I have a confession to make, fellow bookworms. Judge me kindly.
I let my books get dusty.
So, I imagine there’s two different types of people right now:
And to both I say…it wasn’t just a small amount of dust. Sorry.
See, I’d been dusting the bookshelves themselves fairly regularly, which meant the spines of my books were gleaming and dust free…but the top of the pages weren’t and I just hadn’t noticed when I was only dusting the spines. Also, the books in the book heaps hadn’t been touched at all – whoops!
Although, on the bright side it means that it’s fairly clear what books I should probably clear out. I mean, books don’t get covered in a thick layer of dust by being read, and the ones I had read or bought recently were pristine. But it was a teeny bit depressing to see some of them ones I intended to re-read but just hadn’t gotten round to.
I figured that the best way to sort the issue was to crack out ye olde vacuum cleaner and use the brush attachment to get the dust off, which worked a treat – only on the newer books mind. The book in the photo used to be my granny’s (then my dad’s…then mine) and I really didn’t think it would survive being vacuumed. I’m not sure how well you can see it, but it is quite literally being held together with cellotape and prayer. I love it dearly, but I actually have a second, newer copy that I read – turning the pages in this one can be a gamble, will they stay or will they fall out? So for this one I broke out the dust cloth instead, which took a bit more time but at least it’s clean!
All my books are looking a lot cleaner now, which is always nice! But it got me thinking about how often you should clean books. I mean if I hadn’t noticed the filth on top of one of my books it would honestly not have occurred to me to clean them.
The articles that cropped up on a quick Google search suggested that books should be cleaned yearly. This Biblio article has some really intense advice on how to clean them, this WikiHow page seems to think your books are filled with books, and this article from Dummies.com actually seems like a reasonable guide.
So what do you think? Do you have a regular cleaning schedule for your books? Or are you more like me and it hadn’t actually occurred to you to give them a proper clean?