11 Tips On Proper Book Care

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1. Begin to exercise care the first time you open a book. Lay the book on its back. Open it a few pages at a time, beginning with one side, then on the other. Press lightly along the bound (inside) edge as you turn the pages to minimize the stiffness. It also helps to prevent "spine" injury.

2. Make a habit of using a book mark, instead ef turning down page corners, or leaving a book lying face down.

3. Don't overcrowd book shelves, to allow easy removal of books — otherwise the spine will be damaged if you do it by force. To pull out a book from the shelf, insert forefinger and thumb on either side of the book, then gently slide it out.

4. Stack flat oversized books such as atlases, art and music books.

5. To preserve their binding, don't let your books slump on partly filled shelves. Use book ends so that they will stand upright.

6. Set books near the front of the shelf to allow air to circulate at the back.

7. Remember that too much heat dries out books; too much moisture causes mildew.

8. Condition leather-bound books for temperature changes with saddle soap or a fine paste wax. The best time to do it is when the book is new, then repeat every year or every two years. Apply a small amount of wax on a piece of clean, white, absorbent cloth. Spread quickly and lightly over the leather, making sure not to touch the end paper or pages. Muff immediately with a second soft, clean cloth.

9. Mend torn pages with gummed rice paper, onion skin or tissue.

10. Dust books every month with a soft, clean cloth.

11. Once a year, remove books from shelves and dust them individually.

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