Storage and display are the bane of the bookseller’s and book collector’s existence. The more valuable the book and the better the condition it is to start with, the more likely poor display and storage are to damage the book. Reading copies are already so far gone in condition, they’ll tolerate less than optimal condition with little hit to value. But a fine first edition with a fine jacket needs special handling.
Books need to be kept somewhere cool and dry. If you live somewhere humid and hot, this will be the thing you spend the most time fighting. You’ll need air conditioning.
Conversely, somewhere TOO dry can damage bindings. Books are like Goldilocks, they like it in between.
Heat can also damage books as it can cause mold and bacteria to grow on the item.
Direct sunlight can cause the cover to fade or crack.
Storing books packed too tight against another book can cause it to warp around the other book if its taller. Or it may stick to the other book. Standing it open to display can cause the spine to warp. Standing it up without any support may cause it to tilt sideways.
Handling can also wear the top and bottom of the spine and dustjacket (if it has one) just from it being pulled on and off the shelf or even when it’s jostled. Books with raised lettering will also have it rub off if they’re too tightly packed or if jostled against other books.
With so much that can go wrong, how SHOULD you store and display your books?