- Dog ear the pages
- Eat or drink while reading
- Open your book completely flat or fold the cover over itself
- Write in your book
- Share with someone you don’t know extremely well
And, to be fair, most book lovers have at some point broken (or are still breaking) one or a few of these rules. For example, I am really bad about snacking and reading. I eat a lot of popcorn, which is greasy, and I still can’t help it. Plus, I read in the tub. And there was a time when I dog-eared the pages and circled grammatical errors to send back to publishers (thank goodness for ebooks and digital highlighting).
That said, a lot of what I’m about to list is probably common knowledge for those on the rare books circuit. But, I am just a regular reader, so I found some of them very interesting. Plus, I am someone who has toted my paper friends across the country, donated hundreds, and currently have stacks of ARC’s all over the house, so I will definitely be implementing some of the following tips. I hope that you are able to use one or two yourself!
- Don’t stack your books too closely together – otherwise pulling them in and out can warp the covers and the pages. Same goes for tall books – lay them flat if they are over 15″-18″ tall.
- For your collection of antique books, choose glass or baked enamel shelves because wooden shelves can let in toxins through their ridges (unless properly coated).
- Have a favorite reading spot that lets in sunlight? Just make sure you keep your books out of it because direct sunlight can fade their vibrant covers.
- Bring back that “bookish” smell by placing musty books in a sealed container with a half-inch of kitty litter spread along the bottom overnight. Don’t have cats? Then put them in a paper bag with an open container of baking soda, staple it shut, and wait a week!
- To avoid that musty smell altogether, place a sheet of fabric softener between the pages of each book that you store in boxes.
- Dust your bookshelves regularly because the little particles of junk can damage your books.
- Don’t use newspaper as a bookmark – it darkens the pages and can smear!
- Do NOT do most of these things (especially #12)
I hope these tips will help you take care of your treasured friends.
Which of the cardinal rules have you broken?
As a side note, here is a photo that I found when I Google’d “Destroyed Books”
that totally creeped me out.