Displaying Book Collections as Home Decor
Collecting and displaying book collections as home decor is a fun and rewarding hobby. Books epitomize the amazing creativity and imaginations of people around the world, and it’s truly a great feeling being able to collect and preserve the fruits of their labor for years to come.
However, collecting is serious business, and it comes with a heap of problems that could potentially ruin your collection. These problems include, but are not limited to, mold and mildew, damaged spines, distorted bindings, and ripped dust jackets. Not properly storing your books erodes their value and can force you to throw them away.
Book condition is the most important component of book collecting, and the best way to ensure your literature is always clean and pristine is to create a consistent storage and organization system. Use the following tips for maintaining and displaying book collections as home decor, which will help keep them looking great forever.
Store your books at the right temperature
Books tend to like temperatures in the mid 60’s with just the right amount of humidity, preferably 30-40%. Too much or too little humidity can create mold or brittle book pages respectively. This rules out the garage, attic, or basement for a potential storage area. Make sure to position your wall unit or bookshelf in a room with consistent temperature.
Keep your books upright
When displaying book collections, the position of each books on your bookshelf matters more than you think. When books lean against each other or against the shelves themselves, the spines start to become distorted. Invest in some bookends to ensure that books stay in an upright position. In addition, books should never be too close together, as taking a book out when it is pressed against others can create unfortunate scratches on the cover and jacket.
Remove all bookmarks and inserts
It’s in your best interest to remove any bookmarks or papers you have inside of your books, as these can create unpleasing gaps in between pages if they have been left inside the book for too long. Not to mention, they stick out like a sore thumb when stored together with other books on a shelf.
Put dust jackets on
A book without a jacket is just begging to collect dust. It’s crucial that each and every one of your books has its own jacket, or at the very least a cover. Books that don’t have a jacket can be outfitted with a simple book cover, or you can create your own using clear plastic wraps or custom printouts. Jackets should always be kept on your books, unless you’re in the middle of reading them of course.
Never store in boxes
Boxes should be an absolute last resort when it comes to storing your books. Keeping your books in boxes prevents a steady flow of air, which encourages the build up of moisture, a welcome call for mold. If you run out of shelf space and can’t avoid boxes or containers, stack the books horizontally to minimize damage to covers from the weight of the other books. Also, place bigger books in the bottom of the box first and then stack them by decreasing size.
Treat each book with care like you would with a cute puppy or kitten, and you’re golden!