Packing Your Literary Treasures: How to Pack Books for Moving

packing books for moving

For a book lover, the thought of moving your book collection is daunting. The sheer volume of all your books, coupled with the fear of damage, can turn the packing process into a nightmare. 

But fear not, fellow bibliophiles! With the right knowledge and preparation, you can ensure your valuable books arrive at their new home safe and sound.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the necessary information to pack your books for moving like a pro. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right moving supplies to the best packing method.

What is the Best Packaging for Books?

Changing homes means temporarily storing books in moving boxes. You want to pick the right packing supplies to ensure your books stay safe in the moving truck. The best packaging for your books will depend on their weight, size, cover material, and rarity. 

Here are some general guidelines:

Hardcover Books

Use acid-free packing paper to wrap each book individually to prevent pages from deteriorating. You can also opt to add bubble wrap for valuable or fragile editions.

Pack hardcovers upright in book boxes. You’ll want the hardcover books’ spine to face the sides of the box. 


Store paperbacks flat in a book box or small box. You’ll want to store books by aligning their spines for even distribution. Packing books of the same size can make this process easier. 

Don’t forget to use packing paper to fill any extra space within the box. It will help prevent movement during transit and minimize damage to books.

Large or Oversized Books

Lay large books flat in book boxes with heavier books on the bottom. Bubble wrap is highly recommended for these books to ensure they are secure. 

Special Editions or Rare Books

Consider investing in custom-made boxes with thick cardboard for these precious books. Another option is to use rolling suitcases to protect your books. 

Extra layers of packing materials like bubble wrap and acid-free paper are essential to protect books from damage.

Pro tip: Remember to pack books early in the moving process to avoid last-minute stress.

What Size Moving Box is Best for Books?

The ideal box size for packing books depends on the weight and how many books you have. There are a few options:

  • Small boxes: Best for paperbacks and smaller hardcovers.
  • Medium boxes: Suitable for a mix of hardcover and paperback books.
  • Large boxes: Ideal for large and oversized books.

Packing tips: Choose the right boxes for your book collection. Avoid using boxes that are too large as it encourages overfilling. Too heavy boxes can make it hard to carry and lead to damage during transit. It’s better to have several smaller moving boxes than one box.

How to Pack Books for Moving

Now, let’s start packing. Here is the step-by-step process for moving books:

Gather packing materials 

You’ll need packing paper (preferably acid-free paper to reduce damage to books), bubble wrap, packing boxes, packing tape, and a marker.

Sort your books

Take your books off your shelves and start organizing them for packing. You can separate your books by size, format, or value. This will make packing more efficient and organized.

Wrap individual books

Wrap each book individually with acid-free packing paper. For more delicate books, add a double layer using bubble wrap for extra protection.

Pack boxes strategically

The way you position books for long-term book storage can make a difference in whether your books arrive at your new home safely. Here are a few tips for how to pack books inside a box:

  • Place hardcovers upright with their spines facing the sides of the box. 
  • Pack paperback books flat with their book spines aligned for stability.
  • Odd angles could cause damage to other books. Take the time to ensure books align with the side of the box. 
  • Fill any gaps with balled-up packing paper or bubble wrap. 

Seal and label boxes

Securely seal all packing boxes with packing tape. Double-check to make sure all the seams are tightly sealed. Next, label each box with its contents. You may also want to add the destination room of your new home to make it easier to unpack.

Bonus tip: Consider donating any books you no longer want to your local library or charity. Book donations are a great way to declutter your collection while spreading the joy of reading.

Best Way to Pack Books for Moving

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure your books arrive at their new home in pristine condition. Remember, packing your books is a process that requires time, care, and attention. With the right approach, you can move your literary treasures without a single crease or tear.

Even with the best intentions, you may find yourself too overwhelmed to handle moving all of your books and other belongings. Consider hiring a moving company like Armstrong to help you with your move. Our professional movers know exactly how to pack books with packing paper and the right-sized box

You can rest easy knowing your belongings are traveling safely. Save yourself time and stress by contacting Armstrong to find out how we can help.

Happy moving, book lovers!