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Jun 11, 2006 02:27 PM

Protecting cookbooks with clear jackets

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After buying numerous library cookbooks with their nice protective covers I decided to figure out how to do the same for my unprotected ones.
Searching lead me to Brodart one maker of these jackets. They can be ordered for correct width and length. But only a library would need so many of each specific size. The alternative is to order a roll and cut to length. These rolls also come in widths of which I've found the 12" works for most cookbooks; Brodart part number 10-342-001. This method requires wrapping the clear portion over the inside of the jack on one edge, so that one size can be used for 12 or less.
You'll also need tape. I've been using filament tape.
Share a roll with someone if it's too much for you or start an association or club to do this.


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  1. A friend of mine got free access to a Xerox machine and she Xeroxed her favorite out of print cookbook. She punched holes in the edges of the copies and put the pages in a 3 ringed binder. So her cookbook wont ever get food stains, and she can take out the recipe she is using and lay it next to the stovetop for easy access.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Brian S

      How do you remember which recipes are good if they don't have food stains on them? :-)

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Funny question, but I have an answer - I only copy my faves to a notebook called "Tried and True". When I am cooking, the recipe is up on the fridge with magnets. When I am done, it goes back in the binder.

        If there were a fire or flood, that binder would go with me. Screw the family photos. I know what everyone looks like. It's the recipes I want.

        1. re: Snackish

          I have a recipe journal that I handwrite my tried and true recipes. By writing them down it also helps me remember the little details a little better! :)

          That being said, I believe cookbooks are mostly for cooking from. I don't mind a little water stain, oil splatter or tomato sauce drip on them at all. We have loads of other art books and such to display...


    2. I seem to remember doing that as a child with school books. But my problem is not protecting the outside of the book, but the food stains on the pages inside! I have a cookbook stand with a protective plastic thing, but my current kitchen is so small that I don't use it anymore. (Instead, the back of chair in the living room serves as the stand!)

      1. Great idea! Papercraft stores (such as rubber stamping supplies and scrapbooking) have vellum and other transparent to opaque products you can use too.

        1. This is all just too anal. I see stains, dog ears, grease spots, even the occasional scorch, as testament to the fact the books fulfiled their destiny in my kitchen. I have old Penguin paperbacks held together with rubberbands, notably a Brit edition of Julia's "Mastering the Art.." along with a mint Knopf edition in slip cases for decor. I see my cookbooks as reference tools like my dictionaries--all made to be used.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Ronin

            I'm with you. And, I'm a librarian.

            The library's books belong to the community. My books belong to me, and they get used (and annotated, if they're really useful).


            1. re: BeaN

              I'm w/ both of you. Don't you just love it when you buy a used cookbook and there are notes and comments in it? I sure do.

              1. re: bryan

                That's "value added" to my way of thinking.

                It's like getting all of the joy from the family traditions without the "fun" of the family dysfunction.

              2. re: BeaN

                Yup, when I like a recipe, I write notes right in the book (quel horreur!) and the date I made the recipe. Then the times I look at it again I realize, "wow, the first time I made this was 12 years ago" or some such thing and it's really cool.

              3. re: Ronin

                Julia came to Toronto when I was out of town so my daughter knowing how much it would mean to me stood in line for an hour to get her autograph on my torn, tattered and stained copy of From Julia Child's Kitchen. When my daughter tried to apologize for the condition of the book Julia rejected the apology and told her that being asked to sign the obviously used copies of her books was her greatest compliment.
                If you need a copy for the coffee table, buy two.

                1. re: Tom

                  That's a nice Julia story. BTW, if you haven't gotten to it, try to find time for her "My Life in France." Great summer read.

              4. Some bookstores sell individual Brodart/library-type protective covers so you can just buy what you need.

                Not as nice, but much cheaper/convenient alternative would be to use clear Contact adhesive "shelf" paper, available at most supermarkets or neighborhood household stores. You can cover and permanently adhere the whole cover to the book itself. Or put directly on a book without a cover. (Good for kids books too, or book repair.)