I love dust jackets, don’t you! They can be beautiful! And I know some disagree, but to me, a hard cover without it’s jacket is just….so…..boring….
In fact, I’ve been known to pick up the paperback just because it looks so much more interesting than a hard cover without it’s jacket! But seriously….what is the PURPOSE of the dust jacket; to look pretty or to protect the book. So I can never decide; do I take the jacket OFF while I read to avoid damaging it? Or do I leave it ON while I read to protect the book? (And of course, there is the built-in bookmarks when I use the flap to mark where I left off reading!) Or maybe the solution is to just always use my iPad to read my books on?
I think I may have stumbled on a solution that works for me. About a month ago I was in my local Walmart and they had all of their back-to-school supplies marked down for clearance. My eye was caught by some ‘stretchy’ fabric book covers marked down to only a quarter, so I picked up half a dozen in different colors figuring we could use them next fall. They’ve been sitting there on my desk since then, and every time I see them, I wonder why I bought them. I mean, really, is my 15 year old going to be willing to carry his books around in high school next year with bright primary colored books? I don’t think so!
But when I was removing the jacket from my new book so I could dig in, and feeling bad about the whole should I or shouldn’t I dilemna all over again, there they were! So I grabbed one and quickly put it on my ‘naked’ book! It fits very well but not perfectly. As long as I just leave the book sitting, it looks great, but because the fabric is stretchy, as soon as I open the book, the material gaps away from the top and bottom of the spine. But as long as I remember to stretch it back over the spine when I set the book down, it will work great! And as an added bonus, the pack even came with a cheap cardboard bookmark, so I don’t even miss the flaps!
I decided to try a paperback, too, It didn’t work so well. The book is smaller than the cover, so it gaps and wrinkles instead of clinging to the book. A smaller cover might work. But I did discover that if I take the back flap off and stretch it over the entire book (so the flap overlaps) it makes a pretty nice little pouch that protects the book when it is in my purse.
So talk to me….do you leave the jackets on or take them off when you read? Do you have other ways of protecting your books while preserving the jackets? Leave me a comment!