Storing Books

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Books are our portals to other worlds.  They are filled with knowledge, wisdom, fantasy, and adventure. It’s a wonderful escape from today’s daily life.  If you’re a book collector or an avid reader, you probably cherish your book collection. But what happens when it starts outgrowing the shelves of your home? Or what if you’re moving out of state for a while? You need to make sure your books are properly stored and taken care of.   


Physical books don’t last forever. They are made of organic materials that are vulnerable to the elements. If you want to preserve your book collection, you must guard it against mildew, mold, fungi, insects, rodents, and sunlight. The secret to storing books long term is to clean, pack, and store them properly.


To keep the elements from harming your treasured books, you must store them in pristine condition. The first step is to give them a good cleaning before storing them away.

Dust thoroughly – Use a soft paintbrush to dust your book’s outside cover and internal pages. You should also check in between pages for any dust or dirt.

Avoid liquids – Do not use wet wipes, liquid cleaning products, or bug spray, as moisture may cause mildew to grow on your books during long term storage. If some of your books already have a musty aroma, let them air out before packing them away in storage units.


Now it’s time to pack. Wrap your books with paper or cloth. This prevents them from collecting dust and insects. Avoid wrapping your books in a plastic.  You don’t want to trap moisture and promote mold and mildew. Newspaper should also be avoided, as its acidity can cause chemical reactions within your books’ pages. 

Storing Them In BOXES

Use strong cardboard boxes – While plastic containers are a popular storage option, they offer your books less protection from UV rays. Plastic bins are also prone to trapping moisture. For these reasons, you should pack your books in rigid cardboard boxes instead of traditional plastic containers.

Place your books down flat – As you place your book collection into boxes, make sure to lay each book flat. This will prevent placing any undue stress on the book’s spine. 

Put heavier books on the bottom – Make sure to organize your book collection so that the heaviest books are placed at the bottom of the box. From there, you can use your paperbacks to fill the box up to the brim. 

Once your cardboard box is packed and ready to go, seal it with strong packing tape. It’s also a good idea to label your boxes, so you know exactly which books are inside. 


While not totally necessary, storing your books in a climate-controlled storage unit will provide them with the best protection. This means you should store your book collection in a stable environment. Choose a place that meets the following requirements:

Cool temperatures – The best book storage temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit and below. 

Low humidity levels – Dryness is another crucial element to proper long-term book storage. To prevent any mold or mildew from festering, make sure your books are stored somewhere with humidity levels between 30% and 50%. 

If your attic, garage, and basement don’t meet the criteria, you can take advantage of a self storage unit instead. We offer many types of storage options and would be happy to help you decide what options are best for you.    

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