When you walk into someone’s house for the first time, you can’t help but size them up.
Some people check out the furniture, others give a knowing nod towards the SMEG fridge, and I can’t fault anybody who tries to sneak a peek at the wine collection.
Yes, when you reach an age beyond your 20s, you start to collect liquor that you intend to drink at a later stage.
I, on the other hand, look at people’s bookshelves.
Cookbooks – I’m fine with that.
Unread copies of Shantaram, Kerouac’s On The Road and The Grapes of Wrath? Understandable, although you really need to clear some time to read the latter.
A wide range of self-help books with titles about ‘unlocking your inner potential’? I may not be back.
Ultimately, books are one of those things that you often end up collecting along the way, and they’re usually tough to part with.
(That’s until you lend them to a friend, who promises to return them within a month, and they’re never to be seen again.)
If you’re looking to free up some shelf space around the house, or you’re moving houses and can’t take along all the old classics, you’re going to need to consider storing them.
Self-storage experts Stor-Age have a few handy tips you should bear in mind:
How to prepare your books for storage:
Prior to packing your books away in a self storage unit, make sure to clean them with a dust rag or a soft brush. Focus on all areas of the book, such as the binding, and not just the cover. Dust and dirt accumulate in these areas and can be transferred to other books, ruining them over time.
It goes without saying, but it’s important to keep your books away from any moisture. If a book feels damp, rather place it in a dry space until it has completely dried out – storing a damp book leads to mold and mildew.
Steinbeck didn’t slave over a typewriter so you could store his masterpiece in damp conditions. Come on now.
Then comes the Packing and organising your books in storage:
You may want to consider wrapping each book in a layer of protective material such as a cloth or bubble-wrap. Don’t use newspaper or plastic sheets as the ink from the newspaper can stain while plastic sheets can create a build-up of moisture.
Make use of strong boxes or containers and either pack them flat or stand them on their sides to avoid damaging the edges. Never pack your books on their spines or front edges and don’t stack any heavy boxes on top of them.
You may have space in the garage, or have a spare room to tuck the boxes away in, and we’re happy for you.
If you don’t, that’s where the pros at Stor-Age come in. They have a wide range of packing materials on site, and you’ll find their locations are dotted around all of South Africa’s major cities.
Better still, they’re giving 2oceansvibe readers 50% off their first month’s rental, and you can use their secure storage spots on a month-by-month basis.
Treat your books with the appropriate amount of respect, and please read those classics.
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