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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Jackets: What Do You Do With Them? (Part 1)

I personally love dust jackets, and if you buy our books, you know Savas Beatie spends a lot of time and money crafting them. We do so for many reasons, and many publishers ignore this step of the publishing process at their peril.

Before we get to those reasons (a different poll, top left, and a different blog post), I asked a completely different question (more for fun than for anything else) in a recent poll.

Question: What do you do with your jackets when you are reading the book?

Here were the responses:

I leave them on when I read and rarely take them off. 18 (58%)

I take them off when I read and put them back on. 11 (35%)

Sometimes I leave them on, sometimes I take them off. 2 (6%)

I take them off when I receive my books, store them separately, and shelve the books without jackets. 0 (0%)

(That last one was a nod toward a friend of mine in Richmond (Paul S.) who strips his books naked and shelves them that way, storing his books separately from the jackets. I don't know, either.)

I did not vote in this poll, but I almost always remove the jacket, keep it in my nightstand, finish the book, re-jacket it, and then shelve it. I can't stand it when I snag the jacket corner or bottom, scuff it, bump it, etc.

Please check out the current poll question (top left) and answer it. That one I will discuss that jacket subject at greater depth.

Be well.



Anonymous said...

Interesting subject. I now know that there are at least two of us in the world who remove the dust jacket, keep it in a seperate place then shelve the book. I always thought they looked more distinguished that way.

Tim Maurice

J David Petruzzi said...

I'm the same as you, Ted - I like keeping my dust jackets in pristine condition. Like I voted in that last poll, I usually take them off, then replace them when I'm done reading it. Hate tearing or wrinkling them.
I'm very picky about the jacket design for my own books, but I must admit it's not the most important when making a buying decision. I'm concerned with what's in the book. Since the majority of my purchases are for research or the info contained therein, I'll buy a book, even if it has the worst cover, if it will be useful. Pleasure reading, however, makes a jacket design more important.
I voted in this latest poll, and I see I'm the only one who chose the "flap" information as the most important for me (at this point in the poll). I want to see how the book is described. Secondarily are any endorsements on the jacket (although take those with a grain of salt - I've seen many "respected" folks endorse pieces of crap) and finally the front cover itself. Since I see the flap information as most important (and usually the first thing I look at after picking up a book) I'm also very picky about what is used on my own books.

captainrlm said...

Fascinating topic. I think I'm just the opposite of you. I always leave the dust jackets on - I don't like when they get ripped or nicked up, but I'd prefer them to have such marking than the actual book itself. I actually kind of like looking at my shelf and seeing the worn jackets of books I read and enjoyed. I'd prefer everything to remain pristine, but that isn't happening if I read the books, so I kind of choose to protect the covers more than the jackets.

Anonymous said...

I used to throw mine away.


Chris Evans said...

I always leave the Dust Jackets on. I really don't like when a book doesn't have a Dust Jacket on. I hate to see it get nicked or torn but I don't take the Dust Jacket off when I'm reading the book.

Some books that I own I don't mind that they don't have dust jackets such as my copies of R.E. Lee Vols. 1 and 2 by Freeman and all three volumes of Lee's Lieutenants. These don't have dust jackets but are such classics that I'm just happy to own them so I don't mind that they lack dust jackets. But newer books I always want them to have good, clean, dust jackets.