Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Photo Album for your Bookshelf

Print a few of the digital photos you’ve compiled over the years and preserve them for posterity in a cherished bookshelf photo album.

Close up of a family photo album
A traditional photo album is a great way to relive old memories with friends and family.Unsplash

There’s just something about handling and perusing physical photographs, especially for formal or other memorable occasions, that seems more personal than digital pictures. Physical albums also allow you to store pictures grouped together in significant ways, unlike digital photo frames, which often randomly display images. When shopping for the best bookshelf photo album for your family, consider these important factors.

Fabric Frame Cover Photo Album 200 Pockets Hold 4x6 Photos, Apple Red
This book can hold hundreds of images.Pioneer Photo Albums

If you only have a handful of photos you want to store and display, the number of pages in your album might not be a big concern. In fact, you’ll want an album with less storage space, so you don’t end up with a half-full album. But if you have a lot of photos, you’ll likely need a large album, and maybe even more than one. The size of your photos is also important. The most common photo sizes are 3x5, 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 inches. If you have photos in many different sizes, you’ll need an album that has frames for both your vertical and your horizontal ones.

RECUTMS Photo Album 4x6 600 Photos Black Pages Large Capacity Leather Cover Wedding Family Photo Albums Holds 600 Horizontal and Vertical Photos (Black)
The clear plastic pockets of this book are waterproof.RECUTMS

Some photo albums allow you to add photo labels or captions somewhere below or beside the photos. This is much handier than having to remove photos to read what’s written on the backside. While this might not sound like a big deal to you, it might be to your great-grandchildren someday as they try to identify who was in a photo and what they were doing. If the album you choose has space for labels, it’s OK to mount the photos permanently. If not, you’ll need to mount them where they can be easily removed and then placed back into the album. Also, be sure to avoid albums made with pages or page covers that are not acid and lignin free. Acids will eventually damage both the paper and the photographs that are mounted on it.

Pioneer Photo Albums Sewn Bonded Leather Bi-Directional 300 Photos Pocket Album
This 14-by-9-inch book fits well in small spots and still holds several hundred pictures.Pioneer Photo Albums

If you have a very large coffee table or bookshelf where you’ll be placing an album for display, you can get away with a very large album. But with limited space, such an album would be overwhelming and likely look out of place. Pick an album with covers and a size that not only appeal to you, but also fit nicely in the space you’ve reserved for it. One last thing: if you’re likely to come up with additional photos you would like to add somewhere in your existing album, an album that will let you easily insert additional pages will make doing so a lot easier.

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