Covering Books

Covering Books

On Face Book, people post pictures of items, activities, and places from the past and say, “If you remember this, click.”  Some pictures demand that I write about them, and one such  recently was “covering books.”

They showed brown paper covers – made from grocery bags- but all through junior high school I covered my books with oilcloth. (I wonder if they even make that anymore?) The first homework assignment in very class was to cover your book.  When I got home from school, my mother would give me the money to take the bus to Medford Square to buy theoilcloth.  I would carefully consider all the choices because this was durable material and would last the whole year.  I remember that one year I chose bright yellow and another a blue floral print. Once home, my mother would help me cover the book, and then I was all set.

By the time I got to high school , I, like everyone else, was using brown paper bags to make the book covers, but  I was fascinated that my mother showed me a clever way of folding  so no tape was required.

We students had a great deal of respect for our books, taught by our teachers and reinforced by our parents. We were to handle books only with clean hands and not leave an open book  face down as that would weaken the spine.  I think we would have covered the books even if not required. To this day I would never dog-ear a page to mark my place.

What interests me is that now,  at school, when a single book can cost more than my father earned in a couple of days, I don’t see many covered books, but I do see books just lying around anywhere.

© Dorothy C. Judd


Next Post: Thursday, January 10th.


About twofelines

What to say? I love my family and friends. I also love kids, cats, and books. Oh, and potato chips and Cheez-its. I am a retired teacher who still loves to be in the classroom, so now I am a substitute teacher.
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4 Responses to Covering Books

  1. Pi Cheney says:

    I remember oilcloth and don’t know how it differs from what’s sold in fabric stores now – vinyl with soft backing like for table cloths

  2. Haven’t checked that out. No need, but I would think the original oilcloth was a much lighter weight.
    Way cheaper, too!!!

  3. Pam Cheney says:

    A good friend (who is the most avid reader I know) folds down the page corner to save her place. I have never said a word to her about it, but It makes me crazy; I consider it desecration, especially since she now gets most of her books from the library.

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