I’ve been involved in several debates in regards to book life and whatnot. You’ve seen a few of them: e-books versus paper books, Kindle vs. Nook, writing in books vs. not… There’s been a bunch of them, but none has ever garnered as strong of a response as one I entered into unknowingly.
The battle of the dust jacket.
I’ve never been a big fan of dust jackets. They get bent and ripped and in my way. They get messed up. If the book is mine, I have a tendency to take off the dust jacket and dispose of it. I don’t think any of my Harry Potter books have dust jackets anymore. Some of them are still around but they don’t matter much to me.
I made mention of this at grad school once, I can’t remember to whom anymore, and they looked at me like I’d lost my mind.
“You get rid of them?” they asked incredulously. This was clearly the most ridiculous thing they’d ever heard. It was blasphemy. It was unheard of. How could I do this? It was tantamount to ripping the cover off.
I truly didn’t understand.
To me, a dust cover was the same as the sleeve that sometimes comes on a DVD or Blu-ray. It was irrelevant and probably was going to get in my way/ruined. To some, apparently, this was not the case. It was a strange moment in my life. I’d never come across this before. As it was, my father had a tendency to take off dust covers and set them aside while he read the book. This was essentially the same to me; wasn’t it the same for others?
It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. I like keeping my books looking neat and orderly (this is why I find it very difficult to write in books, even when asked to) and thus, the possibility of having a dust jacket get all tattered isn’t something I’m keen on. However, there’s an element of keeping everything looking as it was the first time I picked it up that I can’t have if I get rid of my dust jackets. I’m not sure what I plan to do about it.
I’m interested to know what the rest of you think. Do you keep all your dust jackets? Do you take them off to read the book, or leave them on? Do you think it’s a travesty to get rid of them or do you not really care? Let me know in the comments. I’m genuinely interested to get a wider idea of the consensus over the community is.
(Maybe this is why I like paperbacks better. 😉 Hah!)