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So, you just obtained a book. An expensive book or an inexpensive book with potent sentimental value. You want to cherish it, store it, protect it. You reach for your favorite Brodart (or Gaylord) book jacket cover.

And that's when you realize - the book has no dustjacket (DJ) to cover.

What (some) collectors may not realize is that even books without DJs, or "naked" books, can still be enclosed in a Brodart cover. This is not only an option, but something that should be actively pursued. The board material (the "outer skin" of a book) can become dirty or erode over time when frequently handled by human hands.

Now, I won't deceive you. While it only takes a few minutes to ensconce a DJ, covering a non-DJ'd book is a pain. It takes some measuring, a lot of trimming, some more trimming, trimming, and a bit of tape. And there are some aesthetic drawbacks. Many collectors love the "feel" of a finely bound book, particularly when leather is used. And the endpapers will be partially obscured with this method.

Finally, great care should be taken when pursuing this protective measure. It requires using scissors very, very close to the book. So, don't try this after a night on the town or if you're in some other impaired state.

With these caveats in mind, I still advocate the Brodarting of naked books. The following pictures document my method. It may not be the best, but works 99% of the time. As mentioned earlier, you will need some acid-free tape (one-sided), scissors, and plenty of patience. To the pics!

A book on the slab! This is Bound for Evil, the first hardcover production from Dead Letter Press. BfE was issued without a dustjacket or slipcase, making this an ideal example for this article.

A shot of the spine. See the scissors and tape in the background? You'll need 'em!

As this pic shows, the book's width is right at six inches.

And its depth is about two inches. Pretty darn thick, especially for this press' first hardcover outing.

The first measurement you'll need. I use rolled Brodart sheets, not the precut ones. Once you've done a few of these, you'll be able to just eyeball the required length.

Since BfE is six inches long and two inches thick, a length of Brodart material of around 18 inches will be required. This can be trimmed of any excess, if need be. Better to have too much than too little (actually, having too little makes the Brodart sleeve worthless).

Just verifying the Brodart jacket length. There's one measurement...

...and two...

...and three. As you can see, we should have plenty of sleeve in order to enclose the book.

Fold the Brodart sheet in half to make a centerline crease.

Ensure the crease is visible. This will be the centerpoint for the book.

You can mark the centerline crease if you wish, but it's not necessary.

Marks of the centerline and book spine edges. Again, once you've done a few, this step will be superfluous.

Now, get out some scissors and make four cuts as shown. You'll want to trim a little further out from the spine edges as shown in this pic.

Peel the paper back...

...and remove. There should now be a center slit which will be just wide enough to accommodate the book's spine.

Verifying the trim. A little tight, but it'll work. This step also allows me to see how much trimming I'll need to do of the spine area to match the book's height.

As shown here. Make the trim along the very edge of the paper backing and remove the excess flap.

The sleeve should now look like this. I've rotated it 180 degrees so that the trimmed spine area is on top.

Now we're ready to begin covering the front board and endpaper. Fold the paper back as pictured.

This is where a third arm would be handy. Open the front board as shown and fold the backing around the endpapers. You'll notice there's an excess amount of material, which is okay, as we can make another trim...

...like so. I just excised about an inch of the paper backing from the top.

Go ahead and do the same for the back board. The Brodart sleeve should now look like this.

Return to covering the front endpaper. After the trim, there's now the right amount of material so that the top paper backing overlaps the bottom just enough. Ensure the sleeve is tight around the board and apply a short length of tape to attach the top cover to the bottom.

A shot of the book with the front board sleeved.

An edge shot showing the same.

Repeat the front board covering method for the back board. The book should now look like thus.

We've got a little too much Brodart material, which is easily fixable. Where'd I put those scissors...?

Ah, here they are. Trim a length of sleeve material as needed for both the front and back boards. I usually leave about a two-inch overhang, but even just half an inch should be fine.

A photo of the fully trimmed sleeve. We're not done cutting yet, though!

CAREFULLY insert the scissors between the folds of the sleeve and cut from the outer edge of the sleeve to the beginning of the book.

Repeat this for the bottom. You should now have two separated flaps as shown in this pic.

Trim about an eighth of an inch of the clear material from the outer edge to the beginning of the book.

Now, with a steady hand and a sure grip, take the scissors and remove the inside flap section as shown.

You should now be left with just a clear flap section. This flap will be used to...

...fold over the board. Use another small length of tape to affix the clear flap to the paper backing. Repeat for the back board and VOILA! You can now handle that book to your heart's content without fear of it being damaged by your smelly, stinky, hairy hands.

And there she is! The end result of all your hard-won labor. Congratulations!

Remember that this process can be employed for virtually any and all books, whether they be small novelettes that can fit in the palm of your hand to massive coffee-table editions.

Now, the time it took me to do the above was around ten to fifteen minutes (not counting the photographing). The time it takes to cover your typical DJ is two to four minutes. This is why I always like to receive DJs, no matter how fine a book is bound. To be fair, no DJ was ever commissioned for Bound for Evil, as this was the only edition produced. Therefore, the lack of a DJ is acceptable. Annoying, but acceptable.

I'm sure there are variations on the method I've outlined above - this is just the way I Brodart naked books. If you have a superior technique, I'd love to hear about it.

Now, back to the reviews!