Now that we’re all using Kindles and tablets to read, we don’t need storage space for books - right?

Wrong!

E-book sales have fallen by 4% each year since 2016, as the younger generations are looking to read physical books. The pleasure of having a paper book in your hands vastly outweighs that of the cold plastic e-book. Instagram has seen a considerable uplift in photos of book owners sitting next to or in front of their book collection. Readers are in love once again with real paper books, and with this trend comes the need for sensible and proper-looking book storage. A reader looking to keep books needs to consider two types of book storage.

The first is long-term book storage—books that you want to keep but don't necessarily want to keep on show all the time. These types of books could be antique, signed first copies, or just subjects about hobbies that you don't want your new girlfriend to know you're interested in—your collection of books about fly fishing, perhaps?

If your book collection is particularly valuable, then we suggest buying archival-quality storage boxes that are acid-free. This type of box is usually the sort used by archive and document storage companies to store valuable paperwork. Ideally, any box containing a book collection should be stored away from light, heat, and water. This rules out the shed, loft or garage. Depending on the value of the books, an option might be a small locker or storage unit at a Lok' nStore facility. Wherever you decide to store your book collection, remember the sworn enemies of books are:

  • Poor handling or storage
  • Fire and flood
  • Pests
  • Light
  • Relative humidity

Most of us, however, have a few books that we leave out on display. In this situation, a bookcase or shelf is ideal, although not as healthy for the book itself. Try placing your 'on display' book storage away from radiators or heat sources and definitely out of direct sunlight if you can. Remember that your books will still need to be cleaned occasionally to keep them clear of dust and any airborne dirt that might be in the atmosphere of your living space. Don't forget that your book collection will need TLC to keep them in excellent condition.

“The surest way to preserve your books in health is to treat them as you would your own children, who are sure to sicken if confined in an atmosphere which is impure, too hot, too cold, too damp or too dry.” William Blades, The Enemies of Books, London, 1880.

KC