How to Organise and Care for Your Books

Books are an item many clients feel very passionately about. They can be very attached to their personal library for many reasons. Some feel it’s a story of their own timeline from loved books read to them in childhood to reference material in later years of study. Some see a future where they’re curled up in a cosy chair, reading away the hours.

If your bookshelf is spilling over or the shelves are so curved that one more page will bring it crashing down, it’s probably time to rethink the amount you have on hand. With regard to reference material, think if this can be easily found elsewhere if ever needed – either online or at the local library. If novels have been read already, be realistic about if you will ever read them again.

Books that are staying can be sorted into genres with lightest paperback stored on the top shelves and heavier hardbacks down lower. If there are larger books too tall to stand vertically, lay them horizontally in stacks. To make it easier on the eye try not to fill every inch with books, and use objects for bookends – paperweights, vases or pictures. By breaking up the books this will also improve airflow and assist with mould resistance.

Dusting your collection should be a once a month job, using a dry lint-free cloth. Although it is said that foxing doesn’t affect the integrity of the paper in books, if you find mould that’s a different story. Remove any books with mould to limit the spread to other books. There are several remedies to try and treat mould including drying the book out in the sun, using soft brushes or paper towel.

Once your shelves have been organised, if the bookstores still call your name teasing you to buy more tomes, try applying the ‘one in, one out’ rule to keep it under control.