Self storage is well suited for the safe storage of books. However, there are several things you should know about using a self storage unit to store books. By following some simple preparatory steps, you will be assured of safely storing your books without damage.

Whether a casual collector or someone who is in the book business, it’s important to note that the value of a book can be influenced by various factors beyond its physical condition. These include the book’s rarity, historical significance, authorship, edition, and demand among collectors.

Therefore, preserving a book’s condition and aesthetics through proper storage and care can help maintain or enhance its value over time. Self storage is ideally suited for this purpose, as the design and way a self storage facility is managed are conducive for book storage, amongst many other uses.

A self storage unit like those of Stop & Store Penrith which is insulated and protects the contents such as books in storage, the environment guards against fading, mould, and structural deterioration which can significantly affect the value and aesthetics of books.

What happens to books if they are stored incorrectly?

Let’s see what happens to books if they are not stored correctly, and what the ways are to avoid these issues.

Avoidance strategies for these issues include keeping books in a clean, dry, and controlled environment, using acid-free archival materials for storage, and regular inspection and maintenance.

  • Fading of books. This affects the aesthetics of a book by diminishing the vibrancy of its cover art, text, and illustrations. It can make the book appear less attractive and can reduce its collectible value.To avoid fading, store books away from direct sunlight and use UV-filtering window coverings if necessary. Additionally, you can use dust jackets or book covers to provide an extra layer of protection against light exposure.
  • Mildew and mould can cause staining, discoloration, and a musty odor in books. They can also weaken the paper and bindings, affecting the structural integrity of the book. Mould and mildew are considered major defects that can significantly reduce a book’s value and appeal.To prevent mould and mildew, maintain a stable and controlled environment with proper temperature and humidity levels. Avoid storing books in damp or humid areas. If a book shows signs of mould, isolate it from other books, and consult a professional conservator for remediation.
  • Structural Breakdown includes problems like damaged spines, torn pages, loose bindings, and detached covers. These issues can affect the book’s functionality, readability, and aesthetic appeal. Severely damaged structural elements can substantially reduce a book’s value.Avoiding structural deterioration can only be achieved through proper storage methods. Store books upright to prevent spine damage, handle them with care, and use book supports if needed. Avoid overpacking shelves, which can lead to pressure on the spines. For valuable or fragile books, consider professional restoration or binding repairs to address structural issues.

In addition to these factors, other elements like foxing (brown spots caused by impurities or mould), insect damage, and water damage can also impact a book’s value and aesthetics.

Proper Storage Requirements of Books

Several measures can be taken to protect your books.

  • Environmental stability is important. Storing books at moderate temperatures and stable humidity can be achieved when storing them in an insulated structure such as a self storage unit.
  • Store vertically to prevent spine damage. Use bookends or book supports to help keep them standing. Ideally use sturdy, well-constructed bookshelves: Ensure that the shelves can support the weight of your books without sagging.
  • Cleanliness starts with you. Oils and dirt on your hands can transfer to the pages and covers, causing staining and deterioration over time. If you need to clean a book, use a soft brush or cloth to gently wipe away dust. Avoid using water or cleaning solutions directly on the book.
  • Use a book marker. Don’t fold down page corners to mark your place. Dog ears damage the corners and can’t be rehabilitated.
  • Use book covers and dust jackets to help protect the book’s cover from wear and tear. Plastic book covers can also shield against dust and moisture.
  • If you plan to store books for an extended period, consider placing them in acid-free archival boxes or containers. This protects against moisture, dust, and pests. Elevate boxes off the ground: Store boxes of books on pallets or shelves to prevent moisture absorption from concrete floors.

Why is Self Storage Suited for Book Storage?

There are many reasons why self storage is so well suited for the storage of books:

  • Choose your size. Self storage units come in various sizes, allowing you to choose the one that best accommodates your book collection without cluttering your home.
  • Perfect environment.  Self storage facilities are designed to protect your belongings from various environmental factors, including temperature fluctuations, humidity, dust, and pests. Books are sensitive to these factors and can deteriorate over time if not stored properly.
  • Super security. Self storage facilities have strict security measures, including surveillance cameras, access control systems, and on-site staff. This gives peace of mind knowing that your valuable book collection is safe and secure.
  • Addition of shelving. You can add shelving to keep your book collection organised. You can use bookshelves, boxes, or other storage solutions within the unit to arrange your books neatly and access them easily when needed.
  • Contract flexibility, allowing you to rent the space for as long as you need it. Whether you need short-term storage or a long-term storage solution, you can adjust your storage unit rental accordingly.
  • Good accessibility, with convenient hours, often located at a nearby location, provides easy reach to your books.

Should you need a self storage rental for books in Cumbria, look no further than Stop & Store Penrith. We offer you the best in self storage.

Give us a call on our office number, which is 01768 800291 and for further information our website details are: