If you’re a book lover, you may be struggling with the best way to move your library from one home to another. It’s really not as difficult as it may seem. Even if you have thousands of titles on your shelves, packing books is not difficult, nor is moving them from one location to another. The biggest challenges are space conservation and moving efficiency.

Packing Books

How to Pack Your Books to Minimize Damage

If your mover is charging you by the weight as many long distance movers do, then you should make sure you really want to keep every book you move. There’s no sense paying for moving items you don’t want to keep. So go through your book inventory and separate the books you want from the ones you don’t prior to your move. Hold a yard sale to get rid of your unwanted titles, donate them to a mission or library, or toss them. You’ll save yourself a bundle if you do this first.

Next, acquire good solid boxes. You don’t want to pack books in flimsy boxes that will fall apart. You need sturdy boxes that are not too large – less than a 3 cu. ft. size is recommended for books.

Wrap your hardcover books in kraft brown paper and pack them in boxes with the spines against the side of the box. Use acid-free paper if you’ll be storing books in a storage facility for a long period of time. Acid-free paper won’t turn yellow or deteriorate over time. Don’t pack them too tightly. Instead, pack them as if placing them on a shelf.

Other books of high value such as photo albums, coffee table books, or special editions should be packed with a piece of cardboard between them to prevent the spines from bending. Books tend to shift during a move, and that could cause some spine or cover bending, which will de-value the books.

When packing paperback books, stack them with covers face up or down, or, alternatively, pack them with spines down. If you stack paperbacks with spines up, the pages will bend and the books will warp.

If you have empty space between any books, fill it with bubble wrap or paper. This will prevent shifting and warping of your books. It’s typical that you will have books of different sizes in the same box so you will have some empty space. When your boxes are full, tape them closed and label them ‘books.’

If you plan to store your books in a facility for any length of time, make sure it is dry and cool.