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mannikins vomit
11-23-2010, 12:18 PM
A stunning limited edition of SoaDD just arrived for me yesterday. I spent more time admiring the beauty and artistry of the book than actually reading it. So far, I've only read The Frolic, but when I was reading it the crackling of the mylar Brodart was making me very anxious so I just took the dust jacket off to finish it. I really liked the feel of the leather in my hands. I'm extremely careful when handling it and I place it back in the dust jacket once I'm done reading.
Does anyone else do this? Will it affect the integrity of the book? I'm trying to keep this treasure as perfect as possible. I read the original SoaDD recently...maybe I shouldn't even read the book; are the revisions that good???

nomis
11-23-2010, 01:02 PM
I take my dust jackets off to read books, yes. That said, I'm a firm believer in books, regardless of cost, being read, not just used as decoration or hidden away in some vault, waiting to increase in value.

In that regard, I suggest not worrying about whether you are damaging your book reading it or not. Just read and enjoy.

Freyasfire
11-23-2010, 02:43 PM
I take my dust jackets off to read books, yes. That said, I'm a firm believer in books, regardless of cost, being read, not just used as decoration or hidden away in some vault, waiting to increase in value.

In that regard, I suggest not worrying about whether you are damaging your book reading it or not. Just read and enjoy.

I agree with this 100%.

I always take of dust jackets before I read a book, mainly because the dust jacket is so much more fragile than the book itself and I don't want it to get too damaged, as I carry the book I am reading around with me everywhere (no matter how rare), and things sometimes get a little bit messy in my knapsack...

Murony_Pyre
11-23-2010, 02:46 PM
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't read with the dust jackets taken off. I sympathize with the Brodart making you feel anxious, it does me as well, at times. If I take a book to work, I tend to read with the dust jacket on. Of course there are some books I wouldn't dream of bringing to work!

misteraitch
11-23-2010, 03:36 PM
I usually leave them on unless (i) I really don't like the dust jacket (the one on the UK edition of Grimscribe, for example) or sometimes (ii) if it's a large, heavy or unwieldy book.

waffles
11-23-2010, 03:55 PM
Most Times I do because I don't want to get greasy fingerprints on the dust jacket.

Piranesi
11-23-2010, 04:10 PM
"Walking by a booth with an impressive selection of dust jacket art, I heard a dealer say to a passerby, 'Donít judge a book by itís content!' (...) Much of the fondness avid readers, and certainly collectors, have for their books is related to the bookís physical bodies."
-- Allison Hoover Bartlett, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much.

I used to undress my books during reading, too. Some years ago, however, I bought a book from an antiquarian bookseller who had provided the dust jacket with a transparent, very clear and almost glassy plastic material. The "film" is glued to a piece of paper between which the dust jacket is perfectly protected, and can at any time be removed without being harmed.

I have been unable to ascertain the name of this wonderful plastic material but I have found something which comes close: a book cover film usually used for school books. It is (of course) transparent and non-adhesive, but softer and not as glass-clear as the above described material.

The New Nonsense
11-23-2010, 04:56 PM
I normally keep my dust jackets on. However, occasionally I encounter a book bound in something with a smooth/slick texture. In this case the jacket slides around too much as I read (usually it slides up). This drives me nuts. In such cases I remove the jacket temporarily while I read , after washing my hands of course. ;)

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a big fan of dust jackets in general. They're far too fragile, even with Brodart covers. They were originally designed to keep grubby fingerprints off the actual book, but in the collecting world the jacket is essential to a book's value and must be kept pristine as well, making it doubly hard to ensure a book stays in good shape.

Recently Jerad at Centipede Press asked people on his email list if they would prefer he start using jackets on his books. I responded with a definite, "NO".

I love jacket art, but said art can just as easily be included within the book.

Besides, only savages read without wearing white cotton gloves! :)

Nemonymous
11-23-2010, 05:18 PM
An interesting case study. Serendipitously having just occurred tonight.

Relating to OBLIVION'S POPPY by Colin Insole, for which I've just started a real-time review.

At the beginning of this review I wrote:

Surprisingly, beneath the above dustjacket, the book’s hard cover clearly shows in large gold letters a different title embossed on its front (there may be a reason for this that I have not yet fathomed) and this is: <<THE SEER IS NEVER THANKED Stefan George.>>

Later in the review I have written:

It has since become clear to me that the 'title' under the dustjacket is not a title at all but a quote! One that I shall comment upon if this seems appropriate when reading the rest of the novella. However, I maintain that it looks like a title in large gold upper-case lettering right across the front. Indeed, with nothing on the spine, if any edition of this book ever loses its dustjacket (as books sometimes do) and then turns up in a secondhand bookshop, someone will pick up the book and may assume it's THE SEER IS NEVER THANKED by Stefan George. He'll likely put it back on the shelf without looking inside. After all, he was looking for a book by his favourite writer Colin Insole! That's not a criticism, but an observation. In fact, I think it's a clever trick.

Ascrobius
11-23-2010, 05:36 PM
I almost always remove the dust jacket when reading a book with one. I find that in opening the book and loosening the wrap on the book boards you increase the likelihood of damaging the DJ, i.e., creasing, smudging, ripping, so forth. The way I see it, dust jackets are for when the books are closed and not being read, per se, so I usually take it off, put it to the side and return it when I'm done. For the inquiry as to whether or not the revisions in SOADD are worth reading, I'd say that with the amount of work and thought that went into them on Tom's part, you'd be remiss by not reading them at some point. Since you read Songs recently, maybe you want to wait. Then again, if you have the older variations fresh in your head, you may notice certain nuanced differences in certain parts of stories.

mannikins vomit
11-23-2010, 06:33 PM
I feel more comfortable now after hearing everybody, to toss, read place in a secure drawer with kid gloves, the DJ aside and delve right back into this objet d'art. Everything rots and wilts in my head so I unfortunately will probably not even notice the revisions. I'm still reading it though and it seems better this time, if only for the fact that last time I was holding a dusty old interlibrary loan copy and now I'm holding a pristine leather-bound edition.

G. S. Carnivals
11-23-2010, 07:31 PM
I remove dust jackets when reading a hardcover. The aforementioned sliding phenomenon drives me bonkers, too. Another reason to strip down might be a personal aversion to the dust jacket art. Because of an irrational fear of arachnids, I would absolutely have to remove the DJ from Neville Spearman's 1971 edition of Lost Worlds by Clark Ashton Smith. The cover image of that very hairy spider is not much smaller than one of my hands... :eek:, :eek:, and :eek:!

Dr. Valzer
11-24-2010, 05:57 AM
The only time I'll read a book with the dust jacket on is when I've protected said jacket in a mylar sleeve. This I do only with very rare books, or ones that are particularly meaningful to me and thus endure repeat readings. I'm certainly a member of the "Just Read It" camp. All the books in my fairly modest collection were bought to be read.

Relatedly, I know a lot of bookish folks who cannot bear to part with any title in their library, and folks who must finish any book they begin, no matter how tedious they find it. I'm much more ruthless; I weed out the unwanted chaff from my collection every few years and sell these titles off to buy ones I wish to have. As far as reading goes, I have a general fifty-page rule for books; if the author hasn't lured me in on some level by Page 50, I quit. I've far too many books I wish to read to devote my life to homework. :)

Derek
11-25-2010, 01:58 PM
I recently encountered this problem when I started buying books from Tartarus Press (with their lovely mustard dustjackets).

I made the foolish mistake of leafing through the Sunday paper and then reaching down my nice new copy of Arthur Machen's 'Ritual' from the shelf - cue inky fingerprint disaster.

What a sickener!

nomis
11-25-2010, 03:18 PM
I recently encountered this problem when I started buying books from Tartarus Press (with their lovely mustard dustjackets).

I made the foolish mistake of leafing through the Sunday paper and then reaching down my nice new copy of Arthur Machen's 'Ritual' from the shelf - cue inky fingerprint disaster.

What a sickener!

Tartarus Press often has extra dustjackets for their books. You may be able to replace it fairly inexpensively. Something to consider, at least. I'd suggest dropping Ray a line.

DoktorH
11-25-2010, 09:32 PM
Given that my boo9ks often go into a bag and follow me to work, the laundromat, etc, I like to take the dust jacket off and leave it on my nightstand. Once I've finished reading, the jacket goes back on and the book goes to a shelf. some dustjackets do get damaged/lost, but I don't buy books as collectibles in and of themselves - I am after the content. This frustrated me when I first got interested in Ligotti, since I couldn't find anything of his as an ebook.