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Ready To Store Your Child's Book Collection? 3 Tips For Ensuring It Stays In Great Condition For Many Years

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As a parent, you may enjoy hanging onto items that your child has outgrown yet hold sentimental value to you and may hold sentimental value to your child when they get older. If your child has been an avid reader for years, then they may have accumulated quite a large collection of books that you would like to finally place in self storage units. This is a great idea, and when your child is an adult, they will likely love getting a glimpse of the books they read as a child and may even enjoy passing them onto their children. 

However, if you want that book collection to stay in great shape for many years, proper storage is a must. Read on to learn three tips for ensuring that your child's book collection stays in great shape while in storage. 

1. Opt for a Climate-controlled Self Storage Unit Instead of a Basement or Attic

Conservation experts recommend storing books that are not currently in use in an environment that is relatively cool and has a stable humidity level. The ideal temperature for book storage is about 60–66 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level of the storage environment should stay at a relatively stable 45–60 percent humidity. 

High humidity creates a breeding ground for mildew that will damage your books immensely and make them a health hazard in the future, and high temperatures can damage book spines. However, low humidity levels can also damage books; dry air, especially if it is hot, can cause book pages and spines to become brittle over time. 

Unless you are sure your basement or attic doesn't get too hot in the summer and doesn't fluctuate in humidity, it is best to store your child's book collection in a climate-controlled storage unit. These storage units are heated in the winter, cooled in the summer, and kept at a stable humidity level to protect the valuables inside of them. 

2. Pack Books in Archival Boxes Before Storing Them

If you currently have all of your child's old books on wooden bookcases, then you may be considering storing the bookcases that you may no longer need along with the books. While you can store the books and the bookcases in the same storage unit, it is best to remove the books from the bookcases before storing them and pack them in archival boxes. 

If you were to leave your child's books on the wooden bookcases, the natural gasses that all wood emits could damage the books. While books can be stored in standard cardboard boxes, these boxes are not ideal when you want a book collection to stay in its best shape for many years. Standard cardboard boxes contain acids that leach out slowly over time, and these acids can damage books. Archival boxes do not contain these acids. 

3. Take Book Size Into Consideration When Deciding Whether to Store Each Book Upright or Flat

You may find conflicting information online about whether books stay in their best condition when being stored upright or stored lying flat. This confusion likely occurs due to that fact that the best position to store a book depends highly on its size. 

When large, heavy hardback books are stored upright for long periods of time, too much stress can be placed on their spines, which can lead to spine damage and deterioration. That means that when storing large, heavy books, lying them flat on their backs is best for them. 

However, when storing smaller, lighter books, you have the option of storing them flat or storing them upright. Since they aren't so heavy, their spines can still stay in good condition when stored upright.