Why You Should Always Put a Used Book in the Freezer Before Reading It

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Much like shopping for secondhand clothes, buying old books at stoop sales, online, or at used bookstores brings its own brand of excitement. There’s the thrill of happening upon a book that you’ve been wanting to read or letting spontaneity take over, choosing whatever calls to you. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it saves money and a perfectly readable tome from ending up in a landfill. The one thing you might have to contend with is removing the dust, dirt, and grime that has built up on the covers and between the pages of an old book. Fortunately, learning how to clean old books is often easier than removing the inscriptions left behind by previous readers.

How to clean old books to get rid of dust, dirt, and grime

“To remove dust, dirt, or grime, my best advice is to use a paper towel,” says James Fraser, manager of The Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Boston. Alternatively, you can opt to use a microfiber cloth to dust off books. This method should work when you want to clean old paperback and hardbound books.

1. Wipe down the whole book, cover to cover, being careful when you clean the book’s pages.

2. If there are stubborn smudges and stains on the cover of the book, wet the paper towel or microfiber cloth with a little water and revisit those bits. Bear in the mind that books—particularly old books—can be fragile. “Any attempt to fix past wrongs may end up damaging the book even more,” says Fraser.


https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Stocksy_txp349fdb70UMb300_Small_4791102.jpgPhoto: Stocksy / Lauren Lee



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