Here at Booktique Ghana, we sell books at affordable prices. Even though we an online bookstore, keeping physical books in good condition is one of the driving forces for our business. Books are very delicate and need all the care in the world.
I get sad books when I see books with torn covers, yellow pages and dog eared pages. In a recent discussion with a friend who works in a library, he stated that the maintenance culture of Ghanaians is poor and totally non-existence. In less than 6 months of the establishment of the library, about half of the book pages are dog eared and a few have been left in worse condition. I guess this discussion inspired this blog post.
Below are a few tips on how to keep your books in great condition.
- Get a Shelf: If you are a book reader and you keep adding up to your titles without a stacking them in a shelf, then I suggest you pull the brakes and get a proper shelf. This prevents bending of the covers. Also, the spine is kept in great shape and the books are well ventilated. Keep the shelf spacious and well-arranged at all times.
Here are a few guidelines for shelving your books:
- Books should be arranged horizontally or vertically. Do not tilt books.
- Choose a format for the arrangement – Arrange according to book-length or the colour of the spine.
- Try as much as possible to keep the shelf full. If the shelf isn’t full, please use a bookend.
- Grab the middle of the spine when removing a book from a shelf to avoid damaging the head (top) and foot (bottom) of the spine
- Lastly, dust the books and the shelf very often
- If you cannot get a shelf, an alternative is to put your books in storage boxes.
2. No Direct Sunlight: I wish I knew this earlier. Sunlight, heat, and humidity can all have negative effects on the book’s binding, structure, and page quality. Sunlight will deteriorate the colour of your book cover and your spine. Try as much as possible to place your shelf in a spot away from the sunlight.
3. Avoid storing books in plastic bags. Books need to breathe and plastic can cause moulding or warping.
Written by Abena Maryann