What's the best way to display and protect a book?
August 17, 2006 11:23 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to display and protect a book?

I have a signed galley copy of Infinte Jest, and while it isn't worth thousands, it's the one book whose condition I care about. I'd like some sort of case I can put it in for display and worship, ideally under fifty bucks. Anything like this out there? Any items I can cleverly use for this purpose?
posted by Optimus Chyme to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A shadow box? Should be available at any craft store. Not exactly museum-grade, but it'll keep the dust off.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on August 17, 2006

oooh, I am *envious*. DFW rules. (Sorry, no advice.)
posted by SansPoint at 11:37 AM on August 17, 2006

Do you want the book open to the signed page in question?

Try Gaylord. You can get a clear acrylic case for under 50 bucks. Or even cooler, a dome. You can set the book up inside on a book cradle (or even a non-metal plate-display in a pinch).

As for care, keep the book away from extremes of temperature, humidity, metals, rubber, most leather, direct sunlight, and wayward children. Try not to crack the spine. If you need to store the book somewhere, do so spine down.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:39 AM on August 17, 2006

Those are exactly what I'm looking for, robocop. Bravo.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2006

Would those cases actually be bad for books if they allow moisture to accumulate because they're not climate-controlled? I don't know, I just thought it might be worth asking.
posted by Dasein at 3:00 PM on August 17, 2006

Could I pleeeezze highjack and ask if anybody reading this has a suggestion for covering such a book yet allowing it to be read? Mine's also a reviewer's signed copy, and the cover is nice but paper. Ideally I'd like a cover that's handsome, transparent, and rugged. Thanks!
posted by rob511 at 3:09 PM on August 17, 2006

If the book was placed in there with, say, a cup of water and placed in a warm room, you'd be right, Dasein. But if OC places the book in there under normal, room temp conditions then keeps an eye on the local thermostat, he should be okay. I assume that he'd want to remove the book from its case so that he may worship it in a manner that it deserves, so I don't think it'll be sealed in there for ever more. A silica pack, swiped from a coat at your local department store, could help soak up any extra moisture otherwise.

Rob511, unfortunately, actually reading a book you wish to preserve is one of the worst things you can do to it. Sure, if you can read it in protected conditions, in a cradle with linen gloves, you can reduce the possible damage. You have a nice cover for your book, one I'm assuming you'd want to preserve, so solutions like that strip stuff you see in libraries may not be up to snuff. Seriously? Buy another reading copy of the book. I had to do that with my signed copy of Fletch and found the price of the book far cheaper than the amount of money and hassle it would take to protect the volume.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:18 PM on August 17, 2006

You know, a librarian told me that they no longer use linen gloves, because they found people did more damage to books with them on, because you lose precision in your fingers, so you end up ripping or creasing pages. And your hands aren't going to hurt the book if you've washed them, anyway.
posted by Dasein at 7:56 PM on August 17, 2006

They still use gloves in the archives at my library, so policies can vary by institution. You're right that they limit precision, but there are now these "ribbed for your reading pleasure" finger condoms I've seen our archivist break out from time to time.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:33 AM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

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