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Old 02-07-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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Books Onboard

Sorry if this has been addressed --- I have done a TF search but have not found an answer.

Is there a problem with keeping books aboard?

We are considering buying a trawler to live on for 7 to 9 months of each year (we ski in the winter), but own an IKEA bookcase full of books that cannot be replaced by Kindle versions. We want to keep them aboard, but I have just read a post in which someone said "books go musty", and the books that sailboat-
owning friends keep aboard are not in good condition.

Why? If we keep them in a heated and well-ventilated area such as the salon, why would there be more of a problem than on land? Does it have to do with salt air? Are there workarounds?

Thank you for considering my question.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:08 PM   #2
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I don't see why not. BUT space on a boat is a premium. Weight=more fuel. Time to down size.....
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:11 PM   #3
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I've had books on board for 5 years without any climate control and haven't noticed any degradation of them. We are in a fairly low humidity climate so that may be the issue.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
I don't see why not. BUT space on a boat is a premium. Weight=more fuel. Time to down size.....
or time to get a full displacement boat.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:29 PM   #5
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We had a library. It wasn't large, but it was an entire room (albeit small) with wall to wall bookcases. I have books which are not replaceable in any format. We recently started going through a 'purge' and had long discussions about the library.

The pride is in ownership. The value is in lack of replaceability. The truth is, this is where it ends. We weren't actually reading the books. We weren't lending the books. What we were doing was consuming square footage of real estate that we periodically dusted.

If there is a true value in them, then sell them. If there is an emotional or family value to them, then lend to a family member in trust. Dragging them around to have them is just hoarding.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:31 PM   #6
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We weren't actually reading the books.
A point of clarification. We both love to read. All of the books in our library had been read by one or both of us. What we weren't doing was re-reading them.

We use Kindle's now and have never looked back.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:40 PM   #7
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Had some books on Bay Pelican for 20 years. Went from frigid situations (28 degrees F) to the southern Caribbean. No problem with the books. Downside is use of space. Ended up first using the book exchanges then Kindle. Now I have gotten rid of hundreds of books at my home where there is plenty of space.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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Book exchanges in Salish Sea and Kindles

We have kindles on the boat. I can adjust the font to "old lady size" and can read in low light. I download lots of free books from local library and from Amazon when in port.

We also carry a few paperback that we swap out at Book Exchanges at marinas and laundromats. The book might be 10 years old but it I haven't read it yet, it is new to me.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:32 PM   #9
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I doubt you will have a problem with mold if you are living on the boat. Controlling humidity with good ventilation should give you a mold free environment. Leaving books for a long period of time in a moist cabin will ruin them. I think it is more of a space issue. Another consideration is securing books within the cases. A tall heavy bookcase would quickly become extremely dangerous in a heavy beam sea.

I try to keep organic material such as paper to a minimum. Like many others I have changed to kindle app. It is an easy task to scan misc items such as manuals and convert them to pdf's.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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I have a few books on the boat but they're more for reference than reading for relaxation. I have Chapman's, Nigel Calder, Nav Rules, etc.


For pleasure I download to my kindle. I get them for 21 days and then they would disappear if I hadn't read it yet. That's never been a problem because I read a book about every 3-5 days.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:05 PM   #11
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Imo, the question goes beyond books. There are many items on a boat that are adversely affected by humidity. When at the dock, I use a dehumidifier to keep humidity between 40 and 50%. Underway, humidity control will be somewhat dependent on temperature.

Regarding books on board, bring what is meaningful to you. We all bring unnecessary stuff because it's important to us. While some may see no value in the book collection, they feel it perfectly justifiable to bring a hundred pound dog with all it's requirements, a culinary kitchen, a wine cellar worth of bottles, a headboat worth of fishing gear, or a clothing and shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos. Cruising is supposed to be fun; bring what makes you happy.

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Old 02-07-2019, 09:34 PM   #12
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Not just on the boat, but books are available to swap out at each of our YC outstations, which we do frequently. Kindle doesn't always have something you want and when you are finished a good book, away from wifi, Kindle is unable to get you your next read. Then you regret tossing those real books that were taking up space.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:06 PM   #13
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The professor feels like he needs books. I am learning to bring whatever reference books I need to prepare for lecture next week. I do maintain Chapman’s and such in a small small in the salon. My locker on the pier has the way too many rods, reels and enough tools to totally rebuild anything. I keep an A/C unit on to combat the humidity here on the Gulf Coast. Yeah, I burn electricity at dock, but you know, it is a boat. The whole notion is not economical!
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:14 PM   #14
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I have kept a fairly sizable marine reference library on my N43, which does have pretty good bookshelves in the guest stateroom, as well as in the master. I have read most of them, but like having them around, and still reread them occasionally. They range from books about classic boats to world voyaging, along with the standard Chapmanís etc... I keep the AC on most of the time, and they donít seem to have weathered yet.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:33 AM   #15
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No issues keeping books on the boat. I keep books and a kindle, they are for different needs. Tin tin and calvin and hobes is not as fun on electronic devices. Books full of words and no pictures, rhen kindle is ok
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:51 AM   #16
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The Amazon FIRE is $50 and your local library will set up an account , usually for free that with Overdrive will allow 20 books at a time for 14 days .

A different question is what to do with existing book library?

After 60+ years I have a few hundred books , cruise , reference, etc. that I would hate to just toss out.
I listed a few hundred PM magazines on line but no one seems interested.

Eventually many folks will have this problem , suggestions?
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