In the age of the Internet and e-readers, almost every book ever written is within your grasp. Yet, reading them is somewhat… lacking. There’s no that specific book smell. No soothing feeling of paper under your fingers. No sense of euphoria or dread, as you’re turning the page, wondering where it will take you next. Indeed, books, in their original format, are a true treasure. But, if they’re also antique, then they’re literally a treasure. And, as such, they deserve the best treatment possible. That’s why Next Stop Movers Raleigh compiled this list of useful tips on how to store, preserve, and take care of antique books. Let’s dive in and see what are some of the best methods to keep your paper treasures safe.
Antique books deserve a good treatment
Time isn’t too kind on books. Especially those printed (or written, even) many decades ago. Over the years, their condition deteriorates, making them sensitive and frail. And, of course, we can’t forget the usage, which only speeds up the process. Even if a book seems sturdy, chances are – it’s not. Therefore, if you want to store, preserve, and take care of antique books, you need to ensure:
- Adequate storing conditions;
- Propper treatment and handling.
These factors play a crucial role in conserving your precious artifacts. So, let’s tackle them in that order.
Adequate space is a must if you want to store, preserve, and take care of antique books
Where you store your antique books matters just as much as how. You may choose to use a dedicated room in your home as a personal library. Or, you can use climate controlled storage Raleigh NC movers offer, for short and long-term storing, if you’re lacking space. Either way, this dedicated place must satisfy certain conditions.
Old tomes are quite susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Extremes on either end of the spectrum will cause the book to deteriorate at a much faster rate. Therefore, proper insulation and climate controls are a must for a dedicated bookkeeping space.
That said, the ideal temperature for antique tomes is between 60℉ and 70℉. So, keep it in this range, and your books will remain cozy and safe.
Same as with temperature, humidity is the bane of antique books. Excessive moisture or dryness can damage them beyond repair. Moisture can warp the paper and expedite mold growth. On the flip side, dryness and heat can cause leather binding to crack or glue to dry out and start crumbling.
Therefore, the attic and basement are out of the question as storage spaces for antique books. Unless that is, you invest heavily in insulation and HVAC system that will sustain optimal conditions. Otherwise, you can invest in a solid dehumidifier, and keep humidity levels between 30% and 50%.
Dust and debris aren’t friends to old tomes, either. Aside from direct physical damage, they also propagate mold and mildew growth. And, they can invite a whole plethora of creepy-crawlies to make a buffet out of your antique books. So, either keep the premises pristine or use the professional packing services Raleigh NC movers provide to ensure their protection. Ideally – both.
Now, by no means are we saying “slap some sunscreen on your antique books.” That’s not a good idea. What is, on the other hand, is keeping your tomes away from direct sunlight. UV Rays can have a whole spectrum of harmful effects, including bleaching, fading, browning of the paper, cracks in the leather, etc. The list goes on and on. Fortunately, you have quite a few options to prevent this:
- Store antique books in a dark or dimly lit room;
- Store them in a plastic or glass, UV-resistant container;
- Invest in a UV coating for windows;
- Invest in dust jackets or plastic coverings with UV protection.
The good thing is that most of these options aren’t as expensive as they seem. And, they’re readily available online or in local stores.
Preservation, protection, and preparation of antique books for storing
Once you have a safe space for your tomes, you can proceed to the next step: preparation. Now, if you took previous advice, you can display your books freely. Since the space already boasts excellent conditions, all you need are adequate shelves.
That said, there are a few rules here, too, you should follow:
- Store your books on shelves with a properly sealed finish, so acids in wood and paint don’t damage the books;
- Shelves should have closable doors (glass or wood), so you can insulate the books from outside influences.
However, if you only want to store your books, you should pack them properly. Especially if you’re intent on storing them for a prolonged period.
Packing antique books
If you want to store, preserve, and take care of antique books, yet keep the option of moving them occasionally – you can do so, too! However, in this case, it’ll take some extra preparation. You will have to ensure ample safety level, which is only possible through careful packing. Here are some general guidelines:
- Use nitrile or art handling cloth gloves when handling antique books;
- Always use quality packing materials (wrapping, padding, packing tape);
- Ensure you have an adequate container, that provides enough integrity and insulation to the package;
- Don’t forget to label the containers.
Do note that this is quite a delicate process, requiring knowledge and finesse. Therefore, if you have any doubts about your capabilities, consider letting movers Durham NC houses, and their professional packers handle it.
And, now, your precious tomes are ready for – anything
If you want to store, preserve, and take care of antique books, we must say we wholeheartedly support your decision. Although old tomes hold great monetary value, what they hold inside is even more precious. Knowledge, escape, consolation, epiphany – whatever the content is, it’s the true treasure. Therefore, whether you’re doing it as a hobby or a potential profession, it’s one of the noblest causes a person can undertake.