Whether you own a paperback or a hardcover book, they are all prone to wear and tear. This is particularly true if you do not know how to take good care of them. These 8 tips on how to take care of your books can help to extend the life of your books a little longer.
1) Shelve Your Books Properly
Always store your books with same sizes and lengths (e.g. paperback novels) in an upright position. If necessary, use bookends to give them extra support to avoid your books from slumping. But for oversized books (e.g. hardcover novels, coffee table books), it’s best to lay them flat on the surface than upright position. This to prevent the spine of oversized books from weakening or separating from their structures.
2) Avoid Humidity
One of the biggest culprits of damaged books is a little element commonly known as humidity. A very humid environment inside your room will develop mould and mildews over time. The result not only causes your books to suffer from brittle pages and cracked spines but also smell musty. Always remember to store your books in a place with sufficient airflow, preferably in an open shelve than placing them inside the box covered with a lid. The general rule of thumb is to maintain consistent yet humidity level at around 40 to 50%. Your best bet to determine the humidity level of your room? Invest in a good hygrometer. You can purchase this online or your local hardware store.
3) Direct Sunlight is a No-No
Your books are not made to face direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can cause the pages turn yellow and even fade or discolour the covers of your books over time. Your best solution is to place your bookshelf away from windows. You can also choose to install window film or curtains to keep your books safe from direct sunlight.
4) Practice Regular Cleaning
Your books are prone to dust, dirt and whatnots as time goes by. Dust them off from time to time using a clean, soft cloth or a handheld vacuum with a soft dusting brush.
5) Keep An Eye on Your Book’s Spine
The spine of your book is the major foundation that literally holds all the pages together. Without the spine, your book is basically a set of loose papers. For instance, if you happen to read a good book in a paperback form, remember not to get too carried away. Always be gentle and never ever open or bend the book too wide to avoid the spine from cracking apart. The same also goes about laying an open book face down, which can ruin the spine as well.
6) Watch those Dirty Hands
It’s no secret that most people love to read a book while snacking on their favourite chips, cookies or other desserts/sweet delicacies. But the reality is, eating while reading is actually a bad idea. It can easily contribute unwanted results like stains, grease or crumbs all over the pages. Even if you insist on eating, at least close your book and set it aside for a moment. Remember to always clean your hand before resuming your reading session.
7) Use a Bookmark
Not everyone has the luxury of time, attention or ability to read a single book in just one sitting. In case you are unable to finish the book, avoid folding the page in a “dog ear” form. This could wrinkle or damage the page. Instead, invest in a bookmark or you can make your own using cardboard.
8) Protect Your Book with Plastic Covers or Bags
There are times you might want to bring your favourite book along while travelling. You may think that storing your book in your backpack or handbag is sufficient enough. But it actually isn’t enough to protect your book. For a better protection, purchase clear plastic covers that are specially designed to wrap around the cover of your book. Alternatively, you can also invest in a clear plastic bag or wallet served as a protective barrier for your book. You can purchase them online or locate them at relevant places like bookstores and stationery sections in a shopping mall.