Nowadays, books are made with preservation in mind and contain environmentally safe and acid free paper. While care should still be taken to care for these books, older books are even more fragile and need to be protected. Follow these tips to ensure that your antique books last for a very long time.
Find a cool and dry place to store your antique books. If you store your books in a cellar, be sure to keep them away from the damaging effects of water. Mildew is the number one destroyer of books!
You should always try to stand books upright. Heavier books should be stored laying flat because standing them upright can put too much weight on the spine. Remove all paperclips, memorabilia, bookmarks, and other items from the interior of the book. These items can cause damage to the pages of your book. If you must keep these items, then store them separately.
Never use harmful household cleaners on your book covers. Use a blow dryer on very low heat to remove labels and adhesives from the books cover. Another option is to use petroleum jelly to gently remove adhesives.
Once exposed to the sun, a book quickly fades. Store the books away from the sun. This harms the book and decreases its value. The sun is the second biggest destroyer of antique books.
When repairing or protecting your antique books use only acid free products. These days it is fairly easy to find acid free products on the Internet. When in doubt, don’t use it!
Some final tips:
? Add an acid free cover to your antique book.
? Consider hiring a professional to preserve an especially valuable book.
? Never wrap your book in plastic!
? Don’t stack your books on top of one another. This damages the spine!