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As regular readers are probably already aware, I'm a HUGE fan of Brodart book protective sleeves. Without companies like Brodart and Gaylord, collectors would have an exceedingly difficult job sheltering books from the elements. Dustjackets (DJs) are highly susceptible to dirt, smudges, creases, and cuts. However, properly applied, a Brodart or Gaylord sleeve can perfectly envelop DJs and even "naked" books so that they'll last more than a lifetime. Plus, once in place, a collector need no longer fear handling rare and expensive books.

While Gaylord produces DJ sleeves, I've always used Brodart (mainly out of habit). Their line of fold-on archival book jacket covers are critical and essential supplies for any serious bibliophile. With only a little practice, they can be applied in just a few minutes, and yet their benefits are long-lasting.

This is my own Brodarting workstation. It's extremely ghetto, but works incredibly well. It consists of the following:

Now, before you ask, yes, the bookcase and paper cutter are overkill. However, the height of the bookcase, it's ability to hold an amazing 200 pounds per shelf, and the fact that it rolls makes it a fantastic work platform. I got the paper cutter only because it was being sold for a song on eBay and the laser guide looked incredibly sexy. I also wasn't happy with the cutters being offered from my local brick & mortar stores.

Brodart sleeves fall into two main categories - precut sheets and uncut rolls, with varying degrees of strength and durability between the pair. I've used both. While the precut sheets are convenient, I think the rolls are superior. There's no waste and each sleeve can be customized for each respective DJ or book being covered. To use the rolls, all it takes is a few seconds to do the required length measurement (actually, I just eyeball things).

It's not advertised on Brodart's website, but you can also use the sleeves to protect non-dustjacketed ("naked") books to overlay the exterior board material, which is something I also strongly encourage. I won't deceive you - it IS a pain, as it requires a lot more trimming, some caution with the scissors, and a bit of trickery, but does a wonderful job once applied.

[RANT] This is why I greatly prefer publishers include DJs with their limiteds, as it only takes a minute or two to apply a Brodart cover to a DJ, while it takes a lot more time and effort to protect a naked book. I know some collectors sneer at DJs, particularly for lettered books or others with fancy bindings, but when you consider this PLUS the fact that many companies, for whatever reason, don't include the DJ artwork as a frontispiece or fold-out (for wraparound art), it becomes a desired element for ANY publication, IMNSHO.[/RANT]

Anyway, enough with the babble. These are some pics I took of my setup. All told, it's pretty simple and doesn't take up much floorspace. Enjoy!

A shot of the entire platform.

Another shot showing the next book to go under the knife.

A pic from the other side of the platform.

Ah, my trashcan, my lovely trashcan. It obviously sees more than excess Brodart material.

The Brodart covers, in roll form.

The Dahle 564 cutter. Small, but an industrial-grade workhorse.

A shot of the paper clamp.

This is the adjustable guide. Push the red button and move it to wherever you want.

The blade guard which rotates during the cutting process. This safety feature prevents the user from lopping off a finger (or two).

The self-sharpening Solingen steel blade. You probably saw one of these in a Friday the 13th movie.

Don't look into the light! The laser guide in action. Seeeexxxxyyy!

Necro Publications' lettered edition of The Long Ones, about to be operated on.

An example of a "naked", non-dustjacketed book. You probably can't tell from this photo, but I've already applied the Brodart sleeve.