Caring for Books & Book Storage
Advice from the National Library of New Zealand states that protecting and stabilizing is the preferred and first option when caring for special, old, and rare books.
The simplest solution here is to have a custom-designed acid free box made for it.
The box will be designed Clamshell style (with a hinging lid) for ease of access, meaning the book can be viewed within the box and not have to be lifted out.
Storing your old book in a custom box will protect it from light, dust, and handling.
Once the book is in the box it is best stored flat so that no strain is placed on the book.
If you provide us with the dimensions of your book - Length mm x Width mm x Depth mm, we will custom design a box to fit.
We recommend handling your special book while wearing gloves. This protects the cover and pages from dirt and oils from your hands. We have a selection of Gloves to choose from although we recommend the White Cotton Gloves for here.
If you decide you want to make repairs to your book, please consider that repairing a very old book may not increase its value and may actually devalue it. The wear and tear of a book is considered and important part of a book’s history. A general rule is the more valuable, rare, or historically important a book is, the more the reason not to repair it, and leave it alone – instead, store in an acid free box.
To safely make repairs, we recommend consulting a professional conservator if your book is particularly old or rare. You can find a conservator here.
Otherwise, if you are dealing with less valuable and newer books we do sell a range of acid free tapes and adhesives for book repair that can useful.
To help you navigate the tapes here is a brief outline of some typical book repair tapes:
Filmoplast P90 Tape – a white paper tape used for reinserting torn out pages and strengthening inside joints of paperbacks.
Filmoplast P90 Plus Tape – a white paper tape used for strengthening joints between book cover and body. Has a high strength adhesive.
Filmoplast P Document Repair Tape – a transparent mending tape
Filmoplast SH Tape – for reinforcing books spines. A fine threaded linen tape.
Lineco Document Repair Tape - A paper tape made from strong transparent mending tissue.
Lineco Transparent Mending Tissue – A transparent tissue tape for mending tears in paper.
Filmoplast T Spine Repair Tape – For repairing books spines.
Filmoplast R Heat Set Tissue – A transparent and ultra-thin, heat activated tape. For repairing book joins and torn pages. For spot mending and filling voids.
A Bone Folder is a great tool to have on hand to help with book repairs and box construction.