I include a section on books because I like books. A lot. I have an awfully lot of them. For many years now, an inordinate amount of my life seems to have involved putting books into banana boxes, schlepping them across town or across the country, storing them, and finally taking them out again. I like the taking-out part. Often times they would have been in storage for months or years, and it's like running into an old friend. You'd sit and have a cup of coffee with an old friend. Catch up. Compare memories. In my case, this taking-out and catching-up can enjoyably piddle away an entire afternoon. But I do go on.
I don't have a lot to say about storing, protecting, and displaying books. Bookcases do an admirable job of this, and bookcases are not the sort of things I do in my shop -except for building more & more for my own books. If you need bookcases, see what I have to say about Hiring Carpenters and other Useful Things. If you want to get real fancy, have a carpenter build you the shelves & all, and then have him / her add glass doors from the home-center store. Like an old fashioned lawyer's book cases.
I do have just a little to say about preservations of books though. Books are subject to damage from light, bugs etc. and moisture. Read up on Preservation, paying particular attention to UV Damage, Bio-Hazards, and Desiccants.
I can offer one product for any extra-special books you want to show off a little. Put it in a Shadow Box. Under Glass even, or more accurately -behind plastic. And remember, plastic is better because UV light doesn't get through like it does with glass. Less fading this way.
For example, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing I designed my shadow-boxes for. Bill's mother made this doll for him when he was a wee lad. Notice the book. I had this exact Golden Book I hasd when I was little too and remember it fondly. I mentioned it to him and Bill was able to find it on eBay and add it to his shadow-box / memento.
Folks of a certain age might remember the story of the African child who had some difficulty with one or more tigers. He climbed a tree and somehow got them to chase one another around and around the tree. Doing so made them melt into butter. (I recall having some difficulty with this concept when I was little). The story finishes with Sambo climbing down from the tree, collecting the butter and going home where his mother makes him pancakes out of it. (I also recall being concerned that the butter would be dirty.)
Strange what we remember from the wonder and confusion that was childhood, isn't it? Perhaps I wasn't a particularly bright child.
Not sure what to say about the PC'ness of such a story and doll in this day and age. But I will say this -it is an important piece of Americana - if only to Bill- and I am glad to have helped him protect and display it.
The Heritage Bookshop and Bindery is a wonderful site all about books, and books is what I collect. Probably a good thing I don't live in LA where these folks have their shop. I'd be broke and destitute an living on the street -BUT, I'd be pushing a grocery-cart full of beautiful first-edition books.
Gaylord Brothers has a free on-line book, Book Craft with excellent advice on caring for books. And they are nice people. Much of what they do has to do with libraries. I like libraries. Libraries are full'a books after all!
The Rare Books & Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association addresses some frequently asked questions about rare and older books and their values.
The Library of Congress -of all people- has useful stuff to say about preserving books.
This D. J. MaAdam person -whom I take to be a real live human, but one never knows- is evidently a scholar of the first stripe. He has some great stuff to say about books and book collecting. He has some stuff to say about a great many other topics, but iz'all good.