Ew! My Books Smell of Mildew
As I stood on my tiptoes, checking the upper shelves in the attic for boxes, I stumbled across a heavy cardboard box full of old books I once enjoyed as a child. Inside there were a tattered paperback copy of A Wrinkle in Time, a hardback of Alex Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, and the first Harry Potter book to name a few. And while I smiled at the memories each tale had to offer, I noticed the unknown torture my books had been suffering all those years in storage: Monte Cristo’s binding was stiff, the paperback smelled of mildew, and Harry Potter’s pages stuck grossly together. I asked myself, how did this happen? After doing a bit of searching on the Internet, ranging from eHow and the Library of Congress website, I can offer these few do’s and don’ts of book storage: Do's
- If you can, store books in an air-conditioned or cool space. Experts suggest 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Search StorageFront by criteria and filter for air-conditioned storage units.
- Stack books vertically. Storing them on their backs puts undue pressure on them. Books should only have to support their own weight.
- Store books in acid-free packing materials such as corrugated cardboard, or new plastic containers.
- Do not store books in damp or heat prone areas. Dampness fosters the growth of mold and heat damages book spines and causes pages to dry out and turn yellow.
- Do not force a stiff book open. You may damage the spine. Ease it open instead.
- Do not over-pack a box. Books need air to circulate around them.
- Do not store books on the floor in case of flooding.
- Do not store books against exterior walls. Moisture can seep in this way and cause mold build-up.