Bibliophilia, or the love of books and reading, is the animating force behind some truly amazing personal libraries. If you’re a bibliophile yourself and want to add to your home with a collection of your own, learn what every book collector should know before getting started.
Shelve Your Books Away From the Sun
While you don’t need to consign your books to the basement, you should position them out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light can affect papers and inks, causing not only the gradual degradation of the pages but also the fading of spines, bleaching the vivid orange of a Penguin Classic to a sickly yellowish beige. To protect your books, place your shelf on a wall that doesn’t receive a lot of direct sunlight. You may want to draw some curtains in your reading room just to be safe.
How To Make the Repairs
Even the book lovers among us can be a little rough with our prized possessions. Or maybe we’ve come across rare but woebegone editions that need a little TLC. That’s why any book collector should have the supplies and the know-how to repair their old books. By knowing how to restore a book whose spine has failed and having the right tape to keep it all together, you can not only rescue a book for your own enjoyment, but also help fellow readers out of similar jams.
Do It for the Love of Literature
If you’re of a certain age, you might remember the Beanie Babies craze of the mid-1990s. The pseudo-rarity of these plush animals led collectors to believe that their retirement savings lay in such colorful curiosities as Garcia, the Grateful Dead Bear. They were sadly mistaken. Most of them are now worth next to nothing—should have stuck with municipal bonds. Every book collector should know that this hobby is something they’re doing for personal enjoyment, not because it’s particularly lucrative. The resale values of the books you buy aren’t likely to skyrocket in the coming years. If you want to ride the rollercoaster of fluctuating asset values, try cryptocurrency. Collect books only for yourself—and your shelf.