Book Preservation Techinques: Wanted

My books share the same love I give to my clothes, shoes and bags. However, the problem is that I don’t know how to take care of them. Taking care meant how I will be able to preserve them to the extent that when I am old and incapable, I would be able pass them to my nieces or when they will become priceless collectors’ items. (My super ambitious imagination invades again!)

All of my books are paperback editions because I cannot afford to purchase those regular hardbound releases. Another reason why I prefer the pocket-size paperbacks is the convenience it gives to commuters like me. The time I spent in the public transportation is usually my reading hours. The limited niche I own while riding the jeepney, FX Taxi and LRT is not really conducive to hold and read a bulky and heavy hardbound.

Whenever I have a new book, no hindrance could ever impede my reading. I immediately remove the book from its packaging and start my quiet adventure. In some instances, my reading comes with a bag of potato chips, french fries and soda. In effect, my book also has its fair share of eating. It has food stains, marks of liquid spills and a lot of folded pages.

The only book care rule that I know is to wrap books with a plastic cover. However,  I think this practice only prevents the wear and tear of the book’s cover. But for the inside pages, caring would always depend on the user.

I recently got envious with a friend whose books were neatly preserved. My friend owns a library of novels but she manages to maintain the physical condition of her books. Now I am starting to feel that I should also be obsessive compulsive with my own books.

But my dilemma is, apart from the plastic cover principle, I don’t know how to properly preserve my books.

Take a look at what happened to my copy of The Da Vinci Code

I cannot anymore count how many people have borrowed my first hard-earned book. If you have read my previous blog entry, this book was my first purchase out of my own salary.

It has torn pages, worn out spine

and

pigmented pages..

Pigments in pages! I remember once hearing my auntie telling my cousin not to borrow discolored or books with pigmented pages from the library. My auntie told my cousin that such books are being infected by bacteria.

Does my auntie have a point? Is there some truth behind her claim? Is it really bacteria or just a natural effect on paper when exposed to extreme sunlight and high temperature?

True or not, these pigments bother me because it deteriorates my cheap, priceless yet valued collection.

What’s worse is that my own copy of the Confessions of a Shopaholic is starting to manifest pigmentation!

Aside from the unexplained pigments, the wearing out of my book’s cover is another worry for me

Although I know that immediately wrapping your book with a plastic cover could prevent this. But I am just so hard-headed to strictly practice it.

I know that I will have more book purchases on the next years to come and no one could ever prevent me from that! My only wish is that while my collection is still few, I will be able to learn how to properly take care of them.

I live in a tropical country and my books are kept in a room with no air-condition unit. Does that affect?

My books are often suffering from dust. I just don’t have the luxury of time to regularly brush away the dirt and dust.  Do these cause the pigments?

How about sunlight exposure? Should I keep my books away from sunlight?

In the end should I just invest on those bulky and expensive hardbound copies? Are they more durable? Are they designed to last longer?

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