5 Tips for Storing Books Long-term

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Books are a symbol of knowledge and can be a reflection of your personality. Your precious copies are not only impactful, but invaluable as well.

Question is, how do you store them to ensure they’re in the best shape possible for years to come? How can you minimize the chances of tear while also keeping dust, pests, and mold at bay?

A good storage company that specializes in book storage would be an excellent place to start. But even with that, how you store them matters.

Here are five tips for storing your books when stowing them away for the long term.

1. Clean accidental spills

Let’s admit it, most of us are guilty of dropping food crumbs in our books. As books and coffee also go well together, you’ve probably also suffered an accidental spill at some point.

Thing is, though, leaving food residue in your books can be damaging as mold or mildew is bound to form inside. You can prevent that by making it a point of combing through your book pages and cleaning them up prior to stacking them away.

Moreover, bookworms (the insects, not the person) can be damaging to your copies if you leave food scraps unattended.

2. Jacket them up

The purpose of book covers extends beyond just catching the eye.

Book covers bear the brunt of environmental elements such as dust, humidity, and sunlight, ensuring the contents inside are well protected, just as we want them.

We tend to overlook the importance of covers when storing our books, but these are the first line of defense and should always be on when putting your books in long-term storage.

3. Use small plastic boxes

When it comes to the choice of boxes for storing books, plastic boxes (ideally small) are one of your best bets.

That’s because plastic boxes are not only durable making them suitable for long-term storage, but also the material is hard to penetrate. This makes it easier to fend off any damaging entities that could ruin your books, whether that’s moisture, dust, or pests.

As well, putting all your books in one giant box makes it harder to retrieve a particular book when you need it. Smaller plastic boxes are easier on your back than hauling a single box stacked with books.

For ease of access, you can pack the books in alphabetical order or bundle similar genres together.

If you’re on a budget, however, the classic cardboard boxes should do the job.

Whatever your choice of boxing material, just make sure there are no traces of food crumbs inside (see point #1 above). Clean boxes will keep your precious copies in mint condition.

4. Vertical is the way to go

When it comes to packing books, vertical is the most ideal position to stack them – that is, with the paper edges facing up.

The upright position ensures the books maintain their shape since they’re propping each other. But avoid jamming too many books in a single box as this could warp the spines.

5. Keep them away from direct light and humidity

Your limited edition comic books may be a treasure, but humidity and direct light are their arch-nemesis. For this reason, ensure the storage unit you pick is climate-controlled. This goes for all your books as well.

If you’re using plastic containers, it’s easier to keep moisture and dust away as they’re able to snap tightly. It’s harder keeping direct light out, so you might want to opt for darker boxes instead (ideally labeled clearly for ease of access).

A climate-controlled unit is also advantageous in that it helps stave off sneaky vermin, something we definitely do not want crawling inside our book boxes as it could easily lead to a build-up of colonies.

Temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough to keep them away.


Keeping your books in safe storage helps maintain their condition, ensuring you always have some neat copies to turn to in the event of discontinued publication or in the case of limited editions.

We would also add that it’s nice to visit your storage unit every so once in a while to check up on your copies, even in climate-controlled facilities.


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