Cup of tea break: Looking after book

February 08, 2013

I don't know about you, but I was never taught how to look after a book or how to open it with care.
My mum would always tell me to turn the page from the corner rather than from the middle, to put it in plastic bag/ dustcover when transporting it, but I didn't quite get to grips with the concept of caring for my books until my collection rapidly expanded and I fell in love with the physical specimen as well as the stories inside. Last year I was given an old copy of Villette, from the Folio Society, but when I attempted to read it the spine was falling to pieces and left remnants of itself all around the house. It was disintegrating and I didn't know what to do. This book was perhaps beyond revival, it needed more of a palliative treatment, but for the future here are the tips I have learnt to take care of my books.

  • Be careful when transporting your books, preferably use a dustcover, and don't just put them in the bottom of your bag with lots of objects piled on top.
  • Avoid pulling them off the bookshelf from the top. 
(This is my beloved copy of Villette which wasn't looked after by its previous owner.)

Opening a Book:
DO NOT suddenly jerk the book open in one go.

You will notice that the pages will gradually seperate themselves as the binding loosens.

Step 5: Repeat the whole process several times.

This should prevent the spine from breaking and avoid pages from coming loose.

And there we have it, a book that has been cared for!

I hope this helps to keep your books in good condition!

Do you have any tips of your own?


  1. Amazing! Never even thought for one second there was a special way to care for books. and I love books, so thank you :) x

    1. I know, it's easily overlooked! There are so many pretty books making their way onto my shelf so it's definitely worth looking after them a little. I'm glad I helped :) X

  2. I love this, I always try to be careful with my books, I want them to last. I love being able to pass books on, being able to go get old books from second hand book shops, it's worth looking after them!

    1. Me too, I always used to be a bit reckless and just let one fly about in the bottom of my bag, but I avoid that now! Yes, it's also made me more selective about the condition of a book I pick up from a second hand bookshop X

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