Do you guys cover your books? I do. Well I try to.
When I was younger, usually before the school year begins, I love spending an entire day just wrapping up my books in plastic. As years go by, I developed an art to it. There’s got to be a perfect grade of plastic that you can easily wrap your book with and then easily slip it off when you need to sell or give it away. There’s also a way to place the tape in a way that it doesn’t damage the book at any cost. It was an awesome process, I tell ya. However, adult life has robbed me of this leisurely task and so I make a point to take good care of my books especially when I’m traveling or in transit.
And then my recent trip to Japan happened and I visited bookstores left and right. At first, they’d ask me, “Do you want us to take the vinyl off your book?” Sure. No problem. And then they ask, “Do you want us to place a cover on your book?” How could I honestly say ‘No’?
I don’t know why this never happened to me before. Maybe because I never paid attention or that I probably bought books at bookstores that doesn’t do this stuff. But since I really managed to immerse in Tokyo this time around, I stopped by a lot of bookstores and at some point I was happy collecting all sorts of book covers.
For anime and manga fans, the best place to get book covers are in Animate and Toranoana. Animate doesn’t offer it all the time but it wouldn’t hurt to ask if you can get a cover. Animate’s cover though is a convenient plastic cover, the kind where it’s conveniently sized for your manga size and all you have to do is slip it in. It’s nice since it keeps the cover. But when you’re reading BL, it’s annoying that the people in front of you KNOW you’re reading BL.
I prefer the recycled paper covers, the kind that does its job of protecting your books while you read it in your travel as well as giving you enough privacy to hide your book from onlookers. Also, these book covers also come in varying designs. Also, the cashier does a lovely speedy trick in covering your books to the point that it’s almost inspiring to do this with any fancy sheet of gift wrap when I get home.
Stores vary in terms of design. My favourites are Bunkyodo’s, Toranoana, Books Ruhe in Kichijoji, and Haruya in Nakano Broadway.
I cannot suggest enough to get this when you’re in Japan, although at some point, you might think it’s definitely a waste of paper. To a degree it is and to be honest, at one point, you can tell the cashier that they don’t have to give you a cover. That saves the guilt and the great thing about this is you can reuse the covers for when you’re travelling and lugging your comics around. At least for me, it saved some of my new comics from getting a crease while I’m lugging them around from airport to airport.
If you go to Loft, you might even find an array of book covers that last longer. My favourite, and inspiration for creating my own book cover is Beahouse’s Freesize book cover. IT IS AWESOME! Just catch this video and let Paul convince you of its awesomeness!