In an ideal world, the best place to store books is in a space designed especially for that: a library, preferably with air conditioning. Fragile, paper can easily deteriorate and, over the years, turn yellow, have an unpleasant odor and accumulate fungi, mold and dust.
But what should the ideal home look like for someone who is a fan of books and doesn’t have a space dedicated to them? We’ve gathered experts to answer!
1. Basic care
Any corner of the house can be used to store books, but it is necessary to observe some conditions to prevent the paper from deteriorating. “Avoiding dust and humidity is the main care. It is also worth keeping books away from excessive light and heat, as they also affect the integrity of the covers and pages”, he explains. João Paulo Dukearchitect at Patrícia Penna Architecture and Interior Design (@patricia_penna_arquitetura).
The preference is always for well-ventilated rooms and in places away from windows and sunlight, which can fade them.
2. Correct storage
Closed furniture can accumulate moisture inside, which is harmful to books. If you choose cabinets with doors, open them often to air them out, avoid storing them in places inside rooms with poor ventilation and natural light, or opt for slatted and straw doors, which help the air circulate.
Another good solution is bookcases, shelves and open niches. They make books accessible and still incorporate passion into the decor. In these cases, however, cleaning should be done quite frequently to remove dust from the publications.
3. Standing or lying down?
Books should be stored, preferably, vertically, to facilitate access and prevent them from being crumpled or marked by the weight of each other. If the goal is to use a more elaborate book as a specific decoration, it is possible to stack a few volumes and spread them horizontally on furniture and shelves. There are also bookends, which accommodate a small amount of volumes standing.
4. Organization of titles
The organization of books is something personal and depends on the taste of the owner of the collection. The options are varied: in alphabetical order, genre, subject, author, size, year of publication or color of the spine – in the latter case, the books become a beautiful colorful decoration.
“The important thing is to be tidy, without mess, that attracts attention in a negative way. In this way, they become part of the decoration”, highlights Rafaela Oliveiraorganization specialist and creator of Organize No Frills (@organizesemfrescuras). She suggests doing a sorting from time to time and keeping only those you like or will actually read.
5. Constant cleaning
Cleaning the books is a lot of work, but it should be done frequently if the idea is to keep them in good condition for longer and avoid the appearance of insects, such as spiders and moths, which love paper.
A slightly damp cloth can be used to dust the covers one by one. “Cleaning should be repeated on the books and furniture where they are. Never use abrasive products, which can damage and stain the covers”, he suggests. Luiz Guilherme Nascimentohead of operations and strategies for the furniture brand Veromobili.
6. Decorative items
Books express a lot of the resident’s tastes and lifestyle, so there are those who use them displayed in the living room to add a touch of personality to the home. Others, still, prefer to accommodate them in the home office to give more seriousness to the space.
“Larger, hardcover books with a prettier spine can become decorative objects. You can stack them on a coffee table and place some ornament on top, making a beautiful composition”, says Rafaela.
7. Reading space
Setting up a corner to read a book doesn’t need many accessories. “All you need is a comfortable armchair, close to natural light, a floor or table lamp, a footrest and a coffee table for drinks”, says Duque. It is also important that the space is positioned in a quiet place in the house, which does not have much interference from noises that interfere with reading.
8. Ideal lighting
It is best to read in a bright environment, with natural or general diffused lighting. For those who like to read in bed, it is essential to have a lamp on the bedside support furniture so you don’t strain your eyes.
“The correct thing is a lamp that you can adjust the angle and focus, directing the light to the center of the book. Regarding the type of lamp, it is recommended to use a more yellowish temperature, like 3000K, and a lower power”, ends Birth.