your acidic saliva or they will become stained and brittle.
Preserve the Structure
The whole concept of the paperback book is to make it broadly affordable. Unfortunately, however, this means that it’s not going to have the strength and durability of a hardcover. Use bookmarks and never fold the corner (“dog ear”) to mark a page. Also, never leave your books open when you aren’t reading them. Doing so will damage the spine.
Store Books Cover Side Down
If you are moving your books, or putting them into storage, it can be tempting to try and economize on the vertical space in boxes and place the book spine down, or even page side down to fit as many books in one box as possible. Don’t do this. Stack your books flat, one on top of the other.
Store in a Dry Place
Paperbacks need to be stored in a dry area. As you accumulate more and more books, some of them might need to go into storage to make way for new ones you are reading, or want to reference, etc. Nothing ruins a book faster than humidity.
If you are travelling and taking a book, or multiple books with you, you should invest in some sort of hard travel case to place them in. It’s all too common that we get on the bus, or plane, with a book stuffed in our backpack, only to take it out and find it is completely warped and bent.
If you are an avid reader, and especially if you are prone to revisiting the same books over and over because they are just that good, it is inevitable that you are going to wear out the book at some point. But if you keep the above storage and care tips in mind, you will keep your books in the best condition possible, for the longest time possible.