Protect Books From Shipping & Storage Damage

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.

How Paper is Characterized

This is the third and final post about different paper types and paper grades. This post is to highlight some characteristics used to classify paper. Be sure to click on the links above to view our previous posts about this subject.

Most paper characteristic methods are established by The American Society for Testing and Materials or the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper industry. These two organizations are and the forefront of establishing methods and characteristics of a variety of paper types. We will only be going over a few characteristics and testing that is used. There is a large variety that is used to classify paper.

Moisture Content- Paper is tested by oven-drying and a value is expressed on an oven-dry basis.

Thickness of Paper- There are a variety of readings that must be used to establish paper thickness. The paper is compressed  repeatedly and measured using a micrometer. After several readings a caliber is assigned to the paper.

Brightness- A common characteristic many people even look for in print paper. Brightness is measured in spectral reflectance. On most print paper the brightness is express from 1-100 with 100 being the brightest paper.

Gloss- Another common characteristic that people buying print paper are aware of. The gloss of paper is measured using specular gloss. The specular gloss method is also used for determining “high” gloss down to “low” gloss.

Opacity- A very important measurement characteristic when printing on paper. Opacity helps to identify if ink will show through on the reverse face when printed on.

Grease Resistance– A great measurement when the paper will be coming into contact with grease. This is a turpentine test used to measure the amount of grease resistance the paper has. Poly coated Kraft paper is a perfect example of paper that would be important to know the amount of grease resistance.

Stiffness– a stiffness test is important for a variety of paperboard types. Maintaining stiffness in paperboard is important for use in a variety of products such as paperboard box displays. This stiffness helps to establish the amount of strength the paper board has. The Clark stiffness test is commonly used for lightweight paperboard testing and the Taber stiffness is often used for heavier paperboard testing.

Tensile Strength- A common measurement to measure the paper strength in tension. Tensile strength is measured using a pendulum instrument to determine the force per width to break a specimen.

These are only a handful of the paper testing characterizations used to determine paper type and grade. These paper testing methods help manufactures, producers, and consumers become knowledgeable on which products to use for specific applications.

Different Paper Types

We are going to write a few posts highlighting the variety of paper types, grades, and some common terms when dealing with paper. Paper is a matted or felted sheet, usually composed of plant fiber. Over the years, paper has been made from a variety of materials including: hemp, cotton, sugar cane, and straw. Today paper is mostly made from cellulose fiber derived from wood.

Cellulose fiber can be derived from a variety of plants. The cellulose fibers construct each type of paper. The longer the fiber, results in stronger paper. The negative aspect of long fibers, is they tend to have a rougher texture and surface. Different pulping methods can also impact the strength and the structure of the paper being produced. Mechanical pulping extracts the cellulose from the wood by cutting it. This is the most economical method of pulping. The downside is that the mechanical pulping reduces the cellulose fiber length. Chemical pulping allows the cellulose fibers to remain intact and undamaged, resulting in stronger paper.

The following list of paper types gives a general description of  different paper products available.

NewsprintNewsprint is composed of 95% economical wood pulps. Newsprint commonly has a low brightness, and a high oil absorbency rate. Newsprint is commonly used for printing newspapers. In packaging, newsprint is often used for void-fill and cushioning. At U.S. Packaging & Wrapping, we sell recycled newsprint for void fill, while keeping the environment in mind.

Book Papers- Shares many characteristics with newsprint. Book paper is cut to a variety of sizes to fit multiple book sizes. A clay coating is often added to help enhance visual appearance.

Greaseproof Papers & Parchment Paper- Greaseproof papers are derived from chemical pulps and packed tightly to keep from absorbing fluids. Often times the paper is coated with a special poly coating to further enhance the ability to resist grease. Poly coated Kraft paper is different from parchment paper, but can also be used to resist grease.

Kraft PaperOne of the strongest papers available, is used when maximum strength is needed. Kraft paper can be used for paper bags in the grocery store, void-fill, cushioning, interleaving, and a variety of other uses. The long fibers in Kraft paper make it strong, but poor for printing.

Bleached Kraft Paper- Bleached Kraft paper is ideal for when appearance is an issue. When the Kraft paper will be printed on, the paper is coated and smoothed.

Tissue Paper-  Tissue paper is a term commonly used to refer to a lighter paper. Tissue paper is often used in packaging for void-fill in baskets and smaller objects.

Label Paper- Similar to book paper, often coated to allow better printing qualities. Label paper can be coated on one or two sides.

Pouch papers- Pouch papers are virgin Kraft papers treated with plasticizers to make them more pliable. A common use for pouch paper is soap wrappers.

Container boards- A container board is a Kraft board made for the liners of corrugated fiberboard. A container board is a strong board that is composed of long cellulose fibers. We sell a variety of corrugated boxes and boards on our website.

These are only a few common paper types and their characteristics. Our goal is to give consumers a brief overview of paper types to assist them when buying paper. We are not a paper company, but we do sell a variety of paper products that are used for packaging. Feel free to click on any of the links above to view the specific products in our store.

Newsprint Paper Rolls & Newsprint Paper Sheets

Newsprint paper is an affordable paper used for a variety of reasons. Newsprint is composed of 95% economical ground wood pulps, these pulps make newsprint affordable and economical. Our newsprint is made from 100% recycled materials, those materials help make it more affordable and environmentally friendly. Newsprint commonly has a relatively low brightness typically between 55 and 65, as well as low physical strength properties.

Newsprint is named after its most common use, which is to print newspapers. Newsprint can be used for a variety of other reasons as well. Below are some common uses for newsprint:

* Newsprint is commonly used for printing publications, newspapers, and other print material.

*Newsprint sheets can be used for wrapping items for storage or transportation.

* Newsprint Rolls & Newsprint Sheets are great for void-fill in boxes

* Newsprint Rolls can be used as disposable table cloths

* Newsprint Rolls & Newsprint sheets are used for drawing and decorating for parties and class rooms.

* Newsprint Rolls can be used to protect flooring in new homes

* Newsprint is great for interleaving between product cases

There are a multitude of other uses for newsprint because of its affordability and availability. We offer a wide variety of newsprint sheets and newsprint rolls to fit a variety of applications.