bookshelf full of books in excellent condition not damaged by humidifier

Will A Humidifier Ruin Books?

A humidifier is excellent for making your room more comfortable. Especially if you already live in a dry climate. But avid readers who have a prized book collection might be concerned about whether a humidifier can damage their books.

Just as in the situation with electronics and humidifiers, the answer to this question isn’t as straightforward. This guide will take an in-depth look at how a humidifier can affect your books.

Let’s get started and answer this question once and for all.

Are Humidifiers Bad For Books?

No, a humidifier is not bad for books and won’t necessarily damage your books if you have your humidifier turned to average output.

However, it would be best if you were careful of excess humidity. That’s the main culprit and can do a number on your precious book collection.

Enemy number 1 for books is humidity. But a humidifier itself damaging your books is unlikely. More specifically, excess moisture can attract pests that’ll eat the pages.

Of course, that’s something you don’t want. Other problems can cause by excess humidity or moisture.

High Humidity Leads to Mold Growth

It can cause mold as well. Mold is not only very gross; it can also damage your books. The moisture from the high humidity gets retained in books – in the pages, to be more specific. And these can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew.

Humidity Can Damage the Pages

High humidity can also damage the pages directly, causing them to swell or become spongy. Since a humidifier does what it sounds like, it increases the humidity levels in the air, and it can damage your books.

It could cause the pages to swell or ripple. Books that have damaged pages become unusable. Storing them properly also becomes a problem.

Attract Menacing Book Eating Pests

These pests are just as annoying as they sound. High levels of humidity can attract pests that love to chew off pages. Yes, they’re a thing. Insects like termites or bookworms are attracted to humid areas.

They can wreak havoc on your precious books by consuming pieces of them. You might see holes in your pages, dead insects, or serrated yellow pages.

However, your humidifier isn’t the direct cause of possible damage. Notice we mentioned that the problem is high humidity. It’s the humidity levels in the air.

That’s why it’s recommended to keep the humidity levels around 50% by experts. It’s the optimal level to maintain the longevity of your books.

Using your humidifier won’t be a problem if your humidity levels are in check. There are scenarios where a humidifier can be good for your books.

When Is a Humidifier Good for Your Books?

A humidifier might be good for your books if the air is too dry. It is because dry air can damage your book’s pages. Deficient humidity levels cause the pages to become dry and brittle.

Dry pages aren’t the best thing ever. Pages are typically made from cellulose that reacts with air. If the humidity levels reach below the optimal levels, it can cause the pages to contract and become dry.

Which makes them very prone to tearing; a brittle or weak page will tear much more easily, even if you aren’t trying to damage it.

Reading a book with brittle pages won’t give you the same feeling and joy. In this case, a humidifier will do wonders.

In addition, all books are held together by an adhesive. If the humidity levels are too low, the adhesive will become flaky and lose effectiveness.

You can use a humidifier to bring the humidity levels up to normal levels to ensure the adhesive retains its effectiveness and does not cause your book to fall apart.

As you use your book, please read it and flip through the pages. You’re also putting strain on the adhesive. So it’s always a good idea to ensure the adhesive stays strong.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Books If You Own a Humidifier?

Thankfully, you can do many things to extend your books’ longevity. A humidifier might be good for your books if you live in a dry place.

But although a humidifier itself won’t damage the books, you need to protect them from excess humidity and moisture. You can also read the discussion thread below about keeping your books safe in humid climates.

Anyway, there’s a pretty easy solution for that. The first one is, as we mentioned, to keep the humidity levels around 50%. Here are some other things you can do:

  • Keep your books at a constant temperature
  • Store your book away from very humid areas


If you’ve been worried about whether a humidifier will damage your books, you can sigh in relief.

A humidifier won’t directly damage your books. The main culprit you need to worry about is high humidity and moisture. It can cause mold growth and book-eating pests. As long as your humidity levels are normal, there’s nothing to worry about.

But it’s always a good idea to store your books properly to keep them safe. And also, on the flip side, a humidifier can be good for your book’s longevity if you live in an arid climate since dry air can cause the pages to become brittle.

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