Old Books, Their Care and Preservation

This article will outline the most basic steps to safeguard the books you own (old or brand new) from danger.

Old Books, Their Care and Preservation

This article will outline the most basic steps to safeguard the books you own (old or brand new) from danger.

The most common rule is that you treat book as children.

Give them a Proper Place-

The most important aspect, when it comes to children's books or in other books it is to ensure that they have an enviable home. In the case of books, this means in a room that is climate controlled, not the porch, and not the outbuilding or shop and not an unfinished attic or garage or basement and not a cold storage space. It is not ideal for the books to suffer extreme temperature fluctuations and neither do you want temperatures to fluctuate dramatically throughout the daytime.

The bookshelves are optimal because it's more likely that you will grab the book and begin reading it! Be sure to position the shelves in a location that is free from direct sunlight, or else the spines of your books will discolor. If you're smokers, consider keeping those books inside a space where you rarely smoke. While the smell will disappear but the discoloration of the covers and the pages is harder to eliminate.

If you're required to store your books in a box, be sure to place them flat inside the container. The most dangerous thing you could do when storing books is to put the books spine-up or spine down. This is especially true if you intend to place an additional box over them! It's an excellent idea to place some packing materials between the books. Sometimes, once books are packed in a box then they're moved or even transported without repackaging. Check the boxes time to make sure that mice or other insects haven't found the boxes.

Keep the Books Dry- 

If you reside in a temperate temperature that typically ranges somewhere between 70 and 50 degrees. It is easier to store your books outside of the house however, you must have an overhang on them! Water destruction is the most common problem I've seen. I've also witnessed books damaged by water due to being stored on a bookcase, along with houseplants. When watered, some of the water will splash out or spill, and cause damage to the books. So just having your books in a bookcase does not mean that they are secure. Humidity is another issue and can cause discoloration or foxing to the pages. In addition, keeping the book inside will help. If it is possible, a humidifier will make the books happy.

Keep the Books Clean- 

While they may not get as dirty as men during a summer day however, they do collect dust. A frequent dusting of the books as well as the shelves they're placed on is suggested. Regular vacuuming of the space the books are in is suggested. If possible, you should vacuum the books by hand using the help of a vacuum that is low-powered (such as a handheld one) using an attachment for a brush.

Take care of them- 

Like children, books can be scraped and scuffed, fractured bones, infected, bit by dogs, beaten up, cracked skin, and much more. Although our shop doesn't provide extensive repairs to books in-house or restoration, I'm unable to recall how many times I've seen a damaged book desperately in need of assistance (or needing to be rescued from its suffering!) Based on the financial or emotional worth of your book, you should think about having any damages repaired by an experienced bookbinder. Repairing minor damaged pages can stop it from getting any worse. If you've suffered from insects or mildew damage, make sure the infestation is gone otherwise this (the bug or mildew) could cause further damage to your collection. (Separate article about that will be published shortly!)

Spend Time with the Books-

Many book collectors are readers. Make sure you take the time to read your books! It is good to read with ease when reading books. If you own leather books The oils in your hands keep the leather in good shape. When you read your paperbound or cloth books will ensure that they don't get consumed by dust-bunnies or insects.

Do not keep in Plastic-

The majority of us do not wrap our kids in plastic bags even if we sometimes wish to. Neither should we do the same with our books. Books must breathe. (Sealing dust jackets in mylar sleeves with a paper backing is fine.) A plastic bag sealed with a seal can trap moisture and possibly develop mold, which can cause discoloration. Also, a book that is fragile that is taken into and out of bags made of plastic can be damaged every time. If you have something extremely fragile, ask your bookbinder about creating custom clamshell boxes for the book.

Estate Planning- 

We all pass away later or earlier, but most likely, you don't intend to be buried with your papers. Be sure your spouse, kids, family, friends, lawyer, etc. are aware of the old book values. I am not happy to see a large or valuable collection offered in an estate auction for just fifty cents apiece...but I'm not happy seeing kids toss out their parents' magazines, books and papers. If you have a collection of good books and your children do not like the books, think about making a sale (that is you are selling them, not the children) as long as you're alive, or at the very least trying to contact a reputable dealer who will examine your book estate and will pay you a good price.

These guidelines will assist you in keeping your books in great condition for many years to be. Because the worth of books is dependent on their condition and care for their condition is a smart financial choice and the most effective way to enjoy the maximum enjoyment from books. Learn more about antique book value guide .