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Taking Care Of Antique Books

Jan 24, 2008
The knowledge of the value of antique items is no longer a secret among the select few. Almost everybody has an idea that something, even if it's centuries old is still known to function the way it was meant to. It is because of this fact that antiques (especially those in good condition) are highly valued and are equally highly priced.

Auction houses are a good gauge of how much people value their antiques. Houses like Christie's and Sotheby's gets a high market auctioning off antique items and sometimes even at record breaking high prices. When you buy an antique object, you of course are not just claiming the aesthetic quality that it will bring your house, but also the investment you have made. After all, the older an antique item is and the better condition it is in, the higher the price it will fetch you someday. As always, the value of antiques is only kept if the item itself is maintained in top quality, as close to its original state as possible. Safeguarding and maintaining the quality of antiques does not only apply to furniture, but is also heeded when caring for beautiful antique books.

Nothing beats the scent of old books, first editions that still have traces of slight editorial imperfections that make them all the more endearing and valuable. An important step in taking care of antique books is first to check the book. Look through it and try to identify the most fragile parts. You need to pay closer attention to it and that would also give you an idea on the proper handling of the item. The spine is known to be the most fragile part of the book as it is the thinnest portion. It is also the part that suffers the most damage each time the book is opened. Most antique books are leather bound; if this is the case then you can protect the spine by applying mild leather moisturizer to that part to keep it from being brittle.

Keep your books in a clean dry place and like any antique, make sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight and an excess of moisture or humidity. These books have to be kept away form Ultraviolet light, because UV rays can cause a great deal of damage to the external parts of the book and if the contents are exposed, it can cause the ink to fade. To further protect the book, try covering it with a clear plastic cover found in most bookstores and school supply stores. Repairing a book should be done with the aid of an expert, because a misguided attempt of a novice can only cause the book further damage, therefore inevitably reducing its value.

Antique books are an important relic of days past. It gives us a glimpse into the manner of thinking of our ancestors. The romantic language and the innovative ideas bring the past closer and in turn keeping us grounded to our current beliefs and values. Taking care of antique book items proves to be a way to show our appreciation and gratitude to days past.
About the Author
Benedict Hunter writes articles for Driscolls Antique Furniture and Beemoved Local Removal Company
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