Easy Reading Do's & Don'ts So Your Books Last Longer
As you build your personal library, you'll quickly discover that the nicer you are to your books, the longer they last and stay looking as if they had just been read for the first time. Keeping your books in good shape doesn't require an in-home librarian - it's easy! Here are some Do's and Don'ts to help you keep your treasured tomes looking lovely.
1. Do clean your hands before reading - Don't use cleaner/conditioner on covers
It's always best to wash your hands before your read. Avoid applying lotion or oils to your skin to keep from transferring moisture to the pages. When cleaning your books, it's best to adopt a less is more philosophy.
- DO clean your books regularly by dusting with a clean, dry lint-free cloth. Vacuuming with a brush attachment is a great option too.
- DON'T use alcohol, oil or leather cleaner on leather or cloth bindings. This can actually cause more deterioration to the cover. It's best to seek professional assistance if you need help restoring a book.
2. Do take books with you in a clean bag - Don't leave in extreme heat or humidity
It's easy and convenient to throw your latest read in your purse of backpack but if you're wanting to keep your book in top shape, opt for a cotton or linen tote. This doesn't need to be much larger than your book but delegating it for containing your book, the interior will stay clean and soft to limit damage or scratching. Avoid tossing in pens or firm objects in the main pocket as well. This tote can then be carried in your purse or backpack or separately.
No matter how you store your book while reading, be sure to keep it from prolonged exposure to heat and high humidity. Heat can affect the glue of the binding and discolor pages. The humidity can cause rippling in the paper. This can often be a hazard of reading at the beach (a favorite past time) so when you're done reading, return your book to it's tote and store it under a towel.
3. Do store books upright in shelves - Don't expose to direct light
Books are best stored upright to maintain their structure. Make use of bookshelves and bookcases and in the case of gaps, employ book ends to prevent leaning. If you have books that are too large for your bookshelf, it's best to store them flat rather than on their spine or fore edge. When removing a book from the shelf, don't pull on the top of the spine. This can cause the spine to detach. Instead, push back books on either side to grasp the middle of the spine and remove it from the shelf.
4. Do use a acid-free bookmark - Don't Dogear or use large 3D bookmarks
It won't come as a big surprise that we are big fans of bookmarks but it's important that we point out that not all bookmarks are created equal. Marking your place in your current read is important but it's critical that your bookmark doesn't damage the page, spine or cover of the book. Here's a few tips.
- Make sure strip bookmarks are not too thick as this can damage the glue at the binding when wedged in between the pages
- Bookmark clips (look similar to a large paperclip) can tear the pages of your book if pushed down too much especially when carrying a book in a bag. They also can fall out.
- Bookmarks that feature an element that hangs outside of the book can scrape or damage the cover if it's not soft and flexible. Again, if you carry your book in a bag, make sure it doesn't get caught on other items and get pulled out of the book.
- Opt for bookmarks that feature acid-free paper to protect the quality of your book's paper. Avoid using self-stick notes as they can leave a residue that is not good to paper.
Treating your books well will let you enjoy many, many years of reading. These simple habits are easy to adopt and your personal library will thank you. Happy reading! ♥