Moving to a new home can pose a particular challenge for avid book enthusiasts due to the weight of books and their size. True book lovers often find themselves faced with the daunting task of packing up hundreds, or even thousands, of books. To make the move easier, consider downsizing your book collection by getting rid of unused or unnecessary books, even though it may be difficult.

When packing books for a move or shipment, it’s advisable to follow the proven methods of libraries, which expertly pack and ship countless books across the country on a weekly basis. However, with the right approach, you can ensure the safe travels of your cherished books. In this blog post, we will explore the best way to pack books for moving, providing you with practical tips and guidelines to make the process easier and stress-free.


When it comes to packing books for moving, sorting and minimizing are vital. Emphasizing the concept of “minimize,” begin by carefully going through your books and organizing them. Determine which ones you genuinely want to keep, such as books you frequently revisit, ones you’re eager to read, and cherished gifts from loved ones. However, be honest with yourself during this process. It’s probably time to part ways with that old textbook from your college days that hasn’t been used in years, as well as any duplicate copies, books that didn’t quite captivate you, and novels that failed to leave a lasting impression. Offer them to fellow book enthusiasts or consider donating them to charities and used bookstores.

Afterward, reevaluate your “keep” pile once more to see if there are any additional books you can part with. If not, that’s perfectly fine. Just remember that books can be heavy, and the fewer books you need to move, the more time, energy, and money you’ll save. Besides, you’ll undoubtedly acquire more books to replenish your library in due course.


For the best way to pack books when moving you will need the appropriate supplies. Make sure to gather sturdy cardboard boxes of various sizes that can accommodate your books. It’s important to ensure that the boxes are in good condition without any tears or damage. You’ll need an abundance of tape. Brown packing tape is highly recommended for securely sealing the boxes. However, if you prefer tape that is easier to remove and less likely to cause damage if it touches the books, masking tape is a viable alternative. Additionally, gather rags, newspapers, or any suitable materials that can fill empty spaces within the boxes. Bubble wrap and markers for labeling are also essential additions to your list of materials.


When it comes to packing books in boxes, it’s important to follow some general guidelines to ensure their safety during the move. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Choose sturdy, appropriately sized boxes: choose those cardboard boxes, that are robust and of a suitable size, avoiding very large ones. Remember, smaller boxes can accommodate more heavy items like books, which tend to be weighty.
  • Prepare the boxes by lining them with tissue or packing paper: To provide an additional layer of protection, it is recommended to line the boxes with tissue or packing paper when packing hardback books with slipcovers.
  • Begin with the largest, heaviest books: Start by loading your largest and heaviest books into the boxes first. This logical approach helps distribute the weight evenly.
  • Pack books flat: To avoid mishaps if other boxes are stacked on top, it’s best to pack your books flat. Based on the size and shape of your packing boxes, you may have the option to fit two separate piles of flat-packed books, provided they are arranged appropriately.
  • Avoid overfilling the boxes: Leave about an inch gap between the books and the top of the box. Overfilling can lead to damage and make the box difficult to close properly.
  • Fill gaps in the box: Safely secure the books in position by using materials such as old newspapers, clothing, or towels to fill any gaps within the packing boxes. This additional padding will help prevent shifting during transit.
  • Use ample packing tape: Be generous with the packing tape. Securely seal the box by wrapping the tape around it multiple times. The extra tape will protect the books and minimize the risk of damage, saving you potential restoration costs.
  • Label the boxes: Clearly label the boxes as “books” to indicate their weight and ensure they are placed on the bottom during the move. Proper labeling helps movers handle the boxes correctly.
packing books for moving

Remember, moving can be a stressful experience for everyone, including book lovers. While it may be tempting to hire someone else for the task, packing books for moving yourself can save you money. With these simple tips on how to pack books for moving, you can ensure their safety during the move to your new home.


When it comes to packing antique books, extra care is necessary due to their value and vulnerability. A damaged antique book can significantly diminish its worth, regardless of its age. Even professional restoration may leave visible marks that collectors can discern. To safeguard the value and condition of your antique paperbacks, follow these important packing tips:

  • Clean your hands thoroughly before handling any antique books. This helps prevent dirt, oils, or moisture from transferring onto the book’s covers or pages.
  • It is advisable to consider wearing gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints on the covers of the books. This adds an extra layer of protection during handling.
  • While packing, it is crucial to keep food, drinks, and other liquids well away from the vicinity of the antique books. Spills can cause irreversible damage to the delicate pages.
  • Remove any bookmarks from the books before packing. The materials used in bookmarks, such as metals or ink, can react with the paper over time, potentially leaving marks or stains.
  • Allow for slight gaps or spaces within the packaging to promote air circulation. This helps prevent the accumulation of moisture and condensation, which can lead to mold or mildew growth.
  • Minimize exposure to light by selecting dark or opaque containers for packing. The less light that permeates through the surface, the better preserved the antique books will be.

By following these precautions, you can ensure that your antique books are well-protected during the packing process. Keep in mind that safeguarding their value and condition is vital. These extra steps will uphold their integrity for years ahead.


Consider the option of hiring professional movers who have extensive experience in safely handling books and other fragile items. They have the necessary expertise and equipment to pack and transport your books safely. Research reputable moving companies that offer specialized books moving services. Check with your moving company to ensure that your books are covered by insurance during the move. By doing so, you can rest assured that your books are protected from unforeseen circumstances.

By following the best way to pack books, you can safeguard your valuable collection during a move or storage. By sorting and using effective packing methods, you can safeguard your books and simplify the unpacking process. Implement these expert tips to embark on a seamless and worry-free journey with your treasured books. Happy packing!