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Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:24 pm
by Trashcan Man
If you are a collector, like I am, you may find the following information on general book care valuable. Protect your investment and ensure that the value of your precious books does not go down due to deteriorating condition and treatment...

Here it is:

Damage to a book is cumulative. The repeated incorrect handling and storage of a book can quickly transform a new book into a worn or even an unusable one. Proper handling and storage in a stable, cool, clean, non-humid environment, can prolong its life.

The environment around the book, is a major concern because unacceptable levels of temperature and humidity will accelerate deterioration. For example, the high humidity in an attic or basement can promote mold growth, cockle pages, and attract insects. Extremely low humidity, as found above hot radiators, can dry out leather bindings.

Direct sun-light, with a large ultraviolet (UV) component, will fade leather and cloth. Blue leather fades to dull green and red leather to brown, especially along the spine of the book.

Dust, dirt and grime from handling can adversely effect books as well. Many people shelve their books in closed glass cases away from brightly lit windows or damp exterior walls to minimize the amount of dust and grime that will accumulate.

How we handle and use a book contributes to its longevity. If a book will not lay flat, do not use force to open further. The covers should always be supported when the book is open.

Many books are damaged by the habit of pulling the books off the shelf with the head cap or the top of the spine. It is a much better practice to push the two adjoining books inward and remove the book by grasping the spine.

Place similar sized books, next to each other on the shelf vertically, packing them neither too loosely or tightly. This will help to prevent warping of a tall book next to a short book.

The use of paper clips and marking pens to make notations should be discouraged since clips will rust or crimp the pages and pens often bleed through the pages, obscuring text. The folding down of page corners is also damaging as it will often cause the page corner to break off over time.

The practice of using rubber bands or string to tie-up a book should be avoided because both will cut into brittle pages and damage fragile covers. A flat, soft ribbon (such as cotton twill tape), can be used to tie up the books as an immediate and temporary solution. An excellent way to protect fragile books is with a box that is custom made to the dimensions of the book. Books with dry flaking leather covers can be wrapped in paper or polyester jackets to keep the fragments and dirt from transferring to hands, adjoining books and the rest of the pages.

In the past, leather books were treated with a leather dressing; however the application of an oil or leather dressing can have an adverse effect and is, therefore, not recommended.

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:17 pm
by Randall Flagg
Thanks for the info, very helpful!

Don't forget your mylar, brodart, demco, ect...

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:38 pm
by chooch
On another note: For newspapers open them up so both the top and bottom is visiable . Folding them will promote a crease and paper will break down fast at the crease. Sun fading and oxidation occur rapidly on newspaper due to its high acid content in the paper. It is possiable to have the acid removed from the paper but is very expensive. The best way to store a paper is in a box, preferably a sheet film box if you can find one (plate film printers will give you these at low or no cost) which help in two ways 1) They dont let light in and 2) they are coated to prevent mold and meldew. Store boxes as you would your books or as I do under the bed. For those that want to mount your news papers make sure they are mounted on acid free backing and the glass has some sort of UV protection. Again hang proper using the same guidelines as a book. Hope this helps

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 11:25 pm
by Lurker
I'm trying to rearrange a little and had forgotten about this problem with the Desperation traycase.

Is there a way to reattach or should I just leave well enough alone?

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:07 am
by TheCollector
So the inner liner has come apart from the outer shell?...that's what I see from the 1st pic

But i'm not sure what I'm seeing in the 2nd pic

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:31 am
by Lurker
I guess that's the shell. It's the piece that was attached to where all the glue lines are which are hard as rock. I was showing that it has no damage on it- it just came off. Heat? Humidity?

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:54 pm
by jhanic
I'd contact the publisher and see what they recommend. I've never seen anything like that.


Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 8:33 pm
by Lurker
I did when I first noticed it and got a reply to the effect "hot glue gun".
That just sounded damaging to me...

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:05 am
by TheCollector
I'll see if I can get a better response for you - might take a few days

Re: Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 9:05 am
by TheCollector
Got back quicker then I expected, so here's the recommended fix:

1) Carefully chip off the exposed hot glue with a sharp object (chisel, knife, etc)

2) Use aggressive 2-way tape around the perimeter and Elmers in the middle (Not the scotch wrapping tape you get at walgreens for $1.99, I don't have a particular brand for you I'd guess a home depot trip or fabric store would turn something up)

3) Let it dry 24hrs with as much weight on it as possible as it dries.