Books and Humidity

For the longest time, I’ve been wondering how to prevent the pages of a book from turning yellow as it gets old. I thought that the yellowing of the book is because of the humidity and that if I kept my books inside bookshelves with glass panels, they’ll be relatively safe. But that’s not exactly the case. Books kept in bookshelves age slower than books kept in bookshelves without panels but they still get old.

So I searched in Google on how books should be treated in humid areas and some websites that came up mention the use of a dehumidifier. Hmm I know that we sometimes put dehumidifier inside closets. Maybe I can do that with my bookshelves too.

One of the sites that I found actually has a funny tip: Buy two books – one for reading and one for collection. I actually have two copies of a couple of books but that’s because I keep one copy for myself for rereading and the other copy is for lending.

Anyway, I realize that it’s hard to worry too much about books and that no matter what happens, they will get old. As long as I do what I can to take care of my books (i.e. cover paperbacks in plastic, use bookmarks to prevent dog ears), I won’t worry too much about things that I can’t control. Besides, age gives books more character.

16 thoughts on “Books and Humidity

  1. Hahaha Mike, hindi kaya ng powers ko ang designer bags. Hanggang Charles & Keith lang ako. šŸ˜› Pero yeah, naisip ko yung lifetime ng books ko dapat masabayan lang din naman lifetime ko diba? So no need to worry too much.

  2. Yeah, that’s what it said on other sites that I’ve found too. Like paperback books really don’t last long because they have lower quality. And most of my books are paperbacks. Oh well, I’m not really a collector anyway. I just want my books to last so I can read them over and over again.
    Wow, 200-year-old books! That sounds amazing.

  3. Older, actually. My Rollins Ancient History–printed for schoolboys of the upper crust, admittedly–dates back to the early 1700s, though it was rebound in the mid 1800s. My Letters of Lord Chesterfield was published shortly after he died.

  4. My grandmother got the Rollins at a garage sale for ten bucks (seven volumes) back in the early seventies–the thing about personal libraries here is, too often when the old folks die off, their kids dump the books onto the nearest used book store or junk dealer. (I’m sure mine will be treated the same way, unless my kids marry and have a kid who is a reader.) The Chesterfield I found in a used bookstore in Berkeley for fifteen bucks, again in the seventies. It had never been opened, which partly explains the condition–the leaves were uncut. It sat on someone’s shelf unread for over a century.

  5. too often when the old folks die off, their kids dump the books onto the nearest used book store or junk dealer. -> This is why you can get such great deals at garage sales or used book stores. I don’t know if I should feel bad for the old owners or feel good for the new ones who’ll get great finds.
    Your kids aren’t readers? I do hope you have a grandchild who’s a reader. I’d hate for your personal library to go to waste. Sayang! (Tagalog word which roughly translates to “what a pity!”)

  6. I will look that up to find out the pronunciation. What a nifty word!
    Yes–as long as the books don’t go to a trash dump (and many do) it’s good for them to find readers, however it happens.

  7. Most Tagalog words are spell as pronounced (is the reverse is read as spelled?) so it’s SA-yang with emphasis on the first syllable.
    Sigh. That’s so sad. Books should be passed on and not thrown away.

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