4 Easy Tips To Protect Your Rare Book Collection
Collecting books is a wonderful hobby. With a small investment and little to no experience in collecting, you can assemble a book collection of your favorite authors, subjects, and genres. And whether it is a signed first edition from your favorite author or a children’s book you cherish, it is important to protect your books from harm. Rare books will need special protections to preserve their value for years to come, so we have 4 easy tips to protect your rare book collection.
Stand up straight
Books were designed to be stored on a bookcase; therefore, your books should be stored vertically. Storing your book upright in a snug, but not tight, fit between two similar sized books or a display case will maintain the integrity of the cover or dust jacket by not leaving any imprints from other books. However, some books are too large to store vertically, so they should be stored or displayed horizontally.
Stay away from the light
The quickest way to damage a book is to leave it in the sun. Sunlight is a surefire way to fade a book and make it brittle (due to lack of moisture). You need to make sure that you store or display your books in a dark room away from direct sunlight. Moisture is important in keeping your paper from turning into dust, but it cannot be too damp or humid. Excessive humidity and moisture can cause your books to become warped or cause brown spots on the pages due to oxidization.
Wear a jacket
In modern print, much of the value of a rare book comes from the book jacket. Any scratches, tears, or spills on a book jacket can ruin the value of a rare book. Mylar book covers are a cheap, yet essential element for protecting your rare books. Just make sure you do NOT tape the mylar cover to the book jacket, that will easily lower the value of your book. Be sure to use archival quality mylar, which can be purchased from your favorite online retailer.
Keep it clean
Your book is now protected from light, you have the mylar book cover, it is sitting upright between two like-sized hard surfaces; you’re safe, right? Nobody is ever ready for bugs until it is too late. We hope “Keep bugs out of your home” is an obvious tip, but it is something to consider when storing your books. Paper eating insects are attracted to starches, sugars, and carbs. Paper is a starchy food for several bugs. Therefore, it is important to keep bugs away from your rare book collection. Maintain a clean home or office, protect your rare books with a specialty box or display case, and enjoy your books instead of turning them into bug food.
A book display case is one of the easiest ways to protect a rare book. A vertical book display case will hold your book upright, protect it from dust and scratches, keep out unwanted pests, and can be placed on your tabletop or wall out of direct light. The best book display cases will have the option to slide a panel to easily remove the book from the display case for your reading enjoyment. Larger books will require a display case that is designed to fit a book lying horizontally. When choosing between display cases, it is a good idea to choose a display case with a white bottom to give a great contrast to a dark colored book. Inversely, it’s a good idea to choose a book display case with a black bottom for lighter colored books to bring focus to the book on display. Better Display Cases has a wide variety of book display cases for any size book in your collection. Let us help you display your rare book’s story!