PO Box 176, Annandale NSW 2038, Australia.
Phone: (02) 9550-1258 (late afternoon or message).


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1. Do not place a partly read book open and face down. This may damage the spine. Use a bookmark.

2. Protect the dustjacket of a hardback with archival or semi-archival plastic sleeves. These can be purchased ready made, but it is cheaper to buy a roll of archival plastic and cut to fit the size of the book. Plastic sleeves should not be used in humid climates as the plastic does not allow the book to breathe.

3. Do not annotate books with biro or texta marks. Use only a soft pencil, such as 4B, 5B or 6B (never the common HB).

4. Do not tear out any pages, or snip the corner of pages or dustjackets. Do not fold back the corner of pages or use a paperclip as a bookmark (use a proper bookmark). Similarly, the use of rubber bands and string ties can damage books.

5. Do not remove a book from the bookshelf by grabbing the top of the spine. This can tear or damage the top of the spine. Get hold of the book by placing fingers on both sides of the book at the centre of the spine.

6. Do not leave bookmarks, post-it notes or other pieces of paper in books. Newspaper is especially bad as it will eventually discolour the pages.

7. Do not press flowers in books.


1. Store books in a bookcase, not in piles on the floor.

2. Store books upright in a single row on a bookshelf (not with one row behind another row).

3. Do not store books too tightly in a row (too hard to remove), or too loosely (they fall over and the cover becomes distorted).

4. Do not store books in direct sunlight. This distorts the covers, and fades the dustjackets, especially the spines. Yellow and orange colours are particularly susceptible to fading.

5. If possible, do not store a book flat with other books piled on top of it. If the stack is not aligned properly, undue pressure is exerted on the bottom book, and this slackens the spine so that the spine is no longer vertical to the covers.

6. Store books in a well-ventilated room, with regular air circulation, without excessive cold or hot drafts.

7. Keep bookcases away from damp-affected walls. Moisture in the air tends to condense on the walls. Furthermore, rising damp is a common problem in old houses. Bookcases are better placed back-to-back in the centre of a room. If they must be placed along a wall, leave a gap between the bookcase and the wall.

8. Do not store books permanently in boxes, especially in garages or attics (which are often damp and dirty, and have poor ventilation).

9. Ideal conditions for book storage are about 18 - 20 degrees Celsius and 40 to 60% relative humidity. However, more important than these exact values are constant conditions, that is, avoid frequent large changes in temperature and humidity.


1. To remove sticky labels, sticky residue, texta marks and minor dirt from covers, dab with a mild solvent such as De-Solv-It (RCR International, hardware stores). Test this out on a cheap book first. (Be careful: the solvent may stain pages and some cardboard and "furry" covers.) Sticky price labels should be removed because they may eventually stain the book.

2. Small amounts of glue can be used to repair a loose spine, and to stick bookplates onto the flyleaf. Use only good-quality acid-free (neutral pH) woodworking (PVA) glue (made from wood pulp, as are books), eg, Helmar brand. Other types of glue stain and wrinkle pages.

3. Mold on the cloth covers of books is easily identified as branching "pimples" on the covers. This cannot be removed. Keep your books well-ventilated and away from damp walls. This also minimizes the risk of foxing (brown spotting) and damp-staining, and prevents the formation of a musty or dusty smell.

4. For major restoration work on rare books, consult a professional book restoration service. A common charge is $50 to $150 per book.


A common problem with paperbacks that are ten or more years old is that the hinge readily cracks when opened, and the pages will eventually fall out. This potential problem is easily identified by a cracking sound when the book is opened. This is caused by the poor quality glue used during manufacture, as well as by the book being infrequently opened.

This problem can be minimized by regularly opening and closing the book every month or two. If you suspect the hinge of a newly acquired paperback may crack, open it carefully as follows. Firstly, rest the book upright on its spine and hold the book vertically. Gently open the first few front pages and lay them flat. Then repeat for the last few back pages. Repeat for the next few front pages, then the next few back pages, and so on, until the book is gently opened flat at the centre pages. Do not push down too hard.