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Book Collector's Meeting Room Whether you're an experienced collector or just starting out, this is the place to discuss Anne's books in all their various bindings, languages, and cover art.

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Old Jun 16 2007, 02:47 PM   #1
sjslack
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Default Question Re: Care of books

I'm feeling some deja vu at the momet, since I believe the care of books is one of the first threads I started on MoM...anywho...

I'm planning to get some Mylar covers for some of the newest Pern books I've got, since I've started collecting HB editions and whatnot...but I look on Mylar websites and my small brain cannot seem to compute what I need.

The problem is that the books I want to cover are all different sizes, but I heard something about Mylar 'sheets' you can get and essentially cover the books yourself. I've no idea as to how this works...

I was wondering as to whether anyone has any suggestions/tips.

Something else I may as well ask now, is if there's anything I can get in order to ensure that my books pages don't go off-colour...They're not in direct sunlight, but I'd rather not keep them in a draw where I can't appreciate them properly....

Thanks in advance
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Old Jun 17 2007, 12:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Sara - try going to Demco.com. Click SUPPLIES on the left and then click on BOOK AND MAGAZINE PROTECTION, again on the left. You'll find many different types of Mylar covers for your books.
I tend to buy the ones that will fit a regular sized 1st edition, I think it's 10 inch size. That way if you have a smaller one to cover you can adjust and you won't have to buy all different sizes. As for larger books, like the Atlas or DLGtP you may want to try finding a couple of those in the larger book stores rather than purchase 50 of them when you only need a couple.
We did have a thread here.......ah, found it!http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=3638
It gives more information too. (in fact you started it too!)

As for page edges not darkening. Other than vacuum sealing them in plastic I don't know how you can stop it. (hmmm, a new use for the Food Saver machines?) Exposure to air and our pollution will darken any books' pages, sadly.
Other than that just keep them well dusted. Dust can also harm the pages and may contribute to darkening too. Mine sit in a bookcase with doors on the front to help keep the dust down. I even found some fabric to cover the glass, I know, I can't see the books now, but I have had items fade due to indirect sunlight and I don't want it to happen any more. And it's easy for me to go open the doors to look at them. And I know what's behind the doors and can smile to myself at what I know is in there. (yep, I'm very odd!)
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Old Jun 25 2007, 06:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Acid-free paper is fairly expensive, but you sometimes get that with coffee-table type books. They won't yellow for a long, long time. Most of my paperbacks have yellowed, but it's not really something you can prevent in a home setting, as it's the acid in the paper that does it.
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Old Jun 28 2007, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

I don't dust mine - but some I have had for quite a few years and being in a bookcase with shelves with only a 1cm-1" gap at the top seems to protect mine quite adquately, add a decade and they probably will go yellow but I don't mind - they are well loved. (but i try to keep the spines nice)
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Old Jun 28 2007, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

One of the first jobs I did, when I left school, was to work in a library - and I learned a great deal about the care of books, and how to keep them so they last for a long time.

It's sad, but true, that books printed before the mid 1980's seem to last longer then those printed more recently (with the possible exception of hardbacks). Things seem to have changed recently, and the quality of paper and binding that is being used on paperbacks is a lot better then what it used to be.

However, dust and direct (even indirect) sunlight can be the death of books, so try and keep them dust free, and keep any book cases away from main windows. Unless you have the money to afford book cases with doors, get used to dusting on a regular basis. A dry hot atmosphere can be just as bad for books, as it can dry out the binding on paperbacks, and cause books to fall apart. Try to keep collections of books in cool rooms, with a natural level of humidity (obviously too much humidity can be bad for books).

In terms of what you can do to protect them - there are all sorts of products out there, from plastic "life-jackets" for paperpbacks, to mylar self addisive lamanent. Whilst most people will wince at the thought, I do use a lamanent for the dust covers of my hardbacks (I'm quite good at covering them). A decent one wont yellow, crinkle up or ruin a book. And it's worth paying a little extra to get what you need. The plastic life-jackets that most librarys use on paperbacks are easy to buy and good at protecting the covers of books. I tend to get my stuff from Book Protectors - who I have always found to be very helpful.

Of course, I also tend to be careful about how I treat my books as well, I try not to bend the spines too much when reading them, no corners are folded on the corners of my books, and I use an acid free bit of paper as a book mark.

Even though I am careful with my collection, I have still managed to wear out books - it's unavoidable at the end of the day. But with some care, they can last a long time, and be enjoyed for many years to come.

Hope some of the above helps.
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Old Jun 28 2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Thank you all for your comments. I've managed to get ahold of some comic-bags that are large enough for me to put three of my hardbacks in. My People of Pern and DLG are in a box out of direct sunlight now...which is the best I can do.

When I get my own house in a few years time, one of the first things on my list is a decent bookcase. Unfortunately, my books live in my study..which is in the attic, since I myself live in a bungalow. I try to keep the dust away from my books, and I've started trying to do the same for my grandfather's collection. (Not an easy job...>.< )
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Old Jun 28 2007, 11:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Thank you Jayru for sharing your knowledge with us! (good to see you back too!) I've not thought of covering the paperbacks and I'll have to check into that.
And it sure is nice to have a bookcase with doors. I finally got one after so many years and besides being better for my books it saves me time from having to dust it all! And putting the fabric over the glass in the doors really helps too. It's amazing how faded a book spine can get from indirect sunlight.

sjslack - It's nice to know that you're taking good care of your books. You've started out collecting in the best way possible. You've done your homework and are now ready to dive headlong into the world of collecting! Have a bunch of fun! (I have!!!)
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Old Jun 29 2007, 03:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

If you are planning on storing books for any length of time, I would suggest getting some acid free tissue paper (it's not too expensive), and wrapping the books up in that. Make sure the books are put into a sturdy, and if need be, padded box in a non-damp enviroment (amazing how many people don't check that).

The Tissue paper stops the books from rubbing each other - keeps dust off them, and stops pages and covers catchin against each other in the boxes. I also find it fun when you finally get the books out and unwrap them. Like re-openeing them again...

Of course, I only take this sort of action for books going into long term storage (anything more then a few months). I get the micky taken out of me for going to all that trouble, but then I have books that were printed in the late 1800's that are still in good condition, so I know I am doing the right thing

My pleasure to share any tips I have picked up over the years.
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Old Jun 29 2007, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Jay - thanks again for those tips!
I just packed my books in preperation for moving in a couple of months. I never thought of putting tissue paper between them. I'll have to remember that in the future.
I always keep my book boxes stored with me and not in garage or storage unit. I've moved my books MANY times without any problems, thank goodness. But then I'm usually the one moving the book boxes too. I just don't trust others handling them. That way too if a box is (heaven forbid) dropped, I've no one to blame but myself.
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Old Jun 29 2007, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Well, thankfully when I'm at uni, my grandparents have said that this side of the attic. (AKA my study) will be kept free for me to store things. I'll be visitig home on a regular basis anyway, so I'll be able to keep my books out and dust them off every few weeks if need-be.
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Old Jun 29 2007, 07:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

That gives me some ideas on storing my post card collection. I have some from the 18oo. Kibbies has been trying to get spome from differnt countries as well as evey state. We have a bunch & right now they are in a old suit case. I realy would like to do something better with them. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old Jun 30 2007, 01:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Maw - glad to have helped in another field of collecting. It's nice to know that what is true for books is good for any type of ephemera (paper goods).
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Old Jun 30 2007, 03:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Indeed!

And... the only thing I can think to add to all this is: wash your hand before handling an old book (actually not a bad partice for any book, grease and any gunk off hands can also be bad for books).
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Old Jun 30 2007, 10:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

That or the old white cotton glove to handle your books.

I've got my book club reading copies that have marks on the pages from my fingers. I was eating chips or something and got greasy fingers on the pages and can now see my finger prints. It takes a while for the prints to show up, so it may look ok at first but time will tell!
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Old Jul 1 2007, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

-Laughs-

I'm not too bothered about my reading copies...(Typically they're the ones that cost the most, since I bought all the same edition from Waterstones for the full price).

But in terms of my 1st editions and other 'special' books, I've started to wash my hands...I believe Becky's guide actually had that tip in...
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Old Jul 1 2007, 08:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Question Re: Care of books

Yes, I think you're right! That and a few other tips! Glad it's helping you Sara!
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