Discussion: Protecting Hardcover Books

TBR-Gnome says HELLO! Are you finally going to read some of these books?

I personally have never much liked reading hardcover books. Partially because I have stubby little fingers and they tend to be big and HEAVY, but more because of the dust jacket issue. Dust jackets are always slipping around, or getting sweaty from my grubby little paws gripping it so tightly. They get frayed and wrinkled and ripped. I tried for a while just taking them off while I read the book, but then without fail I misplace them never to be found again.

“The heck with this,” I thought. I’ll just do like the library does and put dust jacket protectors on all my hardcovers!

Now, this works for me because I read primarily romance, which tends to come in mass market paperback or trade paperback. And usually I can wait the YEAR (!!) it takes for fantasy books to finally release in paperback. But sometimes I just need that sweet, sweet hardcover book in my hands right now.

For $16 I bought a 10 yard roll of Brodart fold-on book jacket cover. I bought the size that fits up to 10″ high, and it’s been perfect for all my fantasy book needs. So far I’ve covered 10 books with it, and I’ve used less than half the roll. All told it’s costing me somewhere less than $1/book to put a protective cover on. And the ease and joy of reading a hardback book with the dustcover on? Priceless.

Here’s a short tutorial on how I cover my books.

Slip the dust jacket under the top flap of the cover. Make sure the top of the jacket is flush with the crease where the cover meets the crease of the backing paper – my first few attempts had a bit of the white backing paper showing through and I had to adjust it to get it really snug.
Ta da! Just like from the library, but without those pesky barcode stickers!

What do you think? Do you use any sort of protector for your hardcover books? I tried booksleeves as well, but had trouble finding ones that were big enough some some of these big boy books (like this one!) Plus I found the edge of the dust jacket would still get sort of worn where it rubs against the sleeve when putting the book in. I like having the cover protected but also TAPED DOWN so it’s not flapping all over the place, too!

14 thoughts on “Discussion: Protecting Hardcover Books

  1. TBR gnome! I love you so much, holy crap!
    Also your tutorial is PERFECT, and I love the sassy captains.
    As someone who used to put these on books as a job, I can say it is both really fun and relaxing, and also occasionally infuriating, but good for you for doing your collection! If you ever want a hand, lmk, Ill bring pizza!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Discussion: Challenges (I said I wasn’t going to do this again…) – Elley the Book Otter

    1. It’s quite easy too, once you get the hang of it! I just maaaaaybe splurged on several books, plus new beautiful dust jacket covers for the A Court Of Thorns and Roses series, so I need to buy another roll of the protector paper stuff.


  3. No, on the odd times I buy a hardcover book, I use the dust jacket flap as a bookmark. Honestly, books rarely stay in my house long enough for me to care about the condition of the dust jacket.


  4. Pingback: February 2021 Monthly Wrap-Up – Elley the Book Otter

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