Old books are some limited edition to your book collection that you as a book lover will never want to lose or even sell, says Peter Salzano a famous blogger and a book lover. These days when people are more into reading, and sharing books with others has become a friendly way to share knowledge and good book reference.
But, the case of the old books needs some extra care as they can be damaged by several factors including heat, moisture, general mishandling, or sunlight. Leading books that are not in a very good position makes it important for you as the owner of the book to be more careful with it especially when you decide to lead it to someone.
If you own any old books you must be aware of the fact that how important it is to regularly clean the bookshelf and the books. This is because you want to protect the books from external factors like moisture, heat, and insects that can damage the books.
Keeping the importance of the old books in mind, and your emotions attached to them as a book lover, here are some tips shared by Peter Salzano that will help you preserve your od books:
Golden Rule: Handle with Care
- Proper handling is the golden rule to preserve old books.
- Wash your hands before you open any old book as the dirt, oil, or any other substance like paint or lotion can damage the book.
- In the case of very old books that are very fragile, an extra addition of a white cotton glove will do justice to the book. This is how experts deal with the old books.
- Make sure when you open an old book the pages and spine of the book are not over-stretched. Support the book with some hard surface like a book or maybe a rolled-up hand towel.
- Use a pencil and never a pen if you are making notes or any marks on the book. This applies to all, old as well as new books.
- Avoid using paperclips or folding back to the corner of the pages, which can damage the fragile old books. Use archival paper to make a bookmark as other bookmarks have acidic materials that can damage the book.
Condition of the Book Matters
- The best place to store books is at low humidity fluctuations and a relatively normal temperature range.
- Books, especially the old ones do get affected due to the environmental changes seasonally. For a library at home, you should keep the temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In case your home is prone to excess humidity, in that case, you can opt for a dehumidifier that helps remove the extra moisture.
- Avoid storing the books in a dark room, or closet as it can cause the ink to fade and fabric bindings or leather to age more quickly.
- A frequent check on the books and the bookshelf will help you notice any warning in case of book damage.
- Insects are again a factor that can damage the books, by not just eating but at times they manage to enter inside the books and certainty die or lay eggs inside the books that can damage your precious book.
- Avoid keeping books in basements, or attics as both the areas are prone to humidity and dust.
- Cover your books if you think it is needed to protect your book. A transparent sheet or a book cover is sufficient enough to protect the book.
- For extra care, you can store your books in a metal edge box or artifact box which is acid and lignin-free.
- Especially when you plan to lend the book to someone, make sure you give it in a good condition, like in a box with a bookmark of your own, so that no further damage is done to the book.
These are some tips that will help you to preserve your old books. Peter Salzano says “Old books are like old friends, always dear to you that demands nothing but you have to be responsible and respectful towards them.” So take good care of your old books so that they stay with you life long.