Book Storage Ideas

  • A stack of books sits on a desk next to a cup of tea.
If you’ve ever seen a silverfish scurrying out of a book you just opened, chances are pretty good you’re storing your reading material the wrong way.

And bugs aren’t the only threat to improperly stored books. There’s mold, mildew, broken bindings, warped pages … you get the idea.

If your books are worth saving, they’re worth saving the right way. Here’s how to make sure you do exactly that.

Optimal Storage Conditions

Whether your books are in a bookcase or packed away in boxes (more on that in a minute), you’ll want to keep them in an environment that is room temperature, relatively dry, and out of direct sunlight.

You’ll also want to make sure they are kept in a stable environment, which means no rodents, bugs, or risks of water damage.

About those silverfish we mentioned earlier, they love nothing more than a humid and dark environment. On the menu? Silverfish like to dine on oats, flour, and cereal. But they also love—wait for it—the glue used to bind books.

The Proper Book Storage Containers

If your books are on a shelf, the Library of Congress recommends shelving books of similar size together to maximize support. Books should also be upright, not leaning.

If you’re going to pack your books away, the recommendation is to use acid- and lignin-free storage shelf boxes and to store books flat.

There is some advantage to plastic boxes in that they protect from water damage. On the other hand, if your storage area is humid at all, a plastic container will increase your risk of mold damage.

Book Storage for Small Spaces

In a perfect world, we’d all have loads of storage room on the main floors of our homes, making basement and attic storage unnecessary. But most of us simply do not have that luxury.

That means you might need to get a little bit clever about how you store your books. Consider beds with built in storage underneath, shelves that can line an entire wall like these from Ikea, or even simple wood crates that can be configured in a variety of ways.

The Ultimate Way to Keep Your Books Safe

If you’re simply out of room, yet want to hold onto your books, self storage can bridge the gap until the day comes when you do have more space.

At StorageMart, we offer climate-controlled self storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis, so you’re not locked into a long-term commitment. Not sure how much space you need? Check out our storage unit guide to find the ideal set-up for you. Contact us to rent a unit online today or for more information.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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