Are you proud of your library? Do you take pride in your collection of books and novels? Books can be a prized possession, particularly for those who love reading and expanding their minds to new horizons. While reading is great, moving books isn’t so much. While a single page may seem nearly weightless, combine tens of thousands of them and paper can suddenly seem immensely heavy. This means moving books isn’t always an enjoyable task, but by following these few tips, you can make moving your books to your new home easier than you might have thought.
Optimize Your Collection
Book collectors will often tell you they’re not sure how their libraries grew so large, but the easiest answer is a slow, steady accumulation of novels over the years. Like moving the rest of your home, the first step to moving should be to go through your possessions and eliminate anything you don’t need to hang on to. Of course treasured possessions, gifts from friends, rare novels, and other important books should go with you, but now is a great time to go through and pick out any volumes that you don’t need and either sell them, donate them, or consider giving them away for someone else to enjoy them. This should eliminate a good chunk of the weight you would otherwise have to move.
Sort & Group Your Books
Optimizing your collection will actually help you with this important step. When it comes to going through your library, you’re going to want to sort everything into two groups: pack and leave behind. Books you should consider leaving behind (in other words, selling, donating, or throwing away) should include the ones that you aren’t as concerned with, or books which have become damaged over time and shouldn’t really stay in your collection unless they have sentimental value. Once you have sorted your books, you can take the appropriate action with each group.
Get the Proper Supplies
Packing books becomes much easier when you have the proper supplies. Book boxes should be your first purchase—they’re constructed of thicker cardboard to make them more durable and capable of lifting heavier loads. You should also make sure you grab packing paper to protect any delicate or valuable books, and newspaper to fill in any air gaps or spaces and prevent your books from becoming damaged during the move. Finally, always make sure to use lots of packing tape and label each of your boxes once it’s packed, including placing a label indicating that the box is heavy.
Reinforce Your Boxes
Book boxes are reasonably strong, but not everybody uses these boxes for their library. In fact, if you’ve been given donated or free boxes from a grocery store or a friend who has access to some, you really have no control over what you get. So when relying on one of these boxes to pack your books and other heavy possessions, you should take some extra steps to secure and reinforce them. Tape the joints and bottom hinges on your box, as well as double-taping the seams to add some extra strength. If you’re going to be loading up a box to its limits, you may also wish to tape up the corners of the box to prevent any splitting or tearing during transport. A little bit of extra packing tape can go a long way towards preserving your books and preventing damage.
How do you pack books to minimize damage? There’s one way you should never pack them if you want to preserve their integrity and prevent damage: pages facing down, spine facing up. A dropped box with the books in this fashion will bend hardcover corners and rip the pages from their bindings. It will also place immense pressure on the box itself, risking a sudden rip or tear.
Pack your books in one of these three ways:
- Upright: The easiest way to pack books is to place them in the box exactly as you would on a shelf, with the spine facing the side of the box. This way you can easily and seamlessly lift the books out of the box and place them on your shelf.
- Flat: Placing your books with the covers down is also an extremely safe way to pack books. Be sure to place your larger, heavier volumes on the bottom of each box and your smaller books on top if you choose to do this, and fill in gaps with newspaper.
- Spines down: This also isn’t a particularly safe way to pack books, but if you need to, it’s far safer to pack books in this manner than it is with the spine facing up. This will at least minimize the damage to the box, and books are less likely to lose their pages if dropped in this position.