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Storing paper—be kind!

Paper is organic. It breathes. It responds to heat and humidity much as you do.

Ever notice how the cover on a paperback book will curl outward when it's hot and humid? That's 'cause the non-plasticized inside expands and becomes limper and softer.

When it's cold and dry, paper is crisper. If it's exposed to direct sunlight, it will age more quickly (though it doesn't seem to get skin cancer).

We sometimes ship some of our paper in plastic, but we don't recommend you store it permanently that way. Keep it in a wooden or acid-free cardboard container, or at least keep the plastic zipper open so air can circulate.

If you keep paper in an airtight container, it will suffocate; and such containers can trap condensation that allows molds and mildew to grow. Yuck! Most of us don't do this—we usually plop it disrespectfully in a desk drawer or on a shelf. That's OK; paper is also forgiving.

The number-one rule: Store your paper flat. Don't roll it. Store it in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from heat, direct sunlight and moisture.

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