Those responsible for the maintenance of private and public library collections have the common goal of book preservation. Whether the motive to preserve and protect books is financial, sentimental, or to simply ensure the further enjoyment of reading, the processes are similar.
The purchase of a hardcover book includes the purchase of a protective dust jacket to protect the enclosed book. Preservation of this dust jacket often helps maintain the value of a hardcover book. Clear dust jacket protectors that can be constructed and applied at home are one way to protect your dust jackets, as well as to display artwork and essential bibliographic information. The following article provides a simple how-to guide to construct one or many dust jacket protectors to suit your book preservation needs.
Each person may choose to purchase commercially-made protectors, or to construct them from purchased materials. In any case, be sure to check with your vendor to ensure that whatever material you are buying will preserve, rather than damage, your dust jacket. If you are using a large, thin acetate sheet, for example, remove your dust cover, open it, and place in on your sheet.
Leave at least a two-inch margin above the upper, lower, and side portion of your dust jacket. If using a ready-made cover, the upper and lower portions can be close to overlapping, but the side portions must remain fairly close to the above estimate: find the best of your collection that fits well. Trim your material to fit, if necessary.
Place your dust jacket, right side down, on your measured material. Place the upper and lower margins of your material up or down respectively, along the edge or your dust jacket, without making a sharp fold. Make a preliminary dent by pressing with one finger on this fold on the center of the spine area of your dust jacket. Continue making such dents alone the full edge of your material, again following the edge of your dust jacket. Next, use a ruler at a 45-degree angle, or less, to follow your indentations, making a sharp fold along the upper and lower edges of your dust jacket protector.
Your sharp folds should snugly hold the edges of your dust jacket inside.
Commercial protectors may have small adhesive patches in the center of your margin at the spine area of your protector. If you desire, peel and apply this adhesive, keeping in mind that is difficult to remove in the future without damage to the dust cover. If you wish to create your own adhesive areas, again be sure to use a material that will not cause damage. The protector will work without an adhesive in this area.
Next, place your open book back within your dust jacket with a protector, aligning the spines. Gently close all, smoothing your protector outward along with the hardcover of your book. One at a time, on the front and back covers, carefully fold your dust jacket to protect over the hardcover of your book. When both covers are aligned, carefully open one side, preserving this alignment on the inside of your cover. Using two pieces of tape appropriate for book use, place one each on the top and bottom of your protector, joining the protector to the hardcover of your book.
Each tape strip should be about three inches long and should be placed vertically. The tape should not follow the edge of your protector but is usually placed along the visual edge of the inner dust jacket. Ensure that you are not covering any essential information. Complete this for the other cover of your book. Close your book carefully to ensure that the correct placement of your protector has been maintained and that you can easily open and close the book without strain on your dust cover.
Now you can carefully clean your protector when necessary, and your dust jacket and book are more protected from unfortunate accidents. Share, open, read and enjoy!