If a book is to be removed from a shelf the best way to do this is basically the opposite to what most people do. During the life of the humble book, it’s usually taken from the shelf by one pinky holding the top of the spine and pulling it forward to get a good grip on it. (unless you know a magic spell and can remove it without touching it!) That is unfortunately the easiest way to cause damage as this weakens the top of the spine and will split the edges. The ideal way is put your hand to the back of the top of the book, and push towards you sliding the book out easily, minimising any damage to the spine. But what if there isn’t any room to get your hand in above the book I hear you cry…. Well fear not ’cause in that case, use the flat of your finger tips to push the books either side of the one you want to remove, That will then expose an area of the spine for you to gently grip and slide out. When the book is down from the shelf you should listen to it as you open the cover. (bear with….. I’m not hearing voices) By this I mean that as old glues can become brittle over time, books will make a small creaking/cracking noise when they are opened and this can be a good indicator of problems with the spine or pages of the book. Once the book is opened it should be with the covers at no more than 45 degrees as any more could stress the spine…


About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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