The worst enemies of books are time and dampness. So how can you preserve them and keep them in good condition. Here are 8 quick tips on how to care of your books.
1. Dust your books at least once a year. A very soft brush can also be used to remove dust from fragile books. Inspect your books before dusting to observe if there is any flaking, tearing, or crumbling of the bindings and pages, as these might break off during dusting.
2. Take care to grasp the book tightly as you dust to prevent dust from impregnating the pages.
3. In a humid environment, dampness can be controlled by sprinkling a little talcum powder on each page, putting weight on the book for a few days, and then removing the powder with a brush.
4. If mildew develops from dampness, lightly scrape it off with a razor blade and finish by cleaning it with alcohol.
5. Do not remove a book from a shelf by pulling it by the upper part of the spine. The best way to remove a book is to grasp it between two fingers at the center of the spine, move it from side to side to separate it from the books on either of it and ease it out.
6. Large books are subjected to damage by their weight. This can be avoided by placing them horizontally on the bookshelf.
7. Keep your books out of direct sunlight and whenever possible turn off lights in rooms where you keep your books.
8. Do not use water, solvents, or leather dressings on your book bindings, even if you feel they are dirty or dry. If your books need more than routine dusting, consult a professional for advice or assistance.