If you are like many people you have a large collection of favourite novels tucked on shelves around your home. Genuine books are real and tangible. They have a sense of history and meaning to them in a way their digital versions never will. Unfortunately they also have their downside. Over time they age and if not carefully tended to, the pages can yellow and become brittle. There are several ways to prevent this annoying discolouration. Some are practical, others not.
Sunlight is the biggest cause of book damage. The UV rays in sunlight can fade book covers and turn pages yellow over time, often in less time than you may think. This is why the page edges will often appear darker than inside. Never display a book open, even for a short period of time. If there is a page or passage you want to display or share, make a copy and display that instead.
Be Careful of Indoor Lighting
Fluorescent lighting is as damaging to paper as sunlight. If you are unable to replace the lighting in the room where your books are stored, you will need to use filtering materials to shield the light. These materials can also be used on windows to shield the sun’s UV rays.
Avoid Humidity Extremes
Excessive humidity damages books by causing the pages to have too high a moisture content. But if the air becomes too dry, the pages dry out and become yellowed and brittle. The only way to control this is to have a room dedicated to your collection which is kept climate controlled all year. Lower temperatures, around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius are the safest.
Use Archival Materials
Archival paper can be used to absorb acid. This means you will have to layer the paper throughout the book. This method is impractical for an entire collection, but may be the perfect way to protect the most important and valuable selections in your library. Another method is to use archival containers. This allows you to protect more books at once, but does eliminate your ability to display them.
Store Books Properly
Air circulation matters when you are attempting to prevent yellowing. Leave space between your books and make certain there is space between the books and shelves. Prevent pushing bookcases into corners or flush against walls. Always leave a small space for air movement.
Protecting your books can be accomplished if you are diligent in your practices. The task becomes more difficult when your books are particularly old. This is because they are likely to already be showing signs of damage. They are also going to have been created with unstable materials. The higher acid levels in antique paper and ink is much more damaging than modern materials. Visit NoQStore more tips about protecting your collection.
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