How To Store Books

Published on 8/12/2021

Books are sacred. For many, they’re tied to memories, escape, and learning moments. If you’re a book-lover, you probably treasure your collection. Because of this, we want to make sure they remain in good condition when we put them in short-term or long-term storage.

Unfortunately, storing books can be challenging. Pages can get brittle and moldy, and bindings can deteriorate. If you’re planning to store your books, here are a few things to consider. 

1. Humidity matters.
The best climate for books is 68-72 degrees F, with 40-50% relative humidity. Extreme temperature fluctuations can damage your books, so it’s important to keep them in a controlled atmosphere. Remember: If you’re hot and sticky, so are your books. Humidity can produce mold and a sour odor, and dry heat can make pages brittle. 

2. Watch out for pests.
Critters love books. Rats and mice use paper to make nests, and roaches and silverfish use them to lay eggs. Make sure you store your books in a place that’s protected from pests. 

3. Box them up.
If you’re boxing books up for long-term storage, use new cardboard boxes or boxes made from synthetic materials. Stack your largest books on the bottom, and the smallest on top. Once they’re packed up, make sure you keep them raised off the floor.

4. Don’t overpack.
Books are delicate, and too much weight can lead to breakage. Don’t cram too many books into your boxes. Insead, treat them like fragile glass items.

5. Rent a storage unit.
If you don’t have enough room at home, consider renting a storage unit for your books. Using the tips above, your books will be safe from mold, pests, damage, and deterioration for years to come.