Storing Books, Comics and Other Paper-Based Items

Storing Collectables | 13.05.22

Storing books, comic collections and other paper-based items properly is essential to keep them in good condition and to maintain their value. Whether you are storing books for a few weeks, months or years, without following packing best practices, your collection could end up with expensive or irreparable damage. This includes broken spines, torn or bent pages and the worst of all – damage from dampness or water.

Effective Tips For Packing and Storing Books Properly

Whether you collect books to resell or for your own personal reading bliss, it’s important to keep your items safe. Looking after your valuable collection properly is even more important if you are planning on storing it long term. Storing books, comics and other valuables require careful attention, making sure everything is in showroom condition. Getting the maximum financial benefit from your collection is quite simple when following these guidelines.

Remove Dust And Check For Pests 

People are often tempted to skip to the end when storing books by spending all their time trying to find the best storage solution. However, it’s important when you visit a self storage facility or find optimal space at home to inspect for dust and pests.  Using a soft paintbrush or toothbrush, remove dust from covers and pages. At the same time, inspect the pages for insect eggs which often look like small seeds. Whilst tempting, avoid using insect repellent to protect your books as the chemicals contained therein could cause even more damage.

Air Out Your Collection

Storing books correctly also involves eliminating the potential for mould and mildew. The best way to achieve this is to air out damp or musty books before putting anything into storage. Pay careful attention to book covers, and allow free circulation of air to help dry out any problem areas. If a book is already showing signs of mildew or mould, do not put it in storage as it could damage your whole collection.

Use Protective Book Covers

While dust jackets on hardcover editions protect them from debris and damage, having them in pristine condition can significantly increase their value. As such, if you want to protect your valuable books or comics long term, we highly recommend using special protective covers or slips for dust jackets.  

Packing And Storing Books The Right Way  

Adding a layer of protection for your dust jackets is only the beginning as you also need to use the right materials to properly wrap and pack your book collection. Don’t use newspaper as it’s acidic and avoid plastic bags since they will trap moisture inside, increasing the risk of mould and mildew.  Instead, use a ream or two of acid-free archive paper that will help keep your book or comic collection in pristine condition. While bubble wrap is another great material for wrapping and storing books, it can leave polka dot patterns on book covers if it gets wrapped too tightly.  

Use Quality Containers For Storing Books And Comics

Cardboard boxes may be good for many jobs but they are not recommended for storing books, especially long term. They don’t offer much protection against damage during transit or from bugs and dust. We suggest you rather use archival boxes or secure storage totes for best results. Whilst plastic totes (storage boxes) are great for protecting books from physical damage, they are prone to trap moisture since the lids form an airtight seal.

How To Keep Comic Books Safe

Most comic book collectors use cardboard collector’s boxes that are either long or short and specially made to keep comic books upright. However, you are better off with the more durable soft plastic boxes while keeping them away from direct sunlight and slightly below room temperature.

For a special comic book collection, many collectors prefer hard plastic holders and while they may cost a bit more, they help prevent the book from damage, creasing or bending. When it comes to storing books, an added benefit of a hard shell comic bookcase is that you also use it for display purposes like a picture frame.

Comic book bags are also available with the size depending on the year your comic book was published. The sizes of the comic book bags are based on the Current (1980 – present), Silver Age (1950s – 1980s) and Golden Age (pre-1950).

Tips For Organising And Storing Books

How you organise your collection is entirely up to you as some arrange it by favourite titles or simply in alphabetical order. Whatever you decide, when storing books in archive boxes or another type of container, don’t pack them too tight or too loose as it could cause damage. The best way to do this is by using leftover wrapping materials and placing a sheet of bubble wrap or acid-free packing paper between each book inside a box. You can also use leftover materials to fill empty spaces inside storage boxes to prevent books from shifting around.  

Recommended: How To Retain Value When Storing Collectables

Storing Books With Space Centre Self Storage

Consider storing books and other collectables at Space Centre Self Storage as our units are clean, dry, secure and affordable. Our prices are guaranteed for 12 months with no deposit required and no hidden costs. On top of 24-hour CCTV security and access control, each unit has a smoke detector and you are also the only one with a key to your unit.

We have storage facilities in convenient locations in BristolStroud, Gloucester and Stonehouse with indoor, outdoor, small, medium and large units. Get in touch for more information about pricing, and storage insurance or simply request a quote and start storing books the right way!

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