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How to Pack and Move Books

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Are you a bibliophile who likes to keep their books in pristine condition? Does the prospect of moving all the tomes in your home fill you with dread far beyond moving costs?

Well worry no more, because here's how to carefully transport your reading material from your old home to your new one without having to think about damaged covers, dog-eared pages or the most frightening prospect of all: water damage.


To get your books safely ensconced in their new home you will need to get your hands on some basic packing materials, including:
  • Packing paper or unprinted newsprint
  • Small to medium sized moving boxes
  • Packing tape
  • A permanent marker

The packing process

Once all your supplies are on hand, it's time to begin packing your past and future reads.
  • Secure the bottom of the box. To ensure that the box you will be packing your books in doesn't rip in transit or while being moved, secure the bottom with several pieces of heavy duty packing tape. Remember, books are heavier than they look, especially en masse.
  • Separate books by sizes. In order to maximum space, pack similarly sized books together. For example, all mass market paperbacks should be bundled together as well as paperbacks and hardcovers, keeping like with like. For boxes with multiple sizes of books, keep heavier books on the bottom and lighter ones on top.
  • Wrap your books. Wrap expensive, fragile (read: old) or collectible books in packing paper or unprinted newsprint as regular printed newspaper may stain the covers of your reads.
  • Stack the literature. To protect the spines and pages of your books, pack them either standing up with the books' pages touching the edges of the box (as if they were on a bookshelf), or with the books laying flat. To maximize room, you can even do a combination of the two, packing the bottom row of your box with hardcovers as if you were stocking a bookshelf and filling in any leftover space on top by laying light books flat as a second row.
  • Do not over pack the box. It's important to not put too many books in one box or it will be heavy and difficult to move. To make sure this does not happen, only pack your literature in small or medium sized boxes. Milk crates and storage containers are also available as a greener alternative and have built-in hand holds.
  • Fill in any openings. So your literature doesn't shift during transit, place packing paper in any gaps left behind after you have loaded the moving box.
  • Seal and label your box. After your books are packed, seal the box with packing tape and label it clearly with a permanent marker on the top, and at least two sides with the room you want it moved to and a description of the contents within.
  • Load it in the truck. To avoid damage, stack heavier book boxes on the floor of your moving truck with lighter boxes on top.

TIP: If you have rolling luggage in your possession, place as many of your books as you can inside. Not only will the luggage (which is designed to take a lot of damage) protect your literature, but the wheels will make the dense books easier to move.

Hire professional movers

Still concerned about packing and moving your literature on your own? Hire professional movers to take care of the wrapping, packing, loading, moving and unloading of your books for you. Simply fill out this fast and free quote form to find movers in your area and you will be directly contacted by companies with moving estimates, all without leaving the comforts of your home. Or personal library.

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on August 13, 2014 - Moving Expert
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