For the most part books are a fairly sturdy invention designed to last and are meant to be handled, with care. That said there are a few steps to ensure your books remain in the best possible condition for the longest possible time. There are also some further measures you can take for extra special volumes in your collection. Bookseller recommended companies who provide book care supplies include Brodart and Demco.
These are tips that every book owner should follow even if they do not consider themselves a collector. These basic precautions should be taken with any book to ensure a long life.
One cannot afford to give the upmost protection to every volume as advanced protection methods can be become very expensive. Here are a few affordable suggestions to add additional protection to the bulk of your collection.
The best protection you can provide your most treasured books is a custom-made case or box. This kind of protection is not cheap as it must be custom-made to the size of each specific book and will probably end up costing something north of $100 per book. This type of protection should be considered for only the most valuable and fragile books. There are a few different kinds of cases or boxes.
Owing to the value placed on books in their original state, any repairs made to highly collectible books ought to be completed only after considerable thought and research. If you are unsure about how restoring your book may affect the value of your collection you may want to seek an appraisal of your book in its current condition and compare that to the value of similar volumes which have undergone restorative work.
Once you are sure that repairing your book is the best course of action find a book binder or restorer who specializes in the type of repair you require. Your favorite rare book seller (or ILAB member) should be able to help recommend a book restoration expert in your area.