Preserving Books for Shipping and Storage
For shipping or storing valuable or important books, preservation and damage protection are important. Many book owners and companies selling books of value feel it is important to preserve books from exterior elements. These elements can vary depending on the situation. We are going to look at some ideas for protection and preservation in shipping and storing books of value.
When shipping books of value long distances or across town, choosing the proper container is a great starting point. We recommend a corrugated box slightly larger than the book or books being shipped. Many people prefer to ship in boxes that fit snuggly around the books corners. Boxes that fit snuggly around the book will eliminate the need for void-fill, therefore save in cost. When concerned with packaging costs this is a great option; but if the box corners become damaged the book corners will more than likely be damaged as well. We recommend a slightly larger size of box for books of value. We suggest using void fill and cushioning coupled with slightly larger box to provide extra protection for books of value.
A standard 200 lb. corrugated box approximately 1-3 inches larger than the book on all sides is recommended. This allows room to wrap the book in a protective cushioning. A common recommended cushioning is bubble wrap or foam. Once the book is wrapped in the proper cushioning, a good void-fill is needed to prevent the book from shifting in the box during transport. One of the most well known void-fill products are packaging peanuts. Peanuts do not pack tight enough and can still allow shifting that can possibly damage book corners. We recommend white newsprint with no ink on it or Kraft paper. If you really want to provide great protection, indented Kraft paper is a little more expensive but provides extra cushioning. Be sure to pack plenty of void-fill in the box before sealing to prevent shifting.
When storing books of value, the exterior elements differ from shipping. Common exterior elements to consider when storing are moisture, dust, and light. We recommend a heat shrink wrap film to protect from moisture and dust. Shrink films are affordable, easy to use, and do a great job in protecting from moisture and dust.
When protection from light is a concern there are several options to consider. Boxes are an easy and affordable way to reduce light intrusion after being shrink wrapped for storage. Another option that some of our clients use to reduce light intrusion is opaque stretch film. This is a plastic stretch wrap (commonly white or black) that cannot be seen through and protects from UV rays after two complete wraps.
There are several methods and products to protect books of value. The main issues that need to be considered when trying to preserve valuable books begin with exterior elements. If you can protect the books from those elements they will last longer and offer the ability to be enjoyed for years to come.