With the widespread sales of e-books and audiobook downloads, it’s easy to forget about bookcases or printed books, but there are still many more sales of print books than digital ones. Further, people have a tendency to save the printed books that they’ve read. But what is the best way to care for your books so that they last a lifetime?
In the book, Caring For Your Books, author Michael Dirda, once a writer and editor for The Washington Post Book World, consulted with the Preservation office at the Library of Congress, and The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and found what works best to make sure the book that you hold in your hands will be around for decades, even centuries to come.
His formula for preserving books is excerpted from his book:
“Everyone should be aware of the basic rules for book care.
“1. Store books away from high humidity, excessive heat or cold, and direct sunlight. Books like the dark, plenty of ventilation, and a steady, unchanging environment with an ideal temperature of 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 40 percent to 55 percent.
“2. Shelve and handle books properly. Books should fit snugly enough on a shelf to support one another and prevent warping, but have enough play so that they can be removed with ease. Never take out a book by pulling down at the top of the spine with your index finger. This can cause the spine to tear. Grasp the book by its sides. Do not open a book more than 180 degrees.
“A good practice is to protect the dust jacket by removing it while reading. Never leave objects – pens, flowers, photographs, newspaper clippings – inside as bookmarks or mementos. These will deform the binding or stain the pages. Large books should be shelved horizontally to avoid undue strain on their bindings.
“3. Check your books regularly. Periodic inspection will alert you to any new developing problems, such as the growth of mildew, infestation by silverfish or bookworms, or the fading of the spines. You should also periodically dust your books and bookshelves. Occasional vacuuming with a soft-bristle brush attachment is generally the safest way to keep dust under control.
“4. That’s it. Follow these guidelines and you won’t go wrong. And neither will your books.”
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.