Customizable Books by the Foot    805-907-1773

Millions of Books

Are Used Books Safe?

Nowadays, it can be challenging to look at your everyday household objects without some degree of suspicion. You can do everything possible to keep yourself healthy and still catch an errant strain of the current seasonal virus from a poorly sanitized surface. So it’s natural for buyers to wonder—are used books safe?

Viruses Don’t Do Well on Surfaces

Viruses are tiny infectious agents that can survive on a variety of surfaces for varying periods of time. Respiratory viruses, which are viruses that primarily infect the lungs, throat, and nasal passages, can linger on surfaces for anywhere from an hour to several days.

How long a virus can survive on a surface depends on several factors, most notably the type of virus. For example, some respiratory viruses, such as the flu virus, can survive on hard surfaces like metal and plastic for up to 24 hours. Coronaviruses, another culprit we should all be familiar with, can survive in similar conditions for several days.

In addition to the material, environmental conditions play a massive role in the longevity of a virus. In general, viruses are more stable (able to survive longer) in colder temperatures and lower humidity levels. Unfortunately, these are often the ideal conditions for long-term storage of a vintage book collection. If you are looking to protect your books and your health, there are a few simple steps you can take.

Easy to Take Precautions

Disinfecting your books does not have to be a complicated process. Most precautions are basic hygiene that you are likely to practice anyway, such as washing your hands thoroughly with soap before and after handling books. If you need to take a strong stance against the risk of viral infection, other options target the surfaces themselves.

When it comes to cleaning products, a little goes a long way. Make sure not to use anything harsh that might damage your books. An ideal solution is made of water and 70% isopropyl alcohol. While it is true that water and books should be kept separate, the alcohol will cause the mixture to evaporate rapidly, preventing mold and mildew from forming. If using a mild detergent to clean the book’s cover, make sure to wipe away any excess cleaner and allow the book to dry thoroughly before handling or storing it.

Buy From a Trusted Retailer

One important note; the risk of catching a virus from a surface is generally low, as the virus transfers most readily from the mouth, nose, or eyes to cause an infection. However, it is still essential to practice good hygiene and to buy your books from a reputable source like Millions of Books, which takes precautions for your safety. So invest in your mental and physical well-being by ordering your books, today.