Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated August 25, 2020)
There are quite a few times in life when taking care of your possessions can feel like it is a full time job in and of itself. I have found though, that like just about everything else in life, the more organized I am, the easier it is to take care of those possessions that I have. One of the groups of possessions that seems to almost always be in need of care (and therefore organization) is books. The better that you take care to organize your books, the better condition they are going to be in if you ever decide to sell them again, or at the very least decide to collect them as an investment.
The first thing that you should do when you are trying to take care of your books is to separate and organize them. As you are going through your books, separate them into various piles. Choose through what you are and are not going to keep, what is in good condition and what is not. After you have decided and separated your books into these piles, take anything that you are not going to hold onto and take those books to a second hand store. These stores are great for one very important reason—they typically offer credit or trade for the books that you bring into them for use in the store.
I have noticed that paperback books seem to take the most care. Paperback books typically get ruined easily since they are more inexpensive to make, and therefore are usually made from cheaper materials. As such, the pages get torn and wrinkled so much easier than with hardbacks. If you find that your book's pages have gotten wrinkled pages try putting a sheet of paper on top of the wrinkled page and press with a warm iron. Basically, just iron the wrinkles out. You can typically mend those torn pages with either gummed tissue, or try gluing some rice paper over the tears, to keep your newly repaired pages from getting stuck to each other just use some waxed paper.
Remember that liquids and books do not mix. So as you are laying out your new library, make sure that you store your books somewhere that you run a low risk of getting your books wet. On the off chance that you do get your pages wet, try just putting the book into a frost-free freezer. This draws out the moisture in the paper and un-stick's the pages. This might just leave your pages wrinkled, which means that you need to use the above method for removing the wrinkles.
If you lend a book to a friend, you could write 'Please return to (your name)' inside the front cover. If you do this, you do not want to use permanent ink since it is permanent, and you are not going to be able to remove the inscription. This means that your book's resale value. In the event that you do not want to do that, just keep the book jacket, if it has one, and make a note of the borrower and the date. It will remind you to ask for the book after a reasonable time.
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