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Sometimes a book is more than just a book. Sometimes it’s a rare and valuable collectible.

 

If you have a collectible book -or several- in your possession, you should care for and treat it like you would any valuable. In short, keep it safe, keep a record of it, keep its value up to date and keep it adequately insured.

 

Read on for our essential checklist for protecting valuable books.

Consider climate controls

To preserve the quality of your collectible books, consider installing climate controls in your home or library. Extreme temperature fluctuations and too much humidity can damage books, so be sure to store them away from air vents and in a stable environment.

 

Store them away from direct light

Too much light -natural or manmade- can cause the cover and print to fade, which can greatly affect value.

 

Store them separately

Rare books should not be handled frequently and should not be stored on a bookshelf with your other, non-collectible books, as they may be mistakenly removed. If possible, store the most fragile and valuable books in hermetically sealed cases or glass front cabinets, and protect individual books with acid proof jackets.

 

Maintain an inventory

Rare books should be carefully inventoried. Note the author, title, edition, condition, and any other pertinent information about the book. Take digital photos of the book and store back-up copies of the inventory along with invoices, appraisals, and any other provenance documentation.

 

Appraise them regularly

Just like with fine art and other collectibles, rare books should be appraised regularly. A good rule is to have new appraisals done every three to five years. This will be important if you have an insurable loss.

 

Consider valuables insurance

Finally, don’t assume your home insurance policy will provide sufficient coverage for a loss. Insure your rare books with a valuable articles policy that is structured to provide the best coverage for your fine art and collectibles.

All content in this material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute personal advice or a recommendation to any individual or business of any product or service. Please refer to the policy documentation issued for full terms and conditions of coverage.

Chubb European Group SE (CEG).  Operating in the UK through a branch based at 100 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 3BP.  Risks falling within the European Economic Area are underwritten by CEG which is governed by the provisions of the French insurance code.  Registered company number: 450 327 374 RCS Nanterre.  Registered office: La Tour Carpe Diem, 31 Place des Corolles, Esplanade Nord, 92400 Courbevoie, France. Fully paid share capital of €896,176,662. 

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