Monday, September 5, 2011

Covering Books

Back when I was a kid, they sent home these cardboard covers printed with a yeasty smell.  As kids, we loved them because they advertised for Carnation Restaurant, a place directly across from our school that served fresh ice cream.  We hoped that covering the books would subliminally convince our parents to take us to get sundaes. (It almost never happened). I think they were exhausted from having to cut/fold/tape so many books.  Having only had to do this as a teen ager, I know my books never looked like my classmates, mine usually lost their book covers within weeks if not days, while other kids had books that were so expertly wrapped, you'ld have sworn the Carnation ad was intended as the cover. 

Now we have book socks and contact paper. Book socks I can handle, provided I pay attention at the end of the year when all used book socks become hats for pirates, costumes for superheros and sometimes princesses and pickachus.  But the contact paper, I can buy the industrial strength roll, and I still never have enough. 

Also, contact paper is a seasonal item, meaning once Labor day has passed, you can't find it except at the specialty education store lodged inbetween a Maytag repair shop and a tobacco store and you will pay through the nose for that clear sticky stuff. Personally, I've never understood why we need cover the books; it's not like we don't know we're giving these things to children who will beat them up, and it's not like we have any sentimental feelings towards these tomes that we will be forcing them to open and answer for the next nine months. 

I've started missing the cardboard wrappers of my youth despite knowing that my wrapping skills of yore still haven't improved, and that I'd embarrass my children dreadfully if allowed to showcase my book covering ability in public at my age.  But I stand by my feelings.  I miss the do it yourself book covers.  At least then, I'd let the subliminal messaging work on me, cover the darn things dutifully as required, and head out for some last minute of the summer ice cream. 

1 comment:

Karen said...

I'm not a big fan of the book socks because they just feel so flimsy. Of course, I do like that at the end of the year I can toss them in the washer and hang them to dry and they're ready for the next school year. I thought I was all set with book socks at the end of the school year this June but it turns out the middle school has wants solid color book socks (which are not easy to find) in specific colors.

When I was in school we used brown paper bags as book covers. I loved that they not only stayed on all year long, but I was able to decorate the cover however I pleased. I could even make the flaps inside the book large enough to serve as a pocket for holding papers.

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