An old habit, and possibly a weird one

Here’s something I don’t do much anymore. Not since I became addicted to downloading ebooks to my kindle. But it turns out I do still sometimes purchase treebooks…

In such cases, out comes my good old (enormous) roll of ‘contact’.

covering booksI’ve been covering my fantasy paperbacks in transparent ‘contact’ (also known as sticky-backed plastic) for a very long time — like, almost 30 years. It’s got to the point where I can’t start reading certain paperbacks until I’ve covered them. And it’s not as though I really care whether the covers get a bit dog-eared… but somehow I just like the smooth shiny texture of them covered. They feel more robust. Good for lending to people.

Many years ago a friend alerted me to a particular local company (Duraseal) from which I could purchase wholesale rolls of clear plastic adhesive 30cm wide and a whopping 30m long. A width of 30cm just happens to be perfect for a conventional paperback spread open. A length of 30m makes the roll last a very long time.

And in the age of the kindle? A VERY long time.

The roll of contact shown in the picture was purchased at least five years ago. Probably longer ago than that. And it barely looks as though I’ve made a dent.

I had to buy Shards of Time as a paperback, because it wasn’t available on kindle for some weird reason. I was so frustrated at the time, because I’ve become accustomed to getting books I want in under a minute. But, in hindsight, I’m glad I was forced to get the paperback, because this is about the seventh in the series, and I have the rest in paperback as well.

It’s not as important to me as it used to be to have matching sets of books, but it’s still kind of nice.

There are still some books I’ll try to get in paperback rather than digital, but it’s becoming increasingly rare. I have a feeling that good old roll of contact is going to last decades.

Anyone else like to cover their books in clear plastic adhesive?

11 comments

  1. Nope, can’t say I’ve ever done that. I used to use old brown paper grocery bags to make book covers for my textbooks when I was in school, but that’s about it. Your tactic feels a bit….organized for someone who prides herself on being the Queen of Clutter.

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    1. We used to cover all our school text books and even exercise books in contact – I think that’s what got me started. And, while it might seem like something an organised person would do, sometimes I find it difficult to find the clear space required to cover a book. So there’s that. 🙂

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  2. No books, but when I was really young and my mum bought us our first copy of Monopoly, she cover all the money in it in contact. They set lasted so much longer than anyone else’s I know, and it did make the money feel so much better. In fact, she may have been the one to invent the plastic money we take for granted now!

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  3. I’ve never heard of “contact”. Must be an Aussie thing. 🙂
    I do remember the paper grocery bag covers for school books.

    But, never mind the covers. I have trouble with my old Mary Stewart books falling apart. I have to keep them in ziplocks to keep the pages in order. And – with these old eyes – the print is sooo small. I would love to get them all in hard back with lovely large print. Maybe even illustrated. Still, it would be hard to let go of my originals.

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    1. I think the brand ‘contact’ is Australian, but the concept isn’t… It came after brown paper bags. 🙂

      As for books falling apart – mine too, especially my Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer books, most of which were bought second-hand. Those that weren’t bought second-hand (later releases) are of course covered in contact. Not that this would stop the pages falling out, but I don’t think they’ve had enough action for the pages to fall out yet.

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  4. I love it! I too covered my school and uni books and textbooks in contact but never considered covering novels. But I’m considering it now. Chuckle.

    And I agree on the (actual) book collections; I love reading on my iPad mini and keep a pile of books on it, but I still prefer our real books. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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