03 June 2013

Rulebook care

As a person constantly worried about everything I have made it a habit to protect my rulebooks, especially those with soft covers, with this clear self adhesive plastic sheet.

This habit began with me accidently damaging the cover of a rulebook a few years ago, which made me realize how extremely fragile soft covers are - and how rough transportation in a backpack or bag can be.

Using the clear plastic sheet adds amazing durability to the soft covers, and you will no longer run the risk of ripping them apart in accidents during transport, worry about worn edges or any of the regular "wear and tear" of normal use.

As you see I also covered my thick hardback By Fire & Sword rulebook, this was to protect the satin finish that covers the book and which I found is soft and had accidently damaged so that the satin finish began to peel off on one side.

Applying the self adhesive plastic is a real pain in the ass and there is risk of making air bubbles which will make ugly marks. You have to be extremely careful and plan this carefully, especially on soft cover books with matt finish as you may risk of ripping pieces of the surface off trying to fix the mistakes of air bubbles. The risk is minimal on books with glossy finish.

Using the plastic sheet on glued or just stapled together books is also a bit of a pain in the ass since you can fold the plastic perfectly onto the inside of the cover only up to a certain point and you may end up with the absolute back unprotected or having a simple unfolded piece of plastic sheet which will be exposed to dust and wear and tear. Thick books with proper binding are much better and less problematic this way, since you can make cuts so that you fold the plastic sheet over the inside of the cover and into the space in the back of the book - thus creating perfectly protected edges all the way around.

The simple picture attached to this post shows how and where to make the cuts to perfectly protect your hardcover book and to make the edges fold in such a way that they aren't exposed.


  1. I've been doing this for years. It truly adds years to the lifespan of any softcover, but as you say, needs to be done with extreme care.


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