Discussion Post: Dust Jackets or Naked Books? #letsdiscuss2019 #thoughtfulthursday

Literary critic Michelle Dean wrote an article in 2013 for Flavorwire where she confessed, Every hardcover that comes into my possession is desecrated, almost immediately, insofar as I automatically remove the dust jacket and often transport it directly to the trash.” 

Okay does that statement stress anyone else out?!

I have been known to peek under a dust jacket but I don’t think I could deliberately toss them out!

I love cover art. I’m fascinated by color and font choice and how the imagery reflects the story. I’m intrigued by marketing trends and appreciate how many meetings and phone calls and hours graphic designers worked to come up with an acceptable design.

5 Things Every Author Needs to Understand about Book Cover Design – Huffington Post

I also believe the dust jacket protects the book from smudges and fingerprints and the flap doubles as a bookmark!

What’s your favorite way to display your hardcovers? Jackets or no?

Do you take the dust jacket off when you’re reading and then put it back on?

Let’s discuss!

Here are the same stack of books with and without the dust jacket. The cover of Joyful is gorgeous!!Thoughts?

Want to see some gorgeous vintage dust jackets? https://www.abebooks.com/books/features/vintage-dust-jackets.shtml


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19 comments

  1. I take off the dust jacket while I’m reading them, but they stay on when on my shelf. I agree, they’re too pretty to throw away!

  2. I loved dust jackets! Although it seems like publishing hardcovers without dust jackets might be a thing now (I’m thinking of The Library Book by Susan Orlean, which came “naked”!). I take off the dust jackets while I”m reading, because I carry my books around with me everywhere and there’s no way they’d remain in one piece — but the dust jacket definitely goes back on before the book gets shelved.

  3. I always take dust jackets off when I’m reading the book, because it annoys me when it keeps slipping out of it, but I usually put it back on at the end. Although, if I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of hardback books in the first place. I know it’s controversial, but I just find paperbacks to be a bit easier to read!
    Great discussion 🙂

    • Hi Laura! I didn’t know that hardback vs. paperback was a controversial subject! 🤔
      I always wonder about the different sizes of paperbacks- and why in some cases it comes out in paperback first before it comes out in hardcover? The mysteries of publishing….

  4. This is an interesting topic! I really like dust jackets and how pretty the books are with them and without them, even, at times, too, but I always take them off when I’m reading, otherwise they bother me a little bit and I’m always scared to bend them the wrong way or something 😂
    Lovely post! 🙂

  5. I think aesthetically, naked books look a little nicer and cleaner, but I would have a really hard time throwing out dust jackets! I do take them off while I’m reading just because they usually get in my way and I don’t want them to get ruined or ripped or anything. Getting rid of the dust jacket might also make it harder to find books on the shelf? It’s an interesting thing to consider for sure!

  6. I’m currently reading Spinning Silver and I took the dust jacket off while I’m reading just because it’s white and I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. That thing is going to be DESTROYED if I leave it out with the dust jacket on. I put the dust jacket in a safe space until I’m done reading the book, then it will go back on the book to either stay on while it lives on my shelf or is donated or passed on to someone else. :/ The thought of someone taking the dust jacket off and throwing it right into the trash gives me HIVES.

Tell me what you think!