BOOK COLLECTING: Moving Your Collection!

Just thought I'd start a thread on moving your (book) collection; in particular moving house.

I just recently moved home. Not far; but far enough (a couple of hundred miles). Moving house/home is bad enough, but moving (or even worse -the thought of moving!) my book collection was a real headache.

I personally chose to move my collection myself. I packed the books up myself; physically moved them myself (with partner); and unpacked them myself.

As a household we had probably well over 1000 individual books, many of which only required moderately careful packing and moving. However about half of these were 'The Collection'; books I was deeply concerned about packing and moving. How best to do it?

Well I went for pretty standard cardboard boxes from a removal firm. They had some designated specifically for books. The biggest problem is finding boxes big enough to accomodate your standard hardbacks; but not so big as to be too heavy once packed.

I individually bubblewrapped every single hardback, and lined boxes (bottom, sides, and top) with bubblewrap also. This took a good few weeks. No private removal people; moved them to van ourselves. Didn't stack more than three boxes high within van (not very high), to avoid unnecessary weigh on books in bottom boxes. And got them out of boxes and back on shelves as soon as was practically possible (within a week of moving into new flat).

Some unpacked boxes sat on the cold floor of our new flat. When I opened them up some of the pages had cringled with the cold, and possible damp. Damn it! Books don't mind the cold; but damp is a real problem. I had many anxious days unpacking and examining books; particularly those right at the bottom of packed boxes.

But besides the odd concern (and occasional anxious moment) all of my collection is now housed as was, with no injury of note. There is even the upside of stumbling across many books you haven't seen in while (-perhaps even a few you forgot you had?) whilst packing and unpacking. And there is always the opportunity to rearrange your collection in to some new order.

So if moving your collection I'd advise buying several large roles of bubblewrap. Do not underestimate how many books you have, and how many boxes (just for books) you are going to require. We had a 55 box moving pack, which contained 10 book boxes. These took between 12 and 15 bubblewrapped hardbacks. We ordered another 20 book boxes, and that really wasn't enough.

Could you trust a professional removal firm? My lack of trust/faith in their ability is totally unfounded I'm sure. But I just couldn't tolerate the thought of someone else damaging any of my books.

There you have it. Also, being offline for nearly a month has been far harder than I'd imagined. Did manage to make some headway into the 'to read' pile tho'!