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The Art of Preservation: Tips for Storing Old Books Long-Term
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The Art Of Preservation: Tips For Storing Old Books Long-Term

Do you have a collection of old books that you want to preserve? In order to make sure they maintain their condition and last as long as possible, you’ll want to make sure how to preserve old books properly. Find out with BestLifeTips right now.

Old books may degrade with time, as they are affected by several environmental factors and mishandling. Let’s review some quick tips below from BestLifeTips for how to preserve old books.

Are Old Books Worth Keeping?

Books are beautiful things and among humanity’s greatest inventions. Old books are even more precious. Books tend not to lose value over the long haul.

It is no coincidence that people have to think about how to preserve old books. So, old books are actually worth keeping.

Rebecca Romney, author of Printer’s Error, once wrote “Like other pieces of art that are sold as commodities, over the centuries books have been balanced precariously between ‘sacred vessels of Western culture’ and ‘show me the money!’”

In reality, the condition of a book is very important and will influence its value. Of course, a beaten-up old book that is falling apart will have little value.

how to preserve old books

Source: American Library Association

Indeed, the first editions are sought-after by book collectors. Hence, it’s true that a first edition is usually more valuable than a latter.

How To Preserve Old Books?

Ignore the popularity and convenience of ebooks and audiobooks. Many people in this world are still passionate about owning old books or, especially, precious titles of the classic type.

  • Hold The Spines Carefully

In any case, considering how to preserve old books is to arrange them carefully. It is not difficult to come across careless people who often leave their books open and upside down instead of putting them in place.

Although, for a new or regular book, you may not need to worry about a few cracks in the spine.

However, if you want to preserve the first edition or something rare, it’s still a good idea to prepare tips for how to preserve old books.

Some actions you should pay attention to during the period of preservation:

  • Use a bookmaker.
  • Do not use ink to mark paragraphs.
  • Don’t stretch the pages.
  • Don’t paperclip or fold back the corner of the pages.
  • Don’t unnecessarily pressure the top or side of the book.
  • Read with both hands with different placement.

Anyway, it’s better to have than not to have, you just do these things alone that can keep the life of old books longer.

  • Avoid Damaging Factors

If you want to know how to preserve old books successfully, make sure to do more than careful reading or putting. You know, books can be damaged quickly because of external factors.

Preserving books is about keeping them away from heat, moisture or other factors that can damage books.

how to preserve old books

Source: New Hampshire Magazine

It’s better to avoid putting it from places where temperatures can soar and where water or high humidity problems may be present.

Avoiding them also avoids the causes of brittling old papers. Not to mention, humidity can also attract insects. Books are indeed their peaceful abode.

  • Consider Wrapping

It’s essential when wrapping and padding your books that you use the right materials. You need to use acid-free archival materials to keep your first editions. That’s how to preserve old books effectively.

Storing Old Books In Plastic Bags

In reality, it’s not an excellent method to store. Because its moisture can cause condensation leading to end up destroying your beloved old books.

Hence, whatever you do, avoid using plastic bags to wrap your old books.

How To Store Old Books In Boxes?

  • Choose Quality Boxes

In some implements of how to preserve old books, store them in a rigid box. Anyway, that will truly protect them if someone drops the box or drops something onto the box. It’s certainly not breaking old books out.

For particularly valuable books and longer term storage, keep in mind acid-free archival boxes. This is the best.

Make sure to keep no moisture living inside your books. If your old books are not completely dry before placing them inside a plastic container for book storage, they may stimulate the development of mold or mildew.

how to preserve old books

Source: Thomson Reuters

If using plastic containers, insert silica gel packets to absorb moisture.

  • Arrange Your Books In Boxes With Care

When it comes to how to preserve old books, arrange in their storage box with a few below tips:

  • Don’t pack them too tightly or loosely either, as the movement during transit could put bumps into them.
  • Use acid-free tissue paper to fill in any gaps in your box to keep your books from shifting around.
  • Don’t let the corners bump when packing and storing the books.
  • Lay heavier and large books on flat.

How To Preserve Books From Insects?

Water may exist in the air. So, it’s easier to cause fungus and even mold with temps around seventy degrees. Here, you will need a dehumidifier. The way you do for sucking out all the moisture out of the air in the room.

Also, if there is too little humidity that may dry out your books, then that is when the humidifiers will help your books dry.

Not only that, dust is the catalyst of humid air. The more they combine, the easier it is to promote mildew growth. Just keep the top of your book dusted by the humidifier.

More conveniently, you might put a fan near your bookshelf.

how to preserve old books

Source: The Wire

In fact, ensuring how to preserve old books well does not require ventilation and balance between humidity and temperature factors. While extreme heat can damage your books, no humidity can make your pages brittling.

Once you have found the infestation, you will need to take your books and isolate them by putting them into plastic ziplock bags and sticking them in the freezer.

By doing this, it will kill the insects. You will also want to keep your bookshelf free from moisture and even dust.

Doing this will help by keeping these insects away. Doing this does not simply help get rid of the book bugs.

How To Preserve An Old Bible?

How to preserve a Bible may be not as simple as how to preserve old books. This is one of the most precious material items in most houses.

Not only that, the Bible is considered as an irreplaceable part of a family’s identity and history that has passed down through generations.

Of course, don’t forget to keep old Bibles out of direct sunlight, which can cause paper and bindings to yellow and fade, becoming brittle in time.

how to preserve old books

Source: Hooked To Books

Although some still claim it may be possible to store Bibles by slipping the books into a resealable plastic bag with little of silica gel. This buffer is effective in absorbing the moisture.

It’s best to wrap the Bible in each bag in soft cloth to serve as padding and pack in an archival-quality box. This is surrounded by plastic packing materials.

Anyway, keep in mind a thumbnail rule is storing it in a cool and dry place to avoid the mold growth.

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At this point, you might have nearly full information on how to preserve old books that are right for you. BestLifeTips also hopes you will find this post interesting.