How To Take Care of Old and Rare Books

There are many people who like to own a personal library. Most of these people are inclined towards collecting old and rare books. For people who have a high regard for books, this can be one of life’s greatest joys. Books published in modern times are made of light paper which does not last too long. With Internet and computers, publishers do not spend a lot of money on the quality of paper these days. However, books which were published a few decades back were hand stitched and had leather covers. These made sure that they lasted longer. When we talk about old or rare books, it is always important to take proper care of them so that they are not torn apart or damaged. In this article, we will tell you some ways in which you can take proper care of your old and rare books.

How To Take Proper Care of Old and Rare Books:

  1. First of all, you should always make sure that you are wearing cotton gloves while handling old or rare books. Oil and dirt from your hands may pass on to the pages of the book and damage them eventually. However, if you have leather bound books, hands should not be covered. This is because leather may benefit from oil. Oil makes leather flexible and as a result, the covering of your book will not be stiff.
  2. You should store old books away from light, heat or humidity. People usually want to keep rare books on display so that others could see them. However, ultraviolet light may damage your book in this case. Moreover, temperature changes will also weaken the binding which may damage the pages. Paper is extremely sensitive to any sort of changes in humidity. Therefore, you have to make sure that books are not kept in very humid areas.
  3. Whenever you take a book out of the book shelf, make sure you do not hold it by the binding. When you hold a book by its binding, a lot of force is exerted and the pages may get damaged. A book should be slid between two other books whenever you want to take it out from the shelf.
  4. If some of the pages of the book are torn apart and you need to fix them with a tape, make sure that the tape is acid free. This will ensure that the acid does not seep through to other pages. The cover and the front page can be taped together to strengthen the binding of the book.
  5. It is important that you store all the books in a proper manner. They should not be put randomly in a book shelf. Large or leather bound books should be placed on one side of the shelf. Make sure that you never keep books in plastic. Plastic does not allow your books to breathe and the pages may get stiff. Newspapers usually contain acids because of the printing ink. Therefore, you should not use newspapers to cover the books.

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