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How to Prevent Books From Turning Yellow

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you're a book collector or just want to keep your own library in good condition for years to come, there are various ways to store and care for books in order to prevent bindings from fading or pages from turning yellow. Taking care of your books will prolong their life so you can pass them down to children or other family members. While it's natural for certain degrees of deterioration to occur after time, handling the books with care will keep that process from progressing too quickly.

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  1. Store books away from direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun will fade book covers and damage paper pages, prompting them to yellow over time.

  2. Avoid placing books in high humidity locations, such as the basement or attic. High humidity levels with increased moisture in the air will damage paper. Likewise, low humidity areas will dry paper out, leaving it to yellow and tear.

  3. Ensure books are stored in an area with circulating air, such as a room or library in the house. Make sure if books are stored near a wall they have at least three inches between the pages and wall to allow for air circulation. If the books are in a cabinet, the cabinet should be three inches away from the wall. Leave an inch or two distance between the books and back wall of the cabinet for proper air circulation.

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