There’s something inviting and delicious about a beautifully stocked bookcase, whether it’s in your public living room or your private study/library. It tells onlookers that its owner is a person of intellect and, depending on your storage style, also neat and efficient.
But how does one store and/or display a book collection the proper way? And not just to make those interiors seem more stylish, but also to protect said books?
As paper is organic, it will degrade and disappear over time thanks to bacteria, pests, fungi, etc. But luckily this is not a quick process, and you can do so much to keep your favourite reading material around for longer, like:
• Storing them in cooler (not freezing) spaces (below 23 °C is ideal)
• Keeping humidity out (thus, no storing books in the bathroom!)
• Avoiding exposure to the sun, as UV radiation can yellow the paper and fade that ink.
Although boxes seem like the economical choice, we must insist you opt for proper shelving for your prized book collection. Just ensure that said shelving is spacious and sturdy enough to accommodate your reading material.
If you weren’t blessed with DIY skills, you can always opt for one of our professionals to assist you with your shelving / painting / gardening / building / designing projects.
Rats and mice – two other reasons why shoving your books in a box in the garage is not your best idea ever. But should you really have no choice but to store some books in there, we recommend chasing those rats and mice away via one of their least favourite scents. And that’s by placing cotton balls (soaked in mint) in spots where mice are likely to find them – just not in your books!
Technically, book worms aren’t worms. But they can still wreak proper havoc on your books and magazines, especially when you’re kind enough to leave some of your food out for them.
And let’s not forget that eating and drinking near books can very likely result in crumbs, smudges and spills – definitely not worth it, right?
Speaking of keeping unwanted guests away, sprinkling some pepper or insect powder near your books (again, not in or on them) can chase away page-munching pests.
And to be clear: book worms don’t pose such a threat to modern books, but definitely to older, antique papers which, of course, are more valuable.
If your home’s attic is your favourite storage space, keep the seasons in mind. For example, an attic can quickly heat up in summer due to rising heat, meaning adequate airflow and some cooling off is in order. Likewise, winter can make an attic become the coldest place in the entire house, as these areas are usually left unheated to save on costs.
If floating shelves and wonderful new bookcases are not possible, then your next best option is to use containers or boxes for storing your books. And your two most popular options in terms of container materials are:
• Cardboard: Ensure that your cardboard container was not used to store food (the residue and aroma will undoubtedly attract bugs and other pests). Be sure to also check on the humidity levels, as less airflow means a better chance for growing mould.
• Plastic: Although a more costly alternative, plastic boxes also need to be kept clean (again: no food storage) to keep your books in optimum condition. Keep in mind that sunlight can filter through a plastic container and effectively heat up whatever’s being stored in there.
The proper way to dust your books is to start at the spine and move out towards the pages’ edges. This helps prevent dust debris from falling in-between the pages.
And more importantly: should you choose to vacuum your books, be sure to use the brush attachment to avoid accidentally sucking up loose pages and damaging your book(s).
Feeling inspired to give your interiors a new look? Let’s start with these Six 5-minute decluttering tips for your home.