Protecting Your Greatest Reads: How To Pack Books Like A Pro

Although tablets and e-readers are a great way of storing a library within a small space, most Americans still prefer the real thing. In fact, print still remains as the foundation of American reading habits with only 5% of Americans switching to reading only e-books. There's something about the smell of the ink on the paper, the flipping of pages and the sentimental value of the books that still appeal to the vast audience. Books are quite fragile, and you need to be extra careful when packing them. Here are several tips to help you protect your books as you pack them.

Use a Small Box and Reinforce the Bottom 

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you have the right packing materials. You want to opt for small, corrugated cardboard boxes. The corrugated design can absorb more impact and is, in general, sturdier. In addition, you want to choose smaller boxes because books can be quite heavy. You don't want to break your back lifting the boxes after you have packed all of your books inside. 

To prevent the bottom of the boxes from giving out during the moving process, you want to reinforce the bottom with several layers of packing tape. Make sure that you get all of the seams. 

Sort Books by Size and Pack Spine by Spine

To better fit all of the books inside the box, sort through and organize all of the books by size. You want to make sure that all of the books line up properly and nothing is sticking out, as anything that sticks out will be vulnerable to damages. Most experts also recommend sorting hardback books and paperback books separately. This is because they need to be packed in a different manner.

Hardback books should be packed spine by spine. In addition, the spine should be facing the walls of the cardboard boxes. The walls provide the support needed during the moving process to prevent the spines from collapsing. You definitely do not want to pack the books with the spine up, as the bindings will end up sagging and collapsing under their own weight, causing the books to become permanently damaged. Most experts also recommend packing paperbacks by stacking them vertically. 

Wrap Valuable or Sentimental Books 

If you have any books that are particularly valuable or sentimental, you want to take extra precaution when packing them by wrapping them with several layers of packing paper. Most experts recommend wrapping each book individually to prevent any dirt, dust or other particles from staining the surface. You will then pack each book in the manner recommended above, although some experts do recommend packing books with a higher value in a separate box.

Prevent Shifting with Packing Paper

To prevent the books from shifting within the boxes, use crushed packing paper to fill up any spaces and voids that are present. This is a crucial step. You don't want the books to be able to shift and move around during the moving process, especially since the movers may not be as delicate with the boxes as you'd like. If there is room for the books to move, they may end up moving out of place and the pages may get easily damaged or wrinkled, especially if the books are paperback. 


Although many household moving companies do offer packing services, you can save a lot of money by packing your books ahead of time. Make sure that you mark and label all of the boxes with the books that it contains inside, such as the title of the books or the authors. You want to be particularly careful when packing books, as they can become easily damaged.