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How To Pack Books

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Man in new flat holding cardboard box,books lying on floor,low section Henrik Sorensen/The Image Bank/Getty Images
There are several ways to pack books and I'll show you three that come recommended by the university library here in town. Each day they pack and ship hundreds of books across the country.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: No set time.

Here's How:

  1. If you're moving long distance and are being charged by weight, make sure you carefully go through your books and determine what you really want to keep and pay to move. Books are heavy. Even paperbacks can add up to a lot of money. And if you're like me, you tend to accumulate a lot over a short time, so find a good home for them and know that someone else will be getting just as much joy from reading them as you did.

  2. Once you've decided which ones you're moving, check the box to make sure it will hold the weight and that it's free from dampness, especially if it's a used box.

  3. Hardcover editions can be packed by placing them in the box standing upright, spine against the box's side, just like you were placing it on a shelf. If you pack books this way, make sure they're packed well, but not too tightly that they can be damaged when removing them.

  4. If the hardcover editions are of moderate value, wrap each one in kraft brown paper before placing them in the box.

  5. Books of great value, such as old photo albums or first editions require stiff cardboard in between each to keep the spines straight and to prevent any movement. Each book should also be protected with paper and placed in a well-padded box. Bubble wrap or foam chips can be used to line the box before you pack each book.

  6. Hardcover editions, as well as paperbacks, can also be packed flat and stacked. Both book types may also be packed spine first with the paper edges facing up. To prevent damage, do not pack books with the paper edges facing down and spines up - this will cause books to warp and pages to bend.

  7. Books can also be packed using all three methods in one box. Just make sure you don't pack books at odd angles.

  8. Finally, use bubble wrap or wadded-up paper to fill any remaining spaces. Books can shift easily during the move, causing damage.

  9. Tape the box closed and label it "books". In the moving truck, do not stack the boxes unless you can properly secure them. Again, books are heavy and if the boxes should topple, they can cause a lot of damage to furniture or other items that aren't as well protected.

  10. If you need to store books for any length of time, make sure the storage facility is dry and cool. And if your books are of high value, you may want to use acid-free paper instead of kraft paper. Acid-free paper won't deteriorate or turn yellow over time.

What You Need

  • Small Boxes
  • Kraft Paper
  • Bubblewrap
  • Tape
  • Marker

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