Quick Tip: Remove Your Jackets!

December 10, 2014

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File this under: Something you could do right now that would instantly update your shelves.

I was reloading the shelves in the reading room after Halloween–truthfully, Thanksgiving day–and it was all looking so busy. I didn’t have the energy or time to really redecorate the shelves that day, but I did something simple that changed everything. I removed the dust jackets on all of our books!

Here’s a quick sampling of the impact:



Ahhhh, so much better. Each book now has one solid color instead of a myriad of colors. It just looks so much cleaner and streamlined. I’ve heard of people framing their jackets, or even wallpapering with them. I put mine in a box for now, but will probably end up just recycling them after a year or so.


Do you have the jackets on your books still? I thought, why in the world do I still have these on?! They annoy me almost every time I am reading. And now our books look as good as they read.

Psst. I have been busy painting the stairwell and hope to have an update on that for you tomorrow or Friday!

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What do you think?

  1. I don’t like to fuss with the dust jackets either. Especially on my kids’ bookshelf, since the jackets usually end up getting pulled off and separated anyway.

  2. Linette says:

    If the book is special or old, KEEP the covers! A book’s value is much more with original dust jackets.

  3. Christine says:

    I like to leave the jackets on because I am a person who constantly re-reads their books. I leave fingerprints and all other sorts of junk all over the cover. Also, some of the covers are too beautiful – I can’t even imagine the Harry Potter books without the beautiful covers!

  4. Cair says:

    That looks great!

    I am sure there is some craft waiting to be done with those book jackets.

    When my daughter was little she couldn’t stand having jackets on books. The OCD in my said to keep the jackets and put them back on at a later time. I still have them in a box. Now she thinks it would be cool to frame her favorites for when she has kids. That could be fun.

  5. Katie M. says:

    Great idea! My husband makes great bread from that Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day book. It was kind of neat to see that someone else has it too!

  6. Jeanna says:

    Well, I always leave mine on :) I’m like the librarian, it seems wrong somehow, ha ha! But I do admit that it looks cleaner. What does kill me though is all the people who turn their books spine facing in, or cover with all white paper, wallpaper, etc. How do those people ever find the book they want?? Do they even read?

  7. Monica says:

    From the title of the post I thought you might be addressing entry issues! Actually, since seeing your tour the other day I started wondering if you had ever considered using the wall of the music room (I am so in love with those shelves!) that is to the right of the entry into the room, for hanging coats etc. It seems pretty close to the front door and would mean that folks would not have to walk across the entry hall to hang coats and remove boots?

    • Julia says:

      Oh, haha. The entry is a wrap! Honestly, we have guests over maybe one or two nights a week. And we never ask them to remove their shoes (though most usually do.) Since that entry wall will, in the long term, be strictly for guests it seemed over the top to give it more than one wall. We hope to address our personal entry/mudroom off of the garage entry in the coming months, though!

  8. Meg says:

    I’d love to do this, but as a librarian, there’s something psychologically stopping me. If I can compartmentalize and say “it’s okay if the books at work are properly covered, but this looks so much cleaner/neater at home”, maybe THEN I can do it. :-)

  9. Trilby C. says:

    My oldest son and I remove the dust jackets from books almost as soon as we get them out of the bookstore! Like you, I like the clean look of the title without a lot of the artsy fussiness that’s on the jacket. However, my husband almost considers it sacrilegious to remove a dust jacket!! So he leaves them on his books. Funny how people can be so passionate about a little piece of paper!

  10. Deb G says:

    What a great tip! We are in the midst of building bookshelves right…so this post is perfect timing. Always LOVE your tips!

    Have loved your blog for awhile, by the way. A nice, achievable mix. And aspirational, too. Great style (and food, yum)!

  11. Nicky says:

    Yes, that looks much better. I hate dust covers. Whenever I buy a hardcover I immediately remove the jacket and throw it away, unless I think I might resell it. I rarely buy physical books anymore though.

    • Julia says:

      I’ve noticed that is true for us, too! A book we just want to read, we’ll usually do so digitally. But books we read over and over, we’ll get the physical copy and Chris is constantly adding to his cook book collection, too.

  12. Haley says:

    I usually use the dust jacket to mark where I am in the book, but that is nothing a bookmark (lets be foreal, scrap of paper, tissue, pen, whatever is closest) can’t remedy. The no-dust-jacket look is definitely more attractive.

  13. Hi thank you for sharing this great tip. I’m totally going to do this as son as possible. I also wanted to say that you guys are doing an awesome Jobb with this blog.

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