Slantaholic wrote:I've picked up some sticky-back plastic in the sales, and I'm thinking of replacing all my covers and just having gold lettering atop of my Discworld bookshelf.
What do other people do with the dust covers? I've always left them on the books, but they're getting tatty and perhaps it would be best to cut them up and save the art.
Sticky-back plastic would severely damage the books, removing any first-edition value, and nobody has yet tested it for long-term discoloration and breaking down. Given the history of plastics in general and of transparent tape in particular, I would advise against it. Many librarians and book collectors have sadly learned that when the people advertising transparent tape said it was the perfect way to repair books, they lied. Within a few years it yellowed, it broke, and the glue chemistry damaged the pages and then lost its stickiness and fell off, leaving a more-damaged book.
There are non-harmful archival quality transparent bookjacket covers available (Brodart brand is one) that cover the dust covers and protect them, as well as protecting the book. I think it would be possible to adapt them to cover the book itself without harming the book. I suppose you could put the cover in another plastic protector and either store them in a flatpack or hang them on the walls if you like the pictures. They add a significant amount to first-edition value should you or your heirs ever decide to sell. Dealers will mention in ads whether a book's jacket is Brodart-protected.