What Can Damage Your Old Books?

Protecting old books from damage

Whether you have finally decided to take on antique book collecting as a hobby or were handed down a family legacy to take care of, it’s important for you to note that old books need a lot of attention. You are going to need to allot some time to maintain them so that they don’t get damaged easily. In their current condition, old books are already prone to wear and tear. Protecting your acquisitions from stuff that can further damage them is the key to preserving these valuable materials.

Protecting old books from damage

The legacy left behind by my Father

There are a lot of things that can contribute to the deterioration of antique books. One of them is the manner by which the paper used was produced. A lot of materials that were published during the 19th century used highly acidic paper. This technology made vintage books more prone to crumbling over time.

Humidity and temperature changes

– can also damage old books. This can also be traced to the material used to publish these materials. Moisture and heat can cause a book to deteriorate much faster. Add dust, mildew and molds to the mix and you’ll end up with a deteriorated antique that is almost beyond restoration.


– that are known to eat the pulp that is used for book paper can also cause sever damage to your pages. It is best to store your antique tomes in a room that is properly ventilated but free from pests and insects.

The binds and hinges

– of most old books should also be taken into consideration. The binding of old books are not as strong as the ones that we have today. While most books have leather covers, the hinge part isn’t really well supported considering that this actually takes the weight of the book when you open it. Frequently used books suffer from being broken apart at the spine because the binding isn’t strong enough.


– can also cause old books to further discolor. Fluorescent light can cause yellowing in vintage books due to chemical reaction with the acid in the wood pulp. It can also cause fading.

The cramped space

– where books are stored can also contribute to further damages on an old book. For the most part, when books are shelved too close together, they tend to stick to each other. This could further ruin a volume beyond repair so, again, it’s important that your book arrangement allow for air to at least circulate.

These are just a few of the many factors that can cause damage to your old books. Be mindful of these corrosives so you can prolong the life of your vintage acquisitions.