Organising and Caring for a Book Collection
Storing and Organising a Book Collection
The easiest way to keep your book collection well organised and protected from damage at the same time is to purchase a bookshelf with glass door. This will allow you to display your collection, find a particular copy with ease and protect your books from dust at the same time.
You are also recommended to:
Place similarly sized books next to each other both for aesthetic and practical reasons. Be sure, however, not to place them too tightly or too loosely. Also, keep all your books in a vertical position.
Keep your book collection in a non-humid environment. Humidity can attract insects and encourage mould growth which can seriously damage your books. Also, try to keep the temperatures stable and cool.
Make sure that the books aren’t directly exposed to sunlight to prevent fading of the dust jackets and the paper.
Protect the dust jackets with acid-free plastic such as Mylar. The condition of the dust jacket has a major influence on the value of the copy which is why it is a good idea to protect it by covering the book over the dust jacket with Mylar. At all costs avoid cheap plastic covers because they can stick to dust jacket/cover and cause an irreparable damage.
Handle Your Books with Care
Besides making sure that your books are stored properly, it is also of utmost importance to prevent damage while handling them. You are recommended to:
Avoid eating or drinking near your books. A stain from food or liquids can seriously affect the value of your books.
Never lay books face down to remember the page. The same counts for folding the corners of the pages.
Handle fragile and valuable books with gloves.
Keep the most valuable books in a custom-made case/box. Ideally, all books should be stored in a special case or box but since they are quite expensive (£70 and more), they are used only to store the most valuable and damage-prone copies.
Some books are extremely difficult to find in a decent condition. A restoration is always an option but you are recommended to have the book appraised in its current condition and ask for an estimated value when restored. Keep in mind, however, that restoration isn’t inexpensive. In fact, sometimes restorative works are even more expensive than the book itself. Collectors therefore decide for restoration only if the investment doesn’t exceed the end value or if the book has a sentimental value for them.