How to safely store a rare or signed first edition book

6 Tips For Longevity

  • 31.03.23
  • David Headley
How to safely store a rare or signed first edition book

Often, one of the immediate thoughts any book collector has after acquiring a sought after book or signed first edition is; now where can I store this safely?

As a team of book collectors ourselves, we’re often asked what’s the safest way to preserve rare books and books likely to increase in value in the future (such as our beautiful Premier Book Club editions).

In this useful guide, we share everything you need to know about storing signed first editions and rare books, to help them remain in good condition for years to come.

How do you preserve a collectible book?

Here are some tips to help you safely store your signed first edition books.

  1. Opt for cool, dry conditions
    The first step to preserving a signed first edition book is to store it in a cool, dry place. This helps to prevent damage from temperature fluctuations, which can cause the book to expand and contract, potentially damaging the spine and pages.

    You should avoid storing the book in direct sunlight, as well as in damp or humid areas.

  2. Store the book vertically
    It is recommended to store the book vertically on a shelf, rather than stacked on top of other books. This helps to prevent damage to the spine and cover of the book. Additionally, it is important to avoid putting heavy items on top of the book, as this too can cause damage to the pages and spine.

  3. Use book supports
    Book supports, also known as book cradles, can be used to help support the spine of the book and prevent damage. These supports are available in various sizes and materials and can be easily placed inside the book.

  4. Add a protective cover
    If you want to provide additional protection for your rare or signed first edition book, consider using a protective cover. A clear plastic cover can help to protect the book from dust, moisture, and other potential hazards. Additionally, some protective covers are made of acid-free materials to help prevent damage to the book over time.

  5. Avoid handing the spine
    It is important to handle the book with care, especially when turning the pages. As such we would advise you to avoid handling the book by the spine, as this can cause damage. Instead, hold the book by the cover or the bottom of the pages.

    Some seasoned collectors will even go as far as never reading the book at all, as to preserve its condition further.

  6. Regularly check the condition of the book
    It’s not enough to store your book away and hope the steps you’ve taken will keep it in a good condition. Rare books should be checked at least yearly, so you can address any issues that may have arisen.Keep dust away from settling in the top edge.

    If you do notice any signs of damage, such as a tear in the pages, it is important to take steps to repair the book as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

In conclusion, storing a signed first edition book requires special care and attention. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your book remains in good condition for years to come and retain its value as a valuable investment.

Browse Goldsboro's extensive range of rare, signed and first edition books today or join our Premier Book Club to get handpicked, often future bestsellers delivered to your door.