Whether you’re an avid collector of the literary arts or simply read a page turner and sell it on, it’s key to know how to package books for shipping to ensure they aren’t damaged on their way to the destination and arrive in top-quality condition. From sending a book as a gift, to selling rare books and needing to protect it, there’s a variety of book packaging options to keep the pages, binding and text safe.

Books are one of the most commonly sent items via post or courier, and for the most part, are resilient items. If they are packaged incorrectly, however, there’s an unfortunate chance they could become damaged. Once you’ve sold your book online or found the perfect literary gift, finding the right book packaging is the next step.


Generally, if the demand for a book exceeds the supply because of its historical importance, scarcity, age or condition, then the book is considered rare. Many historical books have had repeat publications across the years, but a first edition in great condition has the potential to sell for huge amounts online and at auctions.

Before you sell rare books, there are a number of things to consider:


When handling anything rare, from books to collectibles, many people like to wear protective white gloves in order to not cause damage with natural oils found on the hand. However, wearing gloves can actually increase the possibility of damage, as they can pick up and transfer dirt and debris, and also make it harder to judge the item’s condition! Ensure your hands are clean and dry before handling.


Storing books is an important part of maintaining their value. The best way to store books is upright, on a shelf – but larger books can be stacked sideways, ensuring that the pile isn’t high, as this may put pressure on books at the bottom of the stack, causing damage in time.

It’s also key to avoid placing the books in direct sunlight, away from water or heat, and away from any smoke, in order to avoid discolouration and absorption of liquids and smells. Move the books every now and then and dust where they have been sitting in order to keep them in prime condition.


There’s no use in protecting the book while in your care, and then it being damaged on the way to the buyer. When shipping rare books, providing strength and stability for the book is a must. Sandwiching the book between cardboard sheets and then wrapping it in bubble wrap can go a long way.

Wondering how to package books for shipping? Using a new cardboard box when sending can help to avoid exposure to moisture and making sure the size of the box doesn’t leave a lot of empty space for the book to bounce around in is also important. However, utilising things like bubble wrap can help with this.


If you are not selling and shipping books, you may want to send a book as a gift. Book packaging is just as important here – and while the value of a rare book can be changed with damage – it’s more about ensuring that the gift arrives in the best possible condition.

Shipping books as a gift perhaps doesn’t need the delicate attention that selling rare books and sending them does, but they follow a similar pattern in terms of needing to fill void space with things like bubble wrap.


Now you know how to package books for shipping, it’s time to get started! You can sell rare books on online marketplaces like eBay , or through your own website.

Whether you’re sending books domestically or abroad, you can use our handy parcel delivery quick quote tool to find out how much sending them will cost. If you need help with finding the address, our Postcode Finder will hopefully provide a guiding light on where you need to send the package.