5 ELEMENTAL WAYS TO KEEP AND MAINTAIN YOUR VINTAGE, FIRST-EDITION AND SIGNED BOOKS
1. Earth. Oil or box your first-edition, leatherbound books. Polyester film jackets are also an excellent way to prevent leather rot transfer from hands to book pages. Also, metal shelves are always preferable over wood shelves because of acid transfer.
2. Air. Keep it cold and dry. Relative humidity for books in a cool, library environment should stay between 35-55%.
3. Fire. Be sure not to store your books in direct sunlight. Sunlight will fade the spines and weaken leather-bound books.
4. Water. Be sure to store all your books in a dry space. If your books do get wet, set them out to air dry.
5. Spirit. Trust yourself. Always clean your hands before handling books. If need be, find a professional conservator who can assist you with preserving your library. Consider making your bookcase the focal point of the room by painting it in a bold color.