I undress my hardcovers before I take them onto the bus with me. (Did I feel somewhat sadistic when I typed that? Oh yes I did.)
Don’t get me wrong – I love hardcovers. I love how solid they feel in my hand, and how I can just toss them in my backpack and not be afraid of bent pages or wrecked covers. And there’s just something magical about hardcovers in bookstores that make my eyes light up and have the angels in my head start singing.
But DUST JACKETS. Did you know that back in the day, dust jackets could be discarded like wrapping paper? Here are my experiences of taking both books with and without dust jackets onto the bus with me, and you’ll understand why I ditch the dust jackets.
Books with dust jackets. Your book looks new, colorful, and shiny like your dog after he’s been to the groomer’s. You open it proudly on the bus, ready to read, but a stranger sees the title and starts gushing about how wonderful the book is and how it made him cry. Fifteen minutes later, you’re talking with him about your life and his life and it feels like a blind date. You don’t get any reading done. Repeat this scene ten times and your dust jacket starts looking worn and haggard, and you’re still on the second chapter, and you’re just tired of hearing people talk about how they loved the book. So you decide to take off the dust jacket…
Naked books. When you pull your naked book out from your bag in public, it instantly makes you seem ten times more mysterious and alluring. Strangers try (and fail) to sneak glimpses at the shiny title on the spine, and you’re relieved that you’re not attracting weird glances for reading a romance book in public. You’re already making plans to throw out all those dust jackets with half-naked guys on the cover away when you get back home. READING ACCOMPLISHED.
But at the end of the day, after I finish reading a naked book, I still put its dust jacket back on. And so my love-hate relationship with dust jackets continues, haha.
How do you feel about dust jackets?
Do you take them off or keep them on?