How To Store Your Books Safely

storing books in cardboard boxes

The introduction of e-readers raised concerns that print books were going out of style. If our self-storage facilities are any indication, though, books aren’t going to be disappearing anytime soon. Books are one of the most popular items stored here at EZ Storage! That seems to mean that not only are homes filled with books but that we also keep buying more and need somewhere to store them. It’s a great problem to have, really.

If your home or business is starting to become overrun with books, we have the perfect storage space for them, including personal self-storage units and business self-storage units. Whether you can’t part with your paperback romance collection or want to keep your prized sci-fi hardcover collection safe, we make storing your books convenient and affordable. There are several things that you can do before you bring your books to us to store to help them stay safe. Here are some of our best tips for better book storage.

Inspect Your Books for Damage and Clean Them

Before placing your books in storage, it’s a good idea to see if they’ve incurred any damage since the last time you looked at them. Common sources of damage to books include food, liquid, and even bugs. If you notice any of these on your books, make sure to remove them to prevent them from causing further damage. 

Even dust can be damaging to books, which is why it’s so important to clean them before you put them away. Use a microfiber cloth or the soft-bristle attachment on your vacuum to remove dust from the books before you put them into your plastic bins. This will prevent damage and help them stay cleaner while in our storage facility.

After Books are Thoroughly Cleaned, Wrap Them 

Once you’ve cleaned your books and removed any dust and other materials, the next step is to carefully wrap them up. This will prevent minor bumps and tears while protecting the cover as well. Choosing the right wrapping material is critical, however. Wrapping your books in plastic can trap moisture, creating mildew, while the ink on newspaper can run off and stain your books. You should only wrap your books in acid-free archival paper or dust jackets. 

Packing and Storing Your Books

Once you’ve cleaned and wrapped your books, it’s time to pack them up and place them into storage. Here are the steps you’ll want to make sure to follow to keep your books as safe as possible. 


Choosing the right containers to put your books in is critical. Plastic containers are one popular option. They are a safe option for putting items into long-term storage and are especially great for books. They provide protection from moisture as well as pests that could end up ruining your books. Plastic bins also give you a clear view of what’s inside so you can quickly locate a favorite book without opening all the boxes in your storage space to find it. Other options include small cardboard boxes and acid-free archival boxes. 

Organizing and Arranging Books 

Before boxing your books up, take some time to organize them. Placing them in alphabetical order by the author’s last name is typically the easiest way to organize your books. If you have a large collection, it can be helpful to divide your books up by subject, and then alphabetize each subject. Once you’ve organized your books, you’re ready to box them up. 

The best way to store your books is to either lay them flat or stand them up on their bottom edge. If you store them with the spine up, the weight of the pages could end up pulling away from the spine of the book and falling apart. You don’t want to store them leaning on either the front or back cover, either, because this will also weaken the spine and could end up ruining your book. For long-term storage, flat is best; that way you don’t have to worry that your books have tipped and are being damaged.

Take Extra Care With Rare Books

If you are putting rare books into storage, it’s a good idea to take a few extra precautions to ensure they don’t lose their value. You can purchase customized book sleeves for your collection to give them an additional layer of protection. Rare and valuable books should be handled with gloves on, too, since the oils from your hands could end up doing damage to the pages. A book collector can provide you with even more tips and suggestions.

Storing With EZ Storage 

Books should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Direct sunlight, moisture, and heat are all bad for books, especially when they are exposed to those conditions for long periods. If you decide to store your books outside of your home, look for a self-storage facility that offers climate-controlled storage units. These units will maintain a consistent temperature and humidity, preventing your books from being damaged by large swings in temperature or high humidity levels. 

EZ Storage has climate-controlled storage spaces in a variety of sizes so you can safely and easily store your books. We’ll find the space that suits your needs and your budget, whether you are storing a couple of precious books or are storing up books to start your own library someday. Get in touch with our team by giving us a call or contacting us through our website and we’ll make sure you get the space you need quickly and at a great price.


Frequently Asked Questions: 

If you still have questions about how to store books in a storage unit, we’ve brought together answers to a few frequently asked questions below. 

Is it Better to Store Books Upright or Flat?

The best way to store your books is to either lay them flat or stand them up on their bottom edge. If possible, however, you should try to store your books lying flat. 

What is The Best Way to Store Old Books?

If you have old or rare books, it can be a great idea to place them in customized book sleeves before boxing them up. You can also place some silica packets in the box to absorb any residual moisture. Finally, using a climate-controlled storage unit is also a good idea. 

Can you Store Books in Cardboard Boxes?

Yes. Sturdy cardboard boxes can be a great option for storing books, and can even cut down on the risk of mildew by allowing your books to breathe more. Make sure to use smaller boxes, and try not to overcrowd them.