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How To Preserve Old Books?

If collecting old and priceless books is your hobby then you need to learn how to preserve a book as well. There is nothing more valuable in this world than knowledge. And despite all the cyber revolutions, a hard cover paper book that can be touched, felt and read at leisure continues to be the biggest source of knowledge. Now that ebooks are threatening the very existence of paper, there is all the more reason to maintain books so that the next generation sees a few.

Jokes and jibes apart, it makes sense to try and preserve books in a proper way because they can be easily destroyed by mishandling or improper storage. Here are a few tips to help you do it the right way.

Tips To Preserve Books:

  • Jacket Them: The best way to protect your book from direct harm and coffee spills is to put a jacket over it. You can use different kinds of jackets; mostly plastic jackets are used because they are cheap and waterproof. Leather on the other hand is expensive and needs a lot of maintenance. You have to protect it from humidity and also direct sunlight.
  • Keep Them Straight: A problem with maintaining books is that they loose their shape beyond a point and get what we call 'dog ears'. This is a problem in particular with paperbacks that don't have a hard spine. Always keep your books straight in the shelves and close your book when you are not reading. The shape can be maintained for a longer time if you do not keep it open or upside down.
  • Store Them In Closed Cabinets: Open book shelves may flaunt your books but to preserve books you need closed cabinets. Humidity and dust from the air around will eat into the paper after a few years. Get some glass cabinets made if you like to show off.
  • Store Them In Boxes: If you are book worm who doesn't care to show off his book collection, store your books in hard boxes wrapped up in muslin cloth. It is a full proof method of maintaining books but be careful not to over stuff the boxes so that the don't books get smothered.
  • Do Not Suffocate Books: Your books need air just like you do. If you lock up your books in an airtight compartment and open it after ten years you will get nothing but dust. Open up and go through your old books once in a while.
  • Protect From Worms: Paper can get infected by worms that eat away the books. The easiest solution is to put naphthalene balls in the book shelves. You can also use certain dry herbs that keep worms away.
  • Clean Library Occasionally: Occasionally does not mean one in a year. You should clean up your library or book case at least once in a month or two to get rid of the dust.

Use these home improvement tips to preserve your books.

Read more about: home improvement house tips
Story first published: Friday, December 9, 2011, 14:48 [IST]