HOW TO CARE FOR BOOKS
Keep your books in check with this professional advice.
For the serious collector, keeping your books in an enclosed bookcase is best according to Richard Blair from The Book Collectors’ Society of Australia. If that’s not an option, opt for an open bookcase that’s sturdy, and allows you stack books upright with spines facing out.
If books need to lie flat due to sizing, store larger reads at the base of a pile, and only stack small piles of heavy books to avoid damaging textblocks, covers or spines. Allow a little space either side of a book so thumb and fingers can easily grip.
‘Dust books a couple of times a year using a dry, lint-free cloth or a soft bristle brush on the binding and cover,’ says Anna Brooks, senior conservator at the State Library of NSW. If you’re using a vacuum cleaner, opt for a soft bristle brush to sweep dust, and cover nozzle with a piece of cloth to prevent it drawing in loose fragments.
A current surge in book buying suggests the experience of reading old-fashioned print style is still enjoyable for most, notes Sophie Higgins. ‘A lot of people avoid stretching the spine or turning the pages in a particular way when reading. But unless it’s an expensive first edition, the most important thing is to read them however you enjoy to. So if that’s in the bath with your toast’s honey on your fingers, then so be it’!
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