Tips For Taking Care Of Books
August 15, 2022

Some of us see books as our best companions, providing knowledge and offering an escape when needed. However, they require adequate care to last a long time. They tear and wear out if we don’t look after them.

Adopting proper book care routines is essential for every book lover, and here are some hacks to help in this regard:

Secure your favorite books with plastic covers

You can extend the lifespan of your favorite book by using plastic covers to protect them. Get some clear plastic that’s about one to four mm thick. Then, measure, cut, and fold it around your book. You’ll also need some tape to secure the flaps.

Keep them away from sunlight

Direct sunlight or other high-intensity lights accelerate the deterioration of paper and causes the yellowish, fading color we often see in books. The ultraviolet rays can also damage book covers and dust jackets.

Create a stable and moderate environment for them

Keep your books in a place where you can stay comfortably. The rule of thumb states that if you’re comfortable, so are your books. Keep the room temperature between 66°F to 68°F and avoid fluctuations.

Forty to fifty percent humidity is ideal because too much moisture or heat can encourage the growth of mold and other microorganisms.

It’s best to avoid keeping books in the attic; unsuitable conditions for books to thrive there. And the same applies to basements.

Dust your books regularly

Dust your books regularly to avoid accumulating dust. The covers are the primary target, so ensure it stays closed while you clean external areas with a soft brush.

Handle your books with clean hands

If you value your books, you’ll avoid touching them with greasy and grimy hands. These stains can damage your book’s pages, bindings, and cover.

Be selective about fluids near your books

Indeed, when you invest money in a good book, you’ll desire to prolong its life. Well, your cleaning routine should be limited to dry items only. Avoid using fluids like water, leather dressings, and other solvents to remove dirt.

What not to do with your books

  • Avoid placing your bookshelves near exterior walls because it exposes books to humidity and temperature changes. Putting them near interior walls is preferable.
  • Avoid repairing your damaged covers with pressure-sensitive adhesives because with does more harm in the long run.
  • Avoid using leather or oil dressing on books with leather bindings. It doesn’t improve the suppleness of the binding but accelerates deterioration instead. It’s best to clean the cover with a soft cloth to remove dirt.
  • Avoid pulling on the top of the spine of books when you’re removing them from the shelf. Over time, it may break, and deterioration sets in. You can push the books on the sides of the one you want to choose to grasp it at the middle of the spine.
  • Avoid attaching sticky notes to books because of the unfriendly residue they leave when removed.
  • Don’t put paper clips on the leaves of your books. They contain metals that may corrode and destroy the book over time.
  • Avoid putting rubber bands on books too. As they age, they break and stain the pages of the book.