Saturday, July 14, 2012

Separating a Book and Jacket

I bought some Dana Girls books with the blue and red dust jackets.  The jacket for The Portrait in the Sand was stuck to the book as a result of major water damage.

I decided that I wanted to remove the jacket from the book.  The only way to do this was to use steam.  Normally, I would never use steam on a book or jacket, but in the case of severe water damage, a little moisture hurts nothing. 

I placed water in a pan on the stove and brought it to boiling.

I started with the back flap. The part that was stuck was the top couple of inches. I held the jacket over the steam, then used a knife underneath from the bottom part of the flap to gradually pull the flap free.

 Next, I went to the back panel. I began with the top edge near the back flap.

I got the left top of the back panel free, but the next part was stuck really good. I paused and tried the front flap. The front flap was stuck good.

I went back to the back panel. I held the book over the steam and tried with the knife from the underneath. I could tell that the jacket was going to rip no matter what I did. I noticed that the jacket looked like someone had already tried to pull it free near the top of the back panel, so this meant that I was going to lose some of the jacket no matter what.

I then held the book over the steam some more and managed to free most of the back panel.

I then got the idea to try from the top edge of the back panel, which is the reverse of what logic would tell me to do.  Success! I freed the back panel.

Next was the front panel, which I thought would be really hard. Without using any steam, I pulled the entire front panel free.

Now I was down to the front flap, which I planned to pull free by pulling from the front panel.  I steamed the front flap and pulled some of it free. Working at it, I was finally down to a 2 inch by 1/2 inch area near the lower right edge. This part was stuck as bad as the top part of the back panel. I worked at this area for around five minutes, and finally, I pulled it free.


I'm sure some of you are looking at the photos of the dust jacket and book and are thinking, "Why bother?  The book and jacket are trashed."  First and foremost, I wanted the dust jacket in a mylar cover, which was going to improve the appeal of the book and jacket.  That was not possible with the jacket stuck to the book.  Second, with the dust jacket removed from the book, the possibility of getting another better condition book for the dust jacket now exists.

If I am able to find a better book in the very near future, I will make the substitution.  If not, then I will be selling the book and jacket together.  Even though the condition is bad, a number of collectors would not mind purchasing it.  These early jackets are scarce and difficult to find.


Timothy O'Herin said...

Knowing some collectors are picky about what titles are on dust jackets as a way to determine age of the book, do you feel the need to tell buyers that the dust jacket did not come with the book? Even if the dust jacket appears to be the exact one the book would have come in, is it required?

Jennifer said...

It's so annoying to have typed a long comment, unaware that my DSL signal went down briefly, and then I lost all of it when I hit preview. This response will be a bit terse since I am typing it from memory and don't want to type it all again. :(

Ideally, the swap should be disclosed.

In this case, I would disclose a swap, since I would want buyers to know that the book swapped book is not water damaged.

I would only swap this book with another purple book. Most likely, there was only one purple printing before the format change to blue books, so any purple Portrait in the Sand would likely match. If not, I would mention that.

If I can't find a purple book fairly soon, then I will not swap books.

I bought some other Dana Girls books with jackets along with this one. I am seeking matches for a couple of books that have stains and some water damage. A few books had jackets that were nicer than my jackets but the books were worse. I swapped books and jackets. Fortunately, both books have the same points. I think these blue and red Dana Girls books and jackets did not go through many printings, since the ones I bought matched up so well with ones that I already had.

Around five years ago, I bought a huge lot of around 60 Nancy Drew books with jackets. I placed those jackets on various tweed books. I tried to match them fairly close, but some were off by several years. I did mention that the books and jackets were mismatched.

I hope all of that made sense. It is not as good as my first lost comment.