Worth It! Brodart Book Jacket Covers
My favorite cousin, who is a librarian, just sent me a 20 yard roll of Brodart as a wedding gift. This gift triggers the tweaker center of my brain in so many ways it’s not even funny. I don’t know how I’ve lived so long without owning this product.
All good library patrons have an intimate knowlege of Brodart, although even the best readers might not know it by its actual name. Brodart is the heavy, mylar film that librarians use to slip cover the dust jackets of hardback books. While I have appreciated this product for my entire reading life, I had never thought about using it in my home library before today.
It is so genius.
While I prefer to use the public library for my pleasure reading as Dinky Manor is woefully short on shelf space, what books I do keep around are all reference books. Brodart is perfect for keeping cookbooks and garden almanacs free of dirt and chocolate frosting. In addition to keeping new books looking pristine over time, Brodart is also a great repair tool.
Here’s the tattered dust jacket of a vintage knitting book I just bought:
Here is the same dust jacket now encased in Brodart:
Brodart comes in a variety of widths. I used the 12 inch version, which is a nice fit for most of my bigger cookbooks and smaller picture books. It’s clear mylar on the front, and the back is made of two parchment leaves.
To use Brodart, roll it out flat. Remove the book’s dust jacket, laying it flat on top of the Brodart. Cut a length of Brodart that is slightly longer than the dust jacket.
Open up the back of the Brodart and slide the dust jacket, wrong side facing you, between the parchment leaves.
Flip the Brodart-encased dust jacket over, right side facing you. Smooth out any wrinkles and even up the edges of the book with the edges of the Brodart.
Flip the whole shebang over so the wrong side is facing you again. Fold any surplus Brodart to the back of the dust jacket, matching the folds to the edges of the dust jacket. Do not attach the Brodart to the book with glue or tape as these could damage the book over time. Properly folded, the Brodart will stay put without any adhesive.
Wrap the newly Brodart-ed dust jacket back onto the book.
The Brodart should fit the book like a second skin, without any buckling.
The gentle readers of this blog know that I rarely buy anything new for environmental reasons. I prefer to buy used goods, as those don’t take any resources out of our already overtaxed planet. Ironically, almost every single blog out there about sustainable living, including this one, eventually starts to resemble every other shopping-centric lifestyle site. By actively trying to stop rampant consumerism, one ends up spending a lot of time thinking, talking and writing about consumerism. I recognize that this post is pretty much one big advertisement for the Brodart company. That said, I think it’s a product that really increases the life of books, and ultimately saves more space in the landfill than it creates. It’s also manufactured in the United States.Sometimes buying new is a good thing.