Cover Up?

Cover Up?

I confess:  I have an addiction.  No need to ask if it was caused by Nature or Nurture; the answer would be “both”.  Yes, like my parents and siblings, I am severely and constantly in dire need of BOOKS!  During a short-but-sweet weekend visit with my parents, we talked (as always) about what we’ve each been reading lately.  And in addition to the titles and subjects and plots evolved a comparative discussion of dust covers, also called dust jackets or book jackets.

Apparently the earlier forms of the paper sleeves we see wrapped around today’s hardbound books began primarily as a form of protection for the cloth bindings of books around 1830. They’ve since evolved into eye-catching art forms, designed to attract the buyer as much (or more) than to protect the covering of the book itself.  The front may show elaborate artwork or an appealing photo; the back can display an author’s portrait or a blurb of favorable reviews; the inside flaps often feature a synopsis of just enough of the contents to get us interested, plus perhaps a few facts regarding the writer.

But once the book is your own and you have it safely in the comfort of your home . . . then what?  If you’re like my dad (or me), you remove the dust jacket and set it carefully aside to preserve its crisp edges and unmarred beauty until you’ve finished reading the book, only restoring the jacket to the cover in time to place it protectively on a shelf for future reference.  My sister, however, keeps the paper cover on the tome she’s reading, to prevent scuffs or splotches on the book itself.  Collectors often pay substantially more for volumes with the dust covers intact, especially for those in the best condition.

So, it boils down to personal preference.  How about you?  What have you been reading lately?  And do you keep it under wraps? Leave us a comment!

Tell us what you think!