The value of collectible books increases as time passes. This is the reason why you need to protect them from all kinds of damages and to store them the right way. If you are able to preserve them, you can have a set of heirlooms to be passed on to the later generations. Or if you want to profit from them, you can sell the collectible books for a good price. Here are some tips on how to protect and store collectible books—both old and new.
- Remove any material inserted in the books. Bookmark, paper clip, note, picture, dried leaf or petal, ribbon, and any other material must be taken out of the books. If you fail to remove such items, they might stain the pages of the book with their color or ink. Make sure to scan through the pages and check if there are small items that are left inserted.
- Use book covers. Book covers will protect the books from dust, water, and stain. Book covers are available in bookstores and craft stores. Make sure to choose book covers made of acid-free materials. But if you are extra creative, you can customize your book covers. Just make sure to use protective fabrics and materials.
- Make necessary repairs. Inspect your old books thoroughly and see if there is damage in the spines, jackets, and pages. If there are, send the books to a professional book repairer. It may be practical to repair them on your own, but if you don’t have the necessary tools, don’t do the task. The household products that you are likely to use may not efficiently fix the problem.
- Unfold the pages. Dog-ear folds and other kinds of folds must be smoothed out. Again, scan through the pages of the books and spot the folded pages. Carefully smooth them with your fingers. If you are dealing with old books, you might want to be extra careful to prevent tearing the pages.
- Find a place to store your collectible books. Your storage area should ideally be dry and cool. It must not be directly hit by the sun, as the sun can fade the books over time. The area particularly should not be prone to mildew and mold growth. And it should have a temperature of about 66° F. If you are able to locate such a place, install a sturdy and spacious bookshelf.
- Organize the books. You can arrange the books in different orders. You can have them arranged by size, color, author, genre, and year. But however you decide to organize them, make sure to put the books in each shelf in an upright position. Avoid arranging them in stack, as this might cause stress on the covers and pages. For heavier books, however, laying them flat is ideal. When they are arranged vertically, their spines might have to deal with excessive weight. Remember not to overcrowd your bookshelf. There must be adequate space to allow for air circulation.
- Use archival plastics or bags. Such items are specifically designed for keeping and protecting collectible books. They are made of special materials that fight against dust, acids, and other elements that can ruin book covers and pages. They are available in online stores and bookstores.
Check your books from time to time. See to it that they are in tiptop form and generally look usable. When time comes, sell the books or pass them on to the younger family members.