Book Storage Tips

How to Store Books Properly

Book storage tips for self-publishers

Updated July 2023

As a self-publisher, your house often serves as office, store and warehouse! You write and fulfill online and book store orders from your humble abode.

Because of this…a question authors frequently ask us is:

“How do I safely store my books?”.

First off, there are two main things to keep in mind when determining where to store your books (btw this also applies to printed Journals and Planners).

Tip #1 – Avoid Humidity

Humidity is your book’s evil villain. Store your books in an air conditioned space ideally below 75 degrees. Low temperatures are OK. Just be aware of low relative humidity. If the temperature is too dry your pages can become brittle and break.

Tip #2 – Keep Books Away From the Light

It’s awesome to read books in the sun BUT store your books out of the light. UV rays cause paper to yellow and ink to fade.

3 Book Storage Recommendations

To maintain the quality of your books (and journals/planners), a safe storage system is a must. Here are 3 book storage tips.

1. Choose Storage Containers

While shelves allow more airflow and less risk of mold, the chance of dirty hands and pests is higher. It’s wise to store your printed books in closed containers.

We recommend two types of containers:

Cardboard Boxes

Our Cardboard Boxes: MCRL delivers books in sturdy, reusable double-walled cartons. Our quality cardboard box acts as a good storage container. Obviously, be mindful of humidity to avoid mold and fungus.

Note: not all suppliers use double-walled cardboard but this type of cardboard box can be purchased inexpensively.

Sturdy Dark Plastic Boxes: While plastic containers are more expensive, they do offer additional protection in case of flooding or falls.

Sunlight can affect plastic boxes more than cardboard, especially if you choose clear plastic containers.

plastic container

We recommend stackable dark plastic containers like this one.

2. Store Books Standing Up

books in library

Stacking books horizontally can place undue pressure on book spines, so if possible, store your books in the upright position.

Libraries store books standing up so the spines are visible. We recommend the same practice when storing your books.

If you can’t stand books up, make sure you stack them correctly.

Start with the largest books on the bottom. Then, stack the books like a pyramid so they don’t topple and fall.

A woman is packing books to a box

3. Scatter Some Strong Stuff

plant in a jar

Storing books in your garage or cold cellar is possible, if you do it right. Here are two clever ways of discouraging pests from getting into your books.

Dab cotton balls in mint (or strong smelling essential oil). Place the soaked cotton balls around your book containers (not on the books). The scent should keep mice away.

Sprinkle pepper or insect powder near your books. Just like the cotton balls, don’t put it on the books. This trick will deter pests from scrounging around your prized printed possessions.

There are many practical and financial advantages to having an inventory of books at your fingertips. Amazon and other third-party sites offer book storage and fulfillment services – just make sure to factor these fees into your decision.

We hope this is helpful!

About Us

MCRL has been offset printing books for self-publishers since 2004. We’re known for our bookstore quality printing, eco-conscious materials and hands-on service. Use our experience to your advantage. Book a Call or Request A Quote.

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