Although we live in the era of digital revolution and we are enabled to get any book in an electronic format, the physical books will never get out of fashion. If you are a book lover who is always up to date with the latest trends, you probably have a kindle or you had at one point considered buying one. Anyway, being a passionate book lover and having piles of books waiting for you to get some free time and read them all takes its toll. If you want to protect them from any negative impacts and keep your place spick and span, you’d better read on and get familiar with the right way for book storing and maintenance.
- The best place to store books is an area where the humidity is relatively low. It should also be well ventilated and pest free. Considerable temperature changes should also be avoided. If you have a place that matches the above requirements, it is time to check out the next step.
- Get suitable boxes for the books. It is up to you whether to put them in plastic or paper ones. They just have to be brand-new. You are not advised to use boxes that have previously been used for food storage. If you live in a rented property and you are about to move out, you should get durable, water proof, moisture proof boxes that have handlers, so you can move out the boxes easily when it is time for the end of tenancy cleaning. Don’t forget to label the boxes, too.
- You should not wrap the books in plastic bags or foil as these two encourage mould. Keep books away from radiators, direct sunlight and leaks.
- If you prefer to place your books in a bookshelf and boast about your vast collection in front of friends and relatives, then, you should regularly clean them. Sticking to the book cleaning technique described below is essential for their perseverance.
- Do you know the main reason for the wear and tear of the books? It is the combination of dirt and natural oils from your hands. So, before you start the cleaning procedure, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water and dry them before you pick up a book. Eating and drinking around your valuable books is not recommended.
- If you have extremely old, valuable books, do not touch them with bare hands. Put latex gloves on and make sure you put book protectors on the rarest and most valuable editions you have.
- Regular dusting of the area where you store books is essential. In point of fact, if the place is dust-free, the humidity and temperature are kept at reasonable levels, that should be enough for keeping your books in an excellent condition for the years to come. You can opt for absorene sponges and cleaners that have been preferred cleaning solutions for quite some time. They are toxic-free, relatively inexpensive and can be found in any specialised store.
- As you know, carpets attract dust like magnets, so regular carpet cleaning and vacuuming in particular, is necessary. Plus, the shelves where you keep your books also needs regular thorough dusting. When you are cleaning the book shelves make sure you are cleaning top-to-bottom not the other way as you will make the place even dustier. Don`t forget to book professional carpet cleaning as the dirt and dust accumulating in the room can have negative influence on the books.
- Dusting the books themselves is yet another important prerequisite for prolonging their lifespan. You can either dust them with a lint-free cloth or use a microfibre cloth that catches even the smallest dust particles. Feather dusters are not recommended as they will just blow the dust in the air.
- You should refrain yourself from using any detergents when you have to clean books. Although in most cases regular dusting is enough for keeping them in a prime condition, if you have an old book that has gotten dirty, the best solution is to take it to a professional who knows how to restore it without causing any damages.
- Do you remember the housekeeping rule that says you have to clean from top to the bottom? Well, bearing that in mind, you should clean the books from the “head” to the “tail”.
- In case you have skipped the book dusting for a couple of weeks, you are advised to use a small hand vacuum cleaner to suck most of the dust before cleaning them with a microfibre cloth.
The proper organisation of the books also matters. Everyone has their own method for storing their books – by genre, by size, by author, by colour, in alphabetical order and so on. If you choose to store your books by size, the bookshelf will definitely look neat, not to mention that will stabilise the covers and minimise the binding, which further extends their life expectancy.