Stripped Naked


I always take off the dust jacket before reading a hardcover book.

If not it bothers me when I hold the book (it slips up and down).

the naked book


My issue then becomes where I will temporarily put it until I finish the book.

It looks so odd lying there, purposeless, homeless.


the book jacket



When I finish the book, I reclothe it.   And in its protective armour, it joins the others on the bookshelf waiting to be read again.

being reclothed

78 thoughts on “Stripped Naked

    • It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one! Creasing doesn’t bother me but it’s sweet that you think of it. I just have small hands and hardbacks are a bit bulky so I don’t want the added factor of slipping.

      It’s funny how we all have our little reading quirks!

  1. Ditto. The cover is a distraction like sitting down with a hooded jacket bulging out behind you. Off it comes.The Namesake was a good read. Unaccustomed Earth is next. I like that …quirky readers’ club. 🙂

    • It’s true, some jackets are horrendous. I once removed a bright orange one with raised lettering and found a beautiful grey book underneath so it has remained “naked” ever since!

  2. I always put it aside too! But mostly because I want to avoid getting any tears or wrinkles in it, haha.
    May I ask which book by Jhumpa Lahiri are you reading?

    • It’s so funny; a lot of people are telling me that’s why they remove the book jackets too!

      The book I used for the photos is Unaccustomed Earth. I read it a while ago but I remember liking the first story the best although they are all good.

    • Yes, those are lovely!

      I wonder if you are all like me and only put back the jacket at the end or if you put it on when not reading the book.

      It’s just so odd to have this book jacket lying there for days but I can’t be bothered to put it back on each time so I wait until I finish the book!

  3. Oh, man. Here I thought I was going to see you… Love the title and agree with the slippery book covers. I too remove them until it’s time for a rest. I’m also a big re-reader. Great post, Letizia

    • Wouldn’t that have been a dramatic post!

      I love rereading too: it’s interesting to see if you are still drawn to the same passages and characters or if you are pulled elsewhere. Or just to revisit a great story again!

  4. I do the same thing, I hate a creased book cover so take them off. I HATE creases. I believe back in the day when you brought a book, the shop took off the cover and sent it to be recycled unless yo specifically asked for it. Covers are only good for show. We have much in common.

    • I didn’t know that booksellers sometimes kept the jackets. How interesting!

      I don’t mind the creases but I hate pulling the jacket back down when it rises – I just want to read! 🙂

      • Shops stopped doing it years ago, happily for all of us who like to know what a book is about before we purchase it. I tend to be very OCD about the jacket being level when I buy a book and it goes into the bag, people don’t understand that if I buy it in good condition it needs to stay that way or i sulk. I hear yo with the reading though. No distractions makes for very happy people.

        • I think when you really love to read, your books become very important and personal so we like them to be a certain way. Makes them hard to lend out sometimes.

    • We have to figure out what to do with these poor book jackets when not on use so we don’t lose them and so they don’t look so silly sitting there!

      Perhaps putting them on the next book we plan to read? But what are the chances it would fit? And if you forgot you put it there that could get quite confusing. Oh dear.

    • I like some book jackets but, it’s true, some books are much more beautiful naked! Sometimes I remove the jacket and am startled to find neon lettering on the spine or something odd that doesn’t go with the plot of the book.

      “naked and proud” That’s great!

  5. I use my covers as a bookmark till I’m done with them–otherwise I lose them. 🙂 This was a great, clever post! Thanks for writing.

    • I’ve tried that but, for some reason, still struggle with the book jacket slipping and sometimes lose my place if the book is too thick. It does work with simmer volumes though, it’s true! Thanks for the visit and the kind words 🙂

  6. I hereby join the tribe of jacket strippers. I evaluate the visual appeal of the jacket itself and on a couple of occasions I so disliked the foolish jacket that when I put it back I turned it over and it became a charming white color. One of these books, a heavy tome, is The German Genius by Peter Watson, a 2010 first edition, and a very interesting disquisition; my bookmark sits at page 833 of 835… The book “designer” is even mentioned, but I nixed him.

  7. I also remove the jacket, because it’s important to preserve the jacket for the future value of the book. A 1975 first edition of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King sold for just over 90 grand and “95% of that considerable price tag is accounted for by the dust jacket alone” according to (

    When I remove it the jacket takes the place of the book on the shelf, spine out, waiting for me to finish reading it.

  8. I avoid reading hardcovers when I can, my fav format is mass market paper. I have reading injuries! aching hands and tweeked neck, do you? what is your fav Format?

  9. I can’t remember the last time I bought a hardcover book to read. All of mine are simply reference books. I do get some freebies from Barnes & Noble (and previously Borders) but because they are freebies, they don’t have dust jackets on them.

  10. I take the covers off — love a naturally posed book! It’s my first step toward making the tomb mine, and then I’m less intimidated with the idea of underlining and making notes in the columns. You must, though, have a beautiful shelf with all those covers back on again. Good job!

    • That’s a good point, taking the jacket off is quite liberating. I feel the same way when I crack the spine of a paperback. Once I’ve done that, I’m comfortable writing in the margin and underlining too!

  11. Fascinating. I am intrigued that so many people remove the dust cover. I have never done that until this very moment. Just picked up a few books and looked under the dust covers. A whole new world under there. Thank you!

  12. Pingback: What To Do With the Cover While Reading a Book? « Atlanta Booklover's Blog

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