Stacking Stories – How to Pack Books for Moving With a Happy Ending

June 21, 2024Moving Tips
Maya Brown

Born in Atlanta, Maya has called many places home in her lifetime. She's a content writer and moving expert who loves to help people relocate smoothly

Books might hold stories, but they also have their own tales to tell. Figuring out how to pack books for moving can be quite the story in itself. Whether it’s a beloved novel or a hefty textbook, keeping these treasures safe is the ultimate goal. So, as you turn the next page, here’s how to make sure the books get the happy ending they deserve.

First Things First, Be Honest – Do You Really Need That Many Books?

On average, Americans get through about 12 books a year. What about you? Are you a speed reader or do you like to savor each page slowly?

Whether you’re a casual reader or a hardcore bibliophile, the charm of a good book is undeniable.

They look great on shelves, too, showing off personality and taste.

32% of Americans read for pleasure

But here’s the thing – when it’s time to move, that lovingly curated library can start to look more like a heavyweight burden. Suddenly, even paperbacks start to weigh a ton. It’s easy to see them multiplying like rabbits as you start pulling them off the shelves.

Because of that, the first step should be figuring out what to get rid of. Start by sorting through the collection and deciding which ones you truly love and can’t live without. Keep only the gems, and sell or donate the rest. This way, you’ll lighten the load and ensure only favorite stories make the interstate move with you.


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Plenty of Charities Take Books – It’s a Wonderful Way to Share the Stories Further

Selling valuable editions you no longer need can be a great way to add some muscle to the relocation budget. However, if you want to give them a chance to continue their story with someone new, plenty of charities can take them off your hands. Goodwill, for instance, is a fantastic option. Stories are meant to be shared, and you’ll also lighten the load – it’s a win-win situation all around!

A woman taking a book from a shelf
A book you don't need anymore might turn out to be someone else's favorite

The Best Way to Pack Books When Moving? Start by Organizing Them Into Different Categories

No matter what you’re boxing up, organizing packing can make or break the whole ordeal. The same goes for books, too! While around 70% of Americans own less than a hundred books, getting them off the shelves can quickly add to the relocation stress you’re probably already experiencing.

So, before you start packing, take a moment to sort the collection into different categories. This will set the stage for efficient packaging, but the unpacking process will also be easier. Plus, it adds a touch of organization to all of that literary chaos, which is always a good thing. Here are some fun ways you can do it:

  • By genre – Separate the fiction from the non-fiction, and within each, you can further categorize by genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, and so on,
  • By author – If you’re a fan of a particular author, group all of their works together,
  • By size – This might seem odd, but putting books of similar size together can actually save you space and make stacking moving boxes easier,
  • By read/unread – Separate the stories you’ve read from those you haven’t, so you can prioritize which ones to unpack first in the new home,
  • By importance – If you have some volumes that are more valuable or sentimental, keep them separate and handle them with extra care.

It’s oddly satisfying to see the collection neatly categorized, ready for its journey to a new shelf. You might even discover some forgotten gems hidden among the stacks! And who knows, the act of organizing might just reignite the passion you have for reading, inspiring you to dive into a book or two immediately after the move.

A lot of books in a pile
What was once a messy pile can turn into an organized library

Packing Books for Moving – Here Are the Materials You’ll Need

Figuring out how to pack books in boxes may seem straightforward, but it requires the right packaging materials to keep the collection safe and sound. First up, you’ll need sturdy boxes. For this, it’s best to opt for smaller boxes for books. This is because they can be deceptively heavy, and packing too many in a large box can quickly turn into a lifting challenge.

Next, you’ll need packing paper or bubble wrap to provide cushioning, and lastly, don’t forget the tape. Lots of it. You’ll need to seal those boxes up tight, like the library’s own Fort Knox, ensuring they stay secure throughout the move.

How to Protect Paperback Books – Stock up on Protective Materials

Paperbacks are more susceptible to bending and creasing, so it’s essential to go that extra mile when protecting them for the journey ahead. Wrap each book in bubble wrap to create a protective cocoon around it. This extra layer of padding will help prevent any damage during transit, making sure the paperbacks arrive in pristine condition.

materials for getting packed for move
A few essential supplies can go a long way in protecting a literary collection

A Quick Reader’s Guide on How to Pack Books for Moving

Once you have all the right supplies in hand, it’s time to dive head-first into wrapping up your library. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make sure every book is ready for a safe move.

Step 1 - Prepare the Boxes for Some Reading Action

Get the sturdy, smaller boxes ready. Make sure to reinforce the bottom with extra tape, creating a strong seal that will hold up under the weight of the books. Line the bottom of each box with crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap for extra cushioning. Think of it as the red carpet for the collection, ensuring it gets the VIP treatment it deserves.

Step 2 - Start Stacking Them and Alternate Between Bound Edges

When stacking the collection, whether vertically or horizontally, make sure to switch up the sides to alternate between bound edges. This will prevent the box contents from shifting, as the weight is distributed more evenly. Just keep in mind that paperbacks shouldn’t be placed bound edge up. They’re simply too flimsy to support that position, especially during a long, bumpy ride in the moving truck.

Step 3 - Lay Large Books Flat to Maximize Space

For those larger, coffee-table volumes, you should lay them flat in the box. This helps prevent warping and makes the most out of the box space. You can use it as a stable base on which you stack smaller, lighter books, keeping everything nice and secure.

Step 4 - Fill in Gaps With Packing Paper

Once everything is in the box, fill any gaps with more packing paper. Together with the previous steps, this helps prevent movement, which can protect the volumes from damage. If you don’t have enough packing paper, you can use old newspapers, soft clothes, or even towels. Don’t overlook this important step – it could cost you some damaged corners or bent pages once all of this is done.

Step 5 - Seal and Label the Boxes Clearly

Last but not least, seal the boxes with plenty of tape to make sure they stay closed. Label each box with its contents, book by book. It will be like a GPS for the private library, making unpacking much easier and quicker.

Instead of Figuring Out the Best Way to Pack Books for Moving, You Can Leave It to the Professionals

If just the thought of doing this by yourself, on top of handling all other aspects of the move, is already making you feel stressed, why not leave it to the experts? Professional moving services can take care of all the heavy lifting, quite literally. Plus, it frees up the time to focus on other things, like settling into the new space and exploring the neighborhood.

Experienced Movers Double as an Auto Transport Company to Handle All Aspects of the Move

Books have so many stories to tell, but roads do as well. To truly make the most of this adventure, a trusty car should be right by your side. That’s why experienced movers such as USA Auto Transport double as a car shipping company, offering comprehensive services for those with a reason to move.

You can choose between open and enclosed auto transport, depending on the level of protection the four-wheeler needs. Also, there’s terminal-to-terminal car shipping, which is a cheaper option that requires some work from you, and door-to-door auto transport, getting the vehicle right to the new driveway. Shipping cars in the USA has never been this easy – you’d have more trouble trying to finish a book in a week!

Open Carrier Auto Transport

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Enclosed Auto Transport

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And Now, the Fun Part – Setting Up New Private Library

Once it’s time to bring a dream library to life, you should first visualize it. Do you see cozy reading nooks with a plush chair and warm lighting? Or maybe sleek, modern shelves showcasing the collection like an art gallery?

Have fun with it! Arrange the collection by genre, color, or even by how much you love them. The sky’s the limit when it comes to organizing a literary haven. All in all, it should reflect your personality and make you excited to dive into the next read.

Add Some Quirky Details to Make the Space Unique

With the layout planned out, it’s time to get creative with the details. Add some bookends, display a few of the favorite covers facing outwards, or incorporate some plants to give the room a fresh feel. Don’t forget to leave space for those inevitable future purchases – because, let’s be honest, a book lover’s collection is never truly complete.

USA Auto Transport
From movers to the new shelves, this literary journey comes to a close

The Final Chapter – Plenty of Satisfying Reads to Come

There you have it – the epic saga of packaging and transporting cherished books. This task shouldn’t be taken lightly – after all, that collection provides a cozy, safe space, no matter where you are. What’s better than that to make you feel at home?

You don’t have to take a reading break just because you’re about to move – let USA Auto Transport handle the rest. Our team can help with more than just a literary collection. Whether it’s transporting your ride in an open trailer or taking care of the heavy lifting, we offer a range of services to make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today and let our professionals take the wheel – all you have to do is settle into the new home and enjoy the next great read!

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