How to store manga: What to know

If you want to keep your manga collection in great shape, we’ve got the tips to help you out.

How to store manga

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If you love entertaining stories that are full of imagination, creativity, and inventiveness, then you probably love manga. But, if you want to preserve their value and the stories they hold, how do you store manga? 

When possible, store manga upright on a bookshelf. Don’t jam them too close together, but don’t leave so much space that they fall over. Try to use bookends to keep the books upright, and don’t let them lean over at an angle, because that will weaken the spine. 

If you want to store manga properly, there are several key tips to follow.

The most common reasons why manga comic books get damaged

Image via Wikimedia Commons, original from Flickr by Luis Villa del Campo

When you try to figure out how to store your manga collection, you need to think about what you are protecting your comic books from. Some of the most common reasons why your manga collection might get damaged include:

  • There might be heavy items that crush your books, damaging the binding and pages.
  • If there is too much humidity in the room, mold and mildew could start to grow on the pages of your comic books, damaging them. 
  • If you leave your books in direct sunlight, the pages and pictures could start to fade.
  • If you handle your comic books regularly, the oils on your fingers could damage the pages.

To protect your manga books against these threats, there are a few steps you should take. 

Store your manga books in a dark place

As you assess your storage options, make sure you store your manga books in a dark place, or at least out of direct sunlight. 

The reason for this is because of the lignin content in the paper. Lignin is susceptible to color changes, particularly if it is continually exposed to light and oxygen. The more lignin the pages have, the faster they will turn yellow, beige, or brown.

This is why newspaper print tends to turn brown very quickly. Unless your comic books are printed on completely acid-free paper, they will eventually turn yellow or brown as well.

If you store your comic books in a dark room, you can limit their light exposure, saving the pages from turning yellow or fading.

Consider wrapping the entire collection in sleeves and bags

Even though storing your collection in a dark room is a great way to shield it from light, how will you protect the collection against oxygen?

The easiest–and most sensible–way to do this is to use manga bags and sleeves to protect them. There are sleeves available for regular size comic books of course, but there are also larger bags or sleeves for graphic novels, manga, and trade paperback sizes.

The nice part of using sleeves for individual books is that you can still read them from time to time without exposing them to too much oxygen. They will also help protect manga from dust, moisture, and other environmental hazards.

There are plenty of bags you can use to protect your manga books from oxygen, but make sure the bags are acid-free as well. That way, you don’t damage the books by placing them in a bag that you thought could protect them.

Control the humidity level to protect your manga collection

You should also think about the humidity level of the room in which you store your comic books. If the room is too humid, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. You don’t want to deal with a mold infestation that destroys your comic books.

In addition, a room with too much humidity can also be a ripe breeding ground for book-destroying insects, such as silverfish. Silverfish are insects that destroy books, including comic books.

Even if you don’t have any mold, mildew, or insects, too much humidity can also give your books a musty odor. You can prevent this from happening by storing them in a dry place. 

Store the comic books upright on the bookshelf

Finally, make sure you store your manga upright on shelves with plenty of space. You don’t want the books to fall over, but you don’t want to cram them together on the shelf either. Storing your volumes upright is critical for protecting the bindings. If you allow the books to lean over, the bindings might get damaged, leading to folds and creases.

Storing the books together, upright, can also prevent dust, debris, and other stuff from accumulating. If you want to protect the quality of your manga, make sure you store them properly. That way, your collection can rival that of other collectors.

Final thoughts

A manga collection is a prize to many and keeping them in great shape is important to maintaining the value of your collection. With these easy tips, you should be on your way to preserving your manga stash for years to come.

Do you have any tips or trips of your own to share? Leave them in the comments below to help your fellow otaku out!

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