Books are used for various reasons. Everyone has at one time or another read a book, whether it is for studying, research or just as a means of passing your time. As interesting and important as books are, they can easily get damaged. Here are some tips to keep your books in proper condition for a long time:
Avoid eating while reading. If you must, keep a hand towel by your side. Also, avoid using your saliva to turn pages, get a wet sponge instead. This may seem inconvenient but will really help in keeping your books stain free and preserved.
Paper is a perishable resource so you should try to avoid humid places, plastic bags, wrap or foil, since they encourage mold growth. Keep them upright on a shelf, closely packed with other books that are similar in size. Not too tight, not too loose. If your book is really special to you, you can keep them in a bubble wrap or wrap them in acid-free or unbleached paper towels to keep dirt or residue from building up.
It can be tempting to break the spine of a paperback to make it easier to read one-handed. Don’t. It will leave a permanent mark and will affect the binding strength of the book. Avoid using bulky bookmarks, instead use a piece of paper to keep track of where you have to continue reading from. Also, avoid leaving your books open facing down as it will weaken the spine of the book and can make the book prone to getting dirty.
If you're holding your paperbacks with one hand, don't do it in a way that bends the front cover. It can be difficult to flatten down again. Also, you can damage the spine of the book. Hold the book by both hands, or cradle it in your lap while reading.
Repair before it’s Too Late
If there’s damage on your book, you can use some glue along the crack of the spine to reattach missing pages or a separated cover before any more pages suffer a similar fate. If you want to preserve your cover even longer, you could make it a hardcover yourself or laminate it. Though you won’t have time to do this for all your paperbacks, it will help prolong the life of your favourites.
Your books need to breathe and plastic may trap moisture, encouraging mold, warping and pests. The plastic may also react with the book. Try a paper bag or wrap the book in paper, tissue, or plain cloth. Acid-free materials are always the best. You can find custom acid-free box cases for your books if you’re travelling since keep your books with your luggage can damage them with all the moving around and shuffling around.
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- Written by Nitin Rastogi at our Meerut Headquarter