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Will Thailand's humidity rot my books?


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I should have asked the above question before shipping all my books from California to Thailand. So, if anyone has any information on the subject then please advise me on the best course of action to take as it would be greatly appreciated.

 

                                                                                            oslooskar

 

                                                                                                               

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My book collection now looks like a fungus farm, tbh. I've moved house here many times over the years, and most of my old paperbacks and hardbacks are in plastic container boxes, mouldering away under the stairs. Can't bring myself to throw them away for some reason..

I keep all my reading on hard disk for my Kindle these days.  A full library on one thumb drive vs loads of clutter? No brainer.

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Over time yes they will. When I lived in Taiwan, most houses and condos kept what was termed a 'hot room'.  It was heated and  de humidified and you stored all your books, tapes ( in those day) CDs clothes etc in that room. It also had a couple of night lights on permanently , to deter 'woolly bugs' that would eat your clothes. I guess you can do that if you are that worried. My house is fairly new (5 years) and doesn't suffer from damp.  My books are in the book cases and they seem to be holding up very well. The rooms that they are in are rarely air conditioned, but are well ventilated. 

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16 hours ago, Oldie said:

If you have termites in your area they will love them. 

I just wanted to comment exactly that.

But it seems they love only some books.

I had a couple of books on top of each other for some time somewhere in a corner.

From a distance all looked fine. Later I found out that termites eat basically everything inside of one book but they left the cover intact. Another book right next to the damaged book was 100% ok.

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I have 80 or so assorted paperbacks and hardbacks, most of which have been in the house for ten years or more. Some have got a bit yellowed, but I haven't found any going totally rotten. I don't have aircon in my "study" which is really just an open upstairs landing, with two windows which are open all day with a fan running. A neighbour did get termites in his books, and had to throw them out, but I seem to have been lucky so far. If you have any rare books or documents (e.g. paintings) of any value, don't bring them to Thailand.

Thank God for e-books.

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11 minutes ago, Eff1n2ret said:

I have 80 or so assorted paperbacks and hardbacks, most of which have been in the house for ten years or more. Some have got a bit yellowed, but I haven't found any going totally rotten. I don't have aircon in my "study" which is really just an open upstairs landing, with two windows which are open all day with a fan running. A neighbour did get termites in his books, and had to throw them out, but I seem to have been lucky so far. If you have any rare books or documents (e.g. paintings) of any value, don't bring them to Thailand.

Thank God for e-books.

When I moved apartments 10 years ago I realised that almost all the paperbacks were yellow and basically unreadable,I didn't even think they were good enough for the charity shop so I put them in the recycling bin.

Struggling to get my head around shipping paperbacks.

Try BookBub for those old paperbacks and download them to your tablet or phone. 

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56 minutes ago, scammed said:

same here, my magazines with naked girls seem to disintegrate

while my physics books are largely intact,

though i should confess i only rarely take out my physics books out of the container

that has moist absorbs  

In my case both books were about the programming language C#. 😉 

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17 hours ago, uncleP said:

Interestingly all my books are fine, however, shoes and plastics are a different  matter.

My experience with books of 25 year vintage, but shoes are Ok. Locally made plastic rots because they use an absolute minimum of expensive plasticiser and more cheap filler. I put the aircon on most day even if a couple of hours in the afternoon and an hour before bed.

 

Be more worried about termites - my books were not OK from them. I sprayed anti termite spray around all the angles of bookshelf and the front and so far no trouble but maybe it was just the one year when we had them.

 

 

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I've lost books, belts, and shoes to humidity. Besides humidity and termites, other tiny bugs tend to find their way into books. Not a good place for anything to last. Good place to rewrite history.

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I thank all of you for your insights on the matter. I think I will most likely end up shipping all my books back to the States.

 

                                                        oslooskar

 

                                                          

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Books will be subject to humidity.

 

Rubbers and plastics suffer from hydrolysis, which is amplified by humidity, heat, lack of aeration and lack of movement. huge problem in the tropics.

 

Hydrolysis is the best reason for not buying expensive footwear in the tropics.

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Interestingly I have not noticed major issues with the books stored at Canterbury Tales in Pattaya?

They tend to run fans but only when people are browsing for books. I am surprised they do not have more issues.

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Hum... We shipped all my books here in 2006.  Some are hard bound, some are paper back.  To be honest I cannot see any rot or fungus on any of them. I re-read my Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes about 3 yrs ago. All seemed fine. Our A/C's are off unless someone is in the room. We had termites in a 'built-in' book shelf, but luckily they showed themselves before the books arrived. We're 98% sure the termites came in with the 'wood' that was used to build it.

 

If you live in a condo I'd be concerned about the termites. We lived in one on Asoke (22nd floor) back in 1999 and the building was inundated with them. They traveled along the wiring and plumbing, but we didn't find them until the last couple of months that we lived there.

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Depends on where in Thailand you'll settle. In Buriram books stay dry most of the year. I use aircon year round which might help to curb the amount of moisture inside the house. But, as the ergonomic of a Kindle beats any paper book, I have converted to eBooks. Even some of the ones (paper) I brought with me to read I have now downloaded from the back of an eTruck.

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I have a lot of books that I care about and
in the library, I put boxes of "farcent" which remove humidity. I buy them by 3 at Hom pro.
I also put some in the crockery cupboards, in the clothes cupboards.
Every now and then, I open all the doors to the sideboards and cupboards, and, if possible, turn on the fan.
Very effective.
In addition, once the boxes are empty, they serve as a storage compartment, to put pencils, pens, scissors, ......

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I found that my lose paper when openly exposed was moist after a few months - Bound books are effected only on the outside edges within this time, but after many years the books do get badly damaged.

 

One solution is to buy a bag of cat litter from Big C (I paid 150 Thb) and either add direct or pour into a few closed breathable bags (think thin socks) and place the books together with the cat litter into an air tight container / bag. The cat litter will not only prevent moisture, but also absorb any existing moisture.

 

This will prevent moisture for many years. If however the books are already effected by moisture be sure to replace the cat litter regularly, as it will lose its effectiveness once it has absorbed all the moisture it can hold.

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I live in the Udorn city area and have got many books which haven't suffered from the environment...yet (I did lose one or two in the floods over 20 years ago). My problem is book cabinets. Quite a few are large and weighty...such as Gravitation by Misner, Thorne & Wheeler, 1280 pages and almost 3 kg weight...and I have been unable to buy cabinets that have shelves that don't need extra support. With the original hardwood cabinets I bought here, the ants didn't eat my books they ate the legs of the cabinets. The shelves of other cabinets split. The last cabinets I bought were from the Index store about 2½ years ago but I doubt that the shelves will last much longer, Maybe I should look around for stainless steel cabinets, Ha!

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As a person who lived in So. Cal for 25 years I can say that Thailand humidity is not so different from the beach side of Ca.

your books will rot in long run If you don't run your A/C in Ca too. So run your A/C and save your books.

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Do you think Thailand's humidity is any less damaging than humidity elsewhere.  Unless you run an air conditioner, place a dehumidifier or place some type of desiccant to absorb the humidity they will be damaged. 

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