What Do You Call The Paper Covering Books?

Dust jacket

Dust jackets were originally used to display cover information on top of a simple binding. While hardcover printing technologies have largely replaced the role of the dust jacket, modern dust covers still serve to display promotional material and protect books from damage. Dust jackets may be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent.

Early history

Most books were published unbound before the 1820s, but towards the end of the century, publishers began to issue books in temporary paper-covered boards, and some small popular books were issued in detachable printed pasteboard sheaths, which are sometimes referred to as the first dust jackets.

Oldest dust jackets

The oldest known publishers’ dust jacket was issued in 1829 on an English annual, Friendship’s Offering for 1830, and is three years older than the previous oldest known jacket, The Keepsake for 1833 (issued in 1832). Both jackets are of the type that completely enclosed the books.

Late 19th and early 20th centuries

Dust jackets were often plainer than the books they covered, often repeating the main elements of the binding decoration in black on cream or brown paper. Cloth dust jackets became popular late in the nineteenth century, but some companies, such as subscription houses that sold millions of cheap books door-to-door, probably never used them.

Supplementary bands

Both hardcover and softcover books in Japan frequently come with two dust jackets: a full-sized one that serves the same purpose as in the West (and is usually kept with the book) and a thin “obi” (literally “belt”; colloquially “belly band” in English).

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As collectible items

Dust jackets from the 1920s and 1930s are highly valued by collectors, and some of them are worth far more than the books they cover. In 2009, one copy in near mint condition was listed for sale for half a million dollars.


The earliest known book jacket discovered in the Bodleian Library of England is that of William Henry Carter, who was published in 1934.

Further reading

Mark R. Godburn, Nineteenth-century dust-jackets, Pinner, Middlesex, England: Private Libraries Association, 2016. Pete Masterson, G. Thomas Tanselle, Book-Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use, Charlottesville, VA: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 2011.

What is a book covering called?

The leaves are the sheets of paper that make up a book’s pages, and the case is the hard cover of most commercially bound books.

What’s a paper cover book?

A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a book with a thick paper or paperboard cover that is held together with glue rather than stitches or staples; hardcover or hardback books, on the other hand, are bound with cardboard covered with cloth, plastic, or leather.

What is front cover of book called?

Half title page: a page at the front of the book block that only has the title; this is usually the first page you see when you open the book and is mostly blank except for the title; frontispiece: an illustration on the verso (left page) that faces the title page.

What are the different types of book covers?

Three Different Types of Book Covers

  • THE BASICS: Our softcover books have a flexible, high-gloss laminated cover and durable library binding.
  • 02 Hardcover with ImageWrap. THE BASICS: Our ImageWrap hardcover books have a durable matte finish and library binding, as well as end sheets*.
  • 03 Hardcover with Dust Jacket. THE BASICS: Our hardcover books have a durable matte finish and library binding, as well as end sheets*.
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What are the 8 parts of a book?

The following is included in the front matter:

  • The title page includes the book’s title, subtitle, author or authors, and publisher.
  • Copyright page.
  • Dedication.
  • Table of contents.
  • Foreword.
  • Acknowledgements.
  • Preface or Introduction.
  • Prologue.

How is a book cover made?

The pages of a paperback book are glued together with a paper cover and then cut to size, whereas the pages of a hardback book are sewn or glued into a cardboard “case” that is then covered with cloth or paper. The paper cover wraps around the book and includes flaps on both sides.

Why do hardback books have paper covers?

If you’ve ever bought a hardcover book, you’re probably familiar with the dust jacket (or dust-wrapper, depending on where you live), which is designed to protect the book’s cloth cover while it travels from the publisher to your bookshelf.

Should you keep book covers?

Because dust jackets are an important part of the book, it’s a good idea to protect both the dust jacket and the book to protect your investment. Dust jackets can be protected by purchasing mylar covers designed specifically for dust jackets, which are replaceable when they wear out.

What is the point of dust covers?

The glossy cover and paper jacket combination protects the book cover underneath from spills, stains, and other marks that might occur, while the dust jacket serves as a barrier against scratches, scuffs, spills, and anything else that might otherwise ruin a book.

What is first page of book called?

The first section of a book, called front matter (or preliminaries; shortened to “prelims”), is usually the shortest in terms of page count.

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What is the first blank page of a book called?

Page 1: This blank page is also known as a flyleaf, and it was originally used to protect your book.

What is front matter in a book?

The front matter (also known as preliminary matter or prelims) is found at the beginning of the book and contains information about the author, publisher, copyright, order, and tone of the book. 2) Text (or body): This is the main story or narrative.

Do book covers matter?

Because book jackets are visual and involve artiness and pictures, it’s very easy to get sidetracked by the aesthetics, which is why it’s more important to help readers tell what kind of book they’re looking at at a glance.

What is the purpose of a book cover?

The goal of book cover design is to draw potential readers’ attention away from all of the other tomes and novellas on their nightstand and persuade them that your page-turner is the next book they should read.

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