Packing books can be a relatively simple part of the moving process. Unlike electronics and precious china, the piles of paperbacks you’ve accumulated over the years usually don’t require special packing attention — it’s easy to stack them in a box or suitcase and call it a day. However, for those bibliophiles with carefully curated, valuable collections and early editions from literary elites like Hemingway, Orwell or Fitzgerald, moving becomes a bit trickier. These precious pieces of history require unique care and attention.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start the packing process.

Find out their true value

Hire an expert to appraise your books at least one month prior to your move date so you have an estimation of their fair market value. You can find resources online or check with respected booksellers in your area. This may seem like common sense, but choose a trusted appraiser who charges a flat or hourly fee rather than one who will take a percentage of what your collection is worth.

Inform your movers

Movers need to know about your valuables ahead of time to ensure proper handling and care. Point out your collection during your walk-through with your mover. You’ll probably need to fill out a High-Value Inventory Form, which can be given to you by your moving representative. On this form you’ll list all items over a certain value. Make sure to ask any questions you might have at this point so your concerns are resolved before move-in day.

Get better boxes

Leftover cardboard boxes from your local grocery store or farmers market simply won’t make the cut when you’re moving your literary treasury. We encourage you to buy sturdy, new boxes to avoid accidental damage. The Library of Congress suggests you choose smaller boxes for easier, safer handling, and to avoid those with acid and lignin. Make sure the boxes are completely dry, as damp conditions could cause mold growth between the precious pages.

Pack them up

Line your boxes with bubble wrap — the bubbles should face the bottom with the smooth side placed against the books. According to the British Library Preservation Advisory Centre, you can also line your box with foam padding to avoid potentially harmful vibrations. Wrap books in acid-free tissue to avoid abrasions and carefully lay them flat in the box to prevent excessive strain on the material. You can also pack books that are sturdy and in great condition on their spine, but be aware that this may weaken the binding and deteriorate the structure of older books.

Our highly skilled experts are here to ensure your peace of mind during the moving process. We can help you choose the best materials to protect your literary treasures and provide you with expert advice. Give us a call today! We’ll make your move a breeze so you can curl up in your new home and dive into the pages of your extraordinary novels.  

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