Taking Care of Your Books - Part 1

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Taking Care of Your Books - Part 1

Ask book lovers the value of their books and almost all will say 'priceless'. The following basic guidelines will ensure the longevity of your books so that they remain as good as new over the years.

On purchasing a book the very first thing to remember is to remove any labels or gummed price tags. Else the glue will gradually spread onto the page leaving ugly permanent yellow stains.

We take special care to avoid the UV rays of the sun as we know that the rays are harmful to our skin. The same holds good for books; you should store your books away from the direct rays of the sun. Constant exposure of books to strong sunlight may result in the dust jackets and spines fading in color. A storage place where there is enough air circulation is ideal.

Avoid storing books on a shelf near a window or on a shelf which rests against outside walls as the walls might get very hot during the summer which in turn can harm the books. Cool and dry conditions are always best for books.

Wherever space permits, huge, heavy books should be stored flat (instead of upright), as not all large, heavy books have adequate binding structure to support the weight of the book. Valuable books should be stored in good quality ready-made or custom-fitted archival boxes.

Books should not be stored wherein they come in direct contact with green or unsealed wood as the harmful vapors released by the wood can damage books. Alternatively, lining these shelves with acid free board will help in averting this problem.

Book shelves should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis so as to prevent insects and mold growth. Books stored on open book shelves should be dusted often.

Proper Storage, Handling and Maintenance are the three keys to ensuring a long and healthy life for your book collection.

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