Storing A Better Way

Storing A Better Way

Storing Your Book Collection

Janet Alexander

A book collection takes up a lot of room. When you can't store all of your books in your home anymore, it's time to get the heavy duty plastic storage bins and put your books into a temperature controlled storage unit. As valuable as they are, you want to make sure to store your books properly so that you and your loved ones can enjoy them later in life. 

Temperature Control

Books are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures. They should be stored at a temperature of 60 - 70 degrees and  30% to 50% humidity. Being in a place that's too dry can cause the paper to become brittle, and it can make leather dry out and crack. High amounts of humidity can create mold. Sunlight can severely damage your books, so you should also keep them in shaded areas. 

Book Vulnerability

Temperature isn't the only thing that makes books vulnerable

Most books experience damage due to the acid in the paper. This is what makes the paper yellow and brown after time. 

The most common type of binding is "perfect" binding. The cover and pages are simply stuck together with a thick layer of hot melt glue. This method is used because it is cheap to produce. This means that any books with a perfect binding that have monetary or sentimental value should be handled with special care. 

Books attract roaches, silverfish, and beetles with the protein and starch in their paper. 


Books should be dusted 1 - 2 times a year to eliminate dust and discourage mold and insects. The most effective tool is a Chemsponge (aka chemical or smoke sponge). 

 Extra Tips For Storing Books

  • When storing books in heavy-duty storage containers, alternate the direction in which the spine faces. 
  • Try to remove books by the middle of the spine instead of the top. 
  • Always use bookends to keep your books stable if storing them in your home. 
  • Books larger than 18 inches and/or thicker than 3 inches should lie flat. Smaller books can be stored up straight or flat. 
  • Do not stack more than three books on top of each other. 
  • Do not keep books in plastic bags. 
  • Books should NOT be stored in attics or basements because they don't typically offer proper temperatures. Basements can get too cold, and they are prone to high humidity which can cause mold. Attics can get too warm. 
  • Don't put boxes of books on the floor. 

Contact a company that carries stackable plastic storage containers for more information and assistance. 


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About Me
Storing A Better Way

After I started organizing my basement, I could tell that there were a few serious problems with my previous storage procedure. In addition to finding more than a few issues with damaged items, I also had a problem tracking down the things that I needed, which was frustrating. I wanted to streamline the experience, so I started going through everything and getting rid of things I didn't need. It was difficult at first, but after a few boxes, things became much easier to handle. Check out this blog for great information on storing the smart way and avoiding trouble in the long run.