It’s every bibliophile’s worst nightmare: running out of room to store their collection of books. And it really hurts to cull your collection, no matter the reason! Perhaps you’re moving into a smaller apartment, or immigrating to a new country. Or perhaps your partner is simply refusing to turn the lounge into a library. Here’s where a Wilston Self Storage unit at StoreLocal Newmarket can come in handy as your very own library.

Why Wilston Self Storage?

There are a few reasons:

  • Adaptable: you can pick the size of the unit depending on the amount of space you need, and what you can afford. Talk to the team at StoreLocal Newmarket to find out how you can customise the interior with bookshelves, racks and even a nice armchair to sit and read it. In fact, create a little mini-library away from home if you want to!
  • A climate-controlled unit is the best option if you want to make sure that your books are stored at the optimal temperature and humidity, keeping them well preserved. They’re also protected against direct sunlight in a Self Storage unit.
  • Safety and security: Wilston Self Storage units at StoreLocal Newmarket provide a range of security services, from access control and security cameras to alarms, beams and security personnel. This is especially important if you’re storing a valuable collection.
  • It’s way better than storing your books in a box under the bed!

What to do

Books are susceptible to sun damage, mildew, mould, staining, bent and damaged spines and corrosion if not properly stored. They’re also a favourite nesting material for a variety of critters if you’re not careful… Do the following to protect your books in storage.

  • Give your books a gentle, thorough clean before storing them, removing any dust or grime. Use a magnetic cloth and hold the paper- or hardback book firmly closed, wiping the book from the spine outwards. In serious cases, consider using a vacuum cleaner and brush. For valuable and precious books, consider taking them to a professional for cleaning.
  • Check for damage on and in your books: weakened spines, torn cover flaps etc. Try to repair the damage where possible, or let a professional do it.
  • Remove any and all bookmarks, pressed flowers, scraps of paper and paperclips – basically anything other than the actual pages and cover of the book. These items can all cause damage during storage.
  • Use smaller, sturdy boxes to store your books in, instead of putting them all in a big box. A box full of books gets very heavy, very quickly. Try to pack them in such a way that no bending will take place.
  • Try to pack similar sized books in the same box. Do not stand them on end! Fill any gaps in the box with acid-free packing paper.
  • Check your packing material carefully: boxes and wrapping paper should have a pH of 7 to 8.5. If in doubt, talk to the team at StoreLocal Newmarket, we offer Wilston Self Storage, Newmarket Self Storage and Self Storage for Kelvin Grove and Ashgrove, or contact a professional bookseller.
  • When packing your books, organise them by categories (authors, subject matter, hard cover or soft cover), and make an inventory for each box, listing the books inside on a label stuck to the outside of the box.

What not to do

  • Do not pack books with any other items, especially fragile items such as glassware or trinkets.
  • Do not pack your books near any food, damp areas, water or corrosive substances. And do not store them in full sunlight.
  • Avoid plastic containers when storing your books, especially for long-term storage. If you do want to use plastic containers, do your research on how chemically stable the plastic is – polyethylene or polypropylene is more stable and durable. But if your collection is very valuable, plastic is probably not the way to go. Talk to a professional bookseller or restorer for advice.

Going into storage

We mentioned a climate-controlled unit before: they really are the best bet to keep your books safe. Customise your unit in the way you want to (after speaking to the team about what you need), or simply store the boxes.

If you’re simply storing them, keep this in mind:

  • Wrap each cardboard box in layers of plastic to prevent dust from getting into the box.
  • Store the heaviest boxes (usually hardbacks) at the bottom of a stacked pile, with lighter boxes on top.
  • Do not make the stacks too high – you want to be able to easily move them when necessary.
  • Check on your books every so often to make sure that they are in perfect condition.

Remember: librarians, curators and antique specialists can all give you good advice on how to deal with your collection. For any storage questions, the team at StoreLocal Newmarket in Wilston are happy to help!