We recently came across an online piece, “These Stereotypes About Book Lovers Are Absolutely True, and That’s a Good Thing”, that really hit close to home. There are some readers at the StorageMart home office and one could make the case each of these 31 stereotypes apply to a few of us, but a few in particular could have been written with us in mind.
• Bad movie adaptations have the potential to ruin your entire summer. (Imagine a stern look and finger wag directed at everyone involved with the recent “The Great Gatsby” film.)
• You have strong, unwavering opinions about e-readers versus physical books.
• The idea of moving is a profound source of stress, if only because you can’t imagine sorting, packing and lifting your stacks of prized hardcovers.
• This might be because you have issues with letting go of your prized editions, and could probably be diagnosed as a hoarder
That last couple in particular are points we think about often because packing and moving are kind of our thing. So here are some ideas you can put to use to make packing, storing and moving your library much more convenient.
First (and this idea might freak out hardcore bibliophiles), unless you live in a mansion and have your own library, you probably can’t actually keep every one of your books on shelves in your home. So you should come around to the idea of renting a self storage unit to act as an annex of sorts to your home library. The important thing when choosing a storage unit is to find one which is climate controlled. Moisture is the sworn enemy of books because it can lead to mold and mildew and fluctuations in temperatures can speed up the deterioration of paper. Using a storage unit where the temperature is maintained at a moderate and constant level is essential.
Make sure your books are all clean and dry before putting them into storage. Make sure no bugs have laid eggs between the pages (it happens), and remove any bookmarks, photos, flowers (people do it), etc.
If you decide to set up your storage unit as an actual library, use metal shelves only. The acid in wood can migrate into your books and cause the paper to break down.
Use clean, sturdy boxes if you’re planning on packing up your books. Most StorageMart locations offer packing/moving boxes ideal for holding books. Using boxes which are all the same size will also make stacking them easier.
Organize your books before you start packing them up. This will make labeling your boxes (and finding a particular book or type of book later on) much, much easier.
Always pack books laying flat or standing upright (never on their spine), with spines alternating between facing right and left. Lay heavier books in the bottom of the box and work your way up to the smaller, lighter paperbacks. Don’t pack your boxes so full they’ll be difficult to move (or potentially dangerous if a stack were to fall over).
Use blank newsprint to wrap books (this will prevent them from sticking to one another over time) and fill in empty space in your boxes. Using printed newspaper can lead to ink bleeding from the paper onto your books.
Follow these basic tips and there’s no reason why your books can’t be safely kept in storage until you’re able to move into a larger home or it becomes more socially acceptable to install bookshelves in the bathroom.