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Some people spend a fortune on books, with many preferring paperbacks because they are lighter, easier to handle, and more flexible. Whether you have paperbacks for pleasure or for your studies and research, it is important to look after them.
If you want to keep your paperback books in good condition, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. In this article, we will look at some of the top tips that can help you to keep all of your treasured paperbacks in good shape to increase their longevity.
How Do I Protect My Paperback Books in the Bag?
Many people carry their paperback books around with them to all sorts of places. Some people carry multiple books to and from college each day, others carry books when going on vacation, and some carry books to work to read while travelling or during their lunch break. Naturally, you want to ensure these books maintain their condition when being carried. Below are some tips to help you with this:
Use a Plastic Sleeve
One of the things that you can do in order to protect your paperback books while in transit in your bag is to use plastic sleeves. This is a great way to stop the books from being affected by other things in your bag, as the sleeve will keep the book sealed and protected. With zip-lock sleeves, you can gain easy access to your book whenever you need it, but you can still keep it properly protected.
Keep Books Separated from Other Items
Another thing that you should try to do if you want to keep your paperback books protected in your bag is to separate them from other items. We carry all sorts of items in our bags these days including sharp objects, items with moisture, food products, and much more. Your books could easily become damaged when coming into contact with these items. Using a bag with multiple sections means that you can keep your paperbacks separate from your other items.
Use a Waterproof Bag
If your paperback books get very wet, they could essentially fall apart. This is something that you naturally want to avoid! So, one of the things to consider is investing in a waterproof backpack or bag so that you can carry your books safely even if there is a downpour while you are travelling. This will keep both your books and any other fragile items in your bag protected from the elements.
Don’t Squeeze the Books In
You also need to ensure you do not try to squeeze your paperback books into a small space in your bag, as this can cause a lot of damage. If you cram them into a limited space, it could damage the spine and the pages as well as the covers, so you need to ensure you use a bag that is large enough to give your books plenty of space.
Additional Tips on Caring for Your Paperbacks
There are also other tips that can help you to look after your paperbacks and keep them in good condition even if you do not carry them around. Some of these are:
Avoid Humid Places
When it comes to the storage of your paperback books, you should avoid keeping them in humid places. If you have a bookcase, make sure it is located in a cool and dry area to help protect your books. Making sure that they are elevated on bookshelves will also help to protect them in the event of flooding stemming from leaks and other issues.
Many of us are guilty of folding the pages in a book when we are ready to put it away. However, this will obviously take its toll on the appearance and condition of your paperback. So, make sure you always use a bookmark to indicate where you have got to in the book rather than defacing the pages by folding them.
Avoid Leaving Books Open
A lot of people tend to put their paperbacks face down and still open when they take a break or when they are done reading for a while. This is something that you need to avoid, as it can have a huge negative effect on the spine of the paperback. Even if you are only pausing your reading for a short period, make sure you use a bookmark rather than leaving it open.
Do Not Eat While Reading
Some people tend to read during their lunch breaks or at other times of the day when they are having a break to eat. However, eating and reading naturally puts the condition of your books at risk because you can stain the pages with your fingers or if food drops onto the pages while you are eating. So, try to avoid eating and reading your paperback at the same time.
How Do You Preserve Old Paperback Books?
If you have old paperback books that you treasure and want to preserve, it is important that you know how best to do this. By using the right methods and taking the right steps, you can ensure your paperbacks last rather than deteriorating. Some of the steps that can help are:
Keep an Eye on Temperature and Humidity
It is important to be mindful of the impact of extreme temperatures and high humidity levels when it comes to your paperbacks. This is why it is important that you store them in an area where temperature and humidity levels can be regulated. If your books are not protected from extreme temperatures and humidity, they can deteriorate far more quickly, which is naturally something that you want to avoid. While all books are at risk of this, delicate paperbacks are particularly susceptible.
Protect from Prolonged Sunlight
Similar to the above point, your delicate paperback books also need to be protected from exposure to sunlight for prolonged periods. The UV rays from the sun can cause damage to your paperbacks if they are exposed regularly and for long periods. So, when it comes to the ideal storage place for your paperbacks, make sure it is not in direct sunlight in a room filled with windows. You can use things such as hanging covers for your bookshelves or closed cabinets for book storage. Alternatively, you can simply ensure that your bookcase or shelves are in a darker room and not in a place where there is a lot of sunlight coming in.
Position Books Correctly
You must also ensure that your paperback books are positioned correctly if you want to protect and preserve them. Many people do things such as try to squeeze as many books onto the shelf as possible no matter how tightly they are crammed in. Others simply pile the books on top of one another and form a tower. You should try to keep your books stored upright but avoid stuffing them onto already crowded shelves or piling them one on top of the other.
Keep Them Clean
One additional factor to keep in mind is the importance of keeping your books clean if you want to preserve them. Some people have shelves full of books that are literally gathering dust, and this is going to do nothing for the condition of your treasured paperbacks. So, make sure you do run a duster over them carefully every so often to keep them free from dust.
By following these steps, you will find it easier to preserve your paperbacks and keep them protected from dust, pests, the elements, and other dangers that could speed up deterioration.
Keeping Your Paperbacks Pristine
The design of paperbacks means that they are far more fragile than their hardbacked counterparts. By following the above tips, you can help to keep your paperback books in great condition both in transit and at home.