How to Take Care of Your Books at Home

We absolutely love books, and we know all of you do as well. Most people visiting this site probably have at least a small library at home. If you’re like us, you want your books to last. While we often put plastic covers over our books to keep them safe for years, you may not have to go that far.

Those covers are necessary for books that change hands a lot and that get red multiple times a year. Your books may not need that kind of safety measure, but there are some practical things you can do to protect your books and ensure that they last for many years.

Give Them Plenty of Air

Books that are stored in tight, cramped spaces will not last as long as they should. They need some space to breathe, so even books stored on a bookshelf very tightly will not be in as good condition as they should be. Give your books just a little space if you can and that will make a big difference over the years you have them in your collection.

They need good air circulation, as that keeps them from getting musty. This also allows them to dry out when the humidity rises and doesn’t trap the humidity between the pages.

Books that are pressed tightly together will often damage one another. The constant pressure they create against each other will make them deteriorate faster. Keep that in mind if you are trying to figure out where to store them. Try to place them on a bookshelf with a little extra space, not cramming them tightly into the shelves. This is ideal storage for books so that they last as long as possible.

Books need room on both sides in order to last a long time. Try not to push them all the way back to the back of the bookcase. Instead, pull them forward and line them up with the front of the shelves. This not only looks attractive, but it also keeps mold and humidity from building up behind the books.

Pressing your books all the way to the back of the bookshelves will damage pages, whereas pulling them forward takes some of that pressure off. It is a good way to be gentle on the books over years of storage time.

Keep the House Clean

Do you know what destroys books faster than just about anything? Well, fire is the most damaging for them, but other than that it is mold. That’s what eats through books, darkens the pages, makes them difficult to read, and destroys the pages. Mold is not good for your books, so you want to get rid of it as soon as you see any.

Even if the mold isn’t growing near the books, mold spores can still spread out wherever the books are in the house and damage them over time. Keep mold out of your house to protect your books.

You can do this by cleaning regularly. If you aren’t very good at keeping the mold out of your home, then hire a professional cleaning service- whatever it takes to safeguard your books.

When you clean, be sure to get rid of any water that is lying about, as mold tends to grow from there. Make sure you stop up any leaks and keep your plumbing in good shape so that mold has trouble finding a water source. Also allow plenty of fresh air to circulate in the home to make it difficult for mold to thrive.

Dust Your Books

You also want out make sure the books are dusted off. Dust can damage your books over time, so use a gentle feather duster or microfiber cloth to get dust off of them. Be sure to use gentle cleaning motions so that you do not damage the pages, especially with older, brittle books.

Store Books Upright

It is smart to keep your books stored upright on a shelf. This protects the spines and pages from damage and prevents sagging. Storing books in a box can put a lot of weight on them and damage them over time. The same thing happens when they are laid on their side on a shelf. Stand them up to keep them in the best shape possible and don’t give them so much space between each other that they lean more than a couple of inches.

Remove Books Properly

Did you know that there is a proper and an improper way to pull a book off the shelf out read it? Most people will pull a book out by placing their finger on the top of the book by the spine. This puts pressure on a fragile area and pulls the spine away from the book over time.

Instead of that method, you should grasp the spine in the middle on both sides. Then pull the book toward you. For an even gentler removal, bring your hand over the book and push it out toward you from the back of the shelf, if there is enough space to do so. The right removal method is very important for books you use often, like a devotional book coreference book. Other books might not matter as much, but you will definitely wear on the spine if you keep pulling to books the wrong way.

Don’t Attach Anything to Your Books

You might like to place sticky notes or rubber bands on your books for note taking and keeping the book closed, respectively. However, you should not keep anything attached to your books or stuck to them. Those items can wear the book down and make it deteriorate faster. Try not to leave bookmarks in the books either, as they can release chemicals that damage the book as well.

Keep your books clean and free of any foreign items to help them last longer. If you take good care of them, you can get plenty of years of reading out of them.






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