“Rubberized” book covers?!

Is it just me? It seems that publishers have become really enamored of some new dust jacket treatment that adds an almost sticky texture to the paper. It feels sort of like a neoprene wetsuity material. I was on the Boston Globe Horn Book Award jury for 2012 and we recognized three pieces of fiction: No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Michaux Nelson (winner), Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet (honor book), and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (honor book). And all three have been subjected to these rubbery covers. Two of the three have dark, black backgrounds and I will admit that the matte finish of the texture adds some depth to it. But it also shows fingerprints something awful. And it’s a little tacky (duct-tape-adhesive tacky, not white-pants-after-labor-day tacky). Most libraries will put mylar covers over the jacket, simultaneously solving the problem of the unpleasant feel and compromising the benefits of the matte finish. And, really, at the end of the day, it doesn’t much matter. At all. But, still, someone is going to a lot of trouble (it must be some trouble) to take what might be perfectly fine dust jackets and make them stick.

What do you think?

no crystal stairlife an exploded diagramverity

4 thoughts on ““Rubberized” book covers?!

  1. Glad I found this when I Googled “book cover paper rubberized,” because I wasn’t sure if that was why Mary Oliver’s “A Thousand Mornings” felt the way it did when I received it from Amazon today. At first I thought their warehouse needed a good cleaning. I do think it will be nice to not have the book slip out of my hands as I read in bed however! And these interesting touches are what helps keep paper books alive.

  2. That the book won’t slip out of the reader’s hands might be the reason for the cover surface treatment. And, if that’s it, I’ll admit it’s a good idea. But for those of us who aren’t the most orderly housekeepers; where a book might lay out for some time, the rubberized jacket makes it pretty much impossible to wipe dust (or anything else) off. That plus, as a person with Asperger Syndrome, for some of whom textures can be an “issue,” I don’t like the feel of it at all. Ick. 🙂

  3. They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
    Unfortunately, I do not like holding a book that feels like greasy tupperware.
    I prefer old school real paper.

  4. I’m with Mike and Harry, I prefer the old paper covers. I do not care for the feel of the new covers and will remove it or cover it with paper.

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