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?