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I'd like to use non-adhesive transparent plastic sheet to wrap a soft-back book to protect it for long-term frequent use.

I'd like to try the method #3 described in

https://www.wikihow.com/Cover-a-Paperback-Book-With-Clear-Plastic-Film

I tried searching using different key words on Internet stores but could NOT find a product suitable. Any suggestion?

2 Answers 2

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I suggest using sheets of clear PVC:

enter image description here

It's non-adhesive, a lot more durable than the more common polypropylene sheets (like the perforated 'punched pockets'), but still supple. They mostly come in standard sizes, like in the image, pre-folded and stitched to accommodate certain book size standards (as an example, the page from which I sourced the image has A4, A4+, 165mm x 210mm, and 180mm x 240mm), but are available as sheets as well.

It's also sold under the name heavy-duty (protector) sheet, and it's easier to find complete sheets using that term. Searching for 'vinyl sheets', 'plastic roll film', 'clear soft PVC', or a combination of those keywords yields similarly useful results.

A slightly less sturdy variant, which is easier to find on rolls for this specific purpose, is called 'archival book jacket cover'.

For completion's sake, here's a WikiHow entry on wrapping books using these sheets.

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  • But where could I find such sheets of clear PVC? My books are of various sizes, some from different regions of the world where different book size standards apply. So I need actual sheets not premade book covers with fixed folds.
    – qazwsx
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:21
  • That's why I gave the different search terms: they are admittedly a little hard to find, but, depending on your location, I'm sure you can find sheets in your area looking for a combination of those words. If you want, I can help looking (we don't do product recommendation, hence my hesitation).
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:29
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The easiest way is to visit a shop with products for school children (I do not know the "beautiful" way to call it in English). You can find covers for paper notebooks and books and other kinds of things easily.

As a child I used them on paper notebooks, soft-cover books, hard cover books, and for other things. They are made of PVC. If the paint on the book cover has bad quality, the paint might stick to the inside of the plastic cover. They might also get destroyed in various ways, but considering their price, replacement s not an issue. Just buy a few of them from the beginning.

While you will look for the transparent ones, you will notice that they can come in all kinds of colors. Just visit the shops around you and see what is available. If you suspect that the book has some non-standard size, or is very thick, then it might be a good idea to take the book with you while shopping - just to make sure you buy a product of proper size.

Update:

  1. You might be able to find similar items at shops specialized in products to support artists and craft-ers.

  2. As a true hack, search for PVC sheets - the kind you find in gardening shops - sold by the meter / mile / whatever. You can cut them in any size you want. To create the "pockets", use heat or a sewing machine (the sewing step has to be large, to not actually cut the sheet). For heat "gluing", fold the plastic sheet, apply a sheet of aluminum on top, slide the side of the foot of a clothes iron along the line of "gluing". The aluminum sheet will prevent the plastic sticking to the hot iron.

  3. A "true, cool" hack is to use kitchen plastic wrap. I have no idea if it will stick to the book - it really depends on the quality of the paper used to make the book, and its finish.

  4. As an alternative to number 2 above, there is a way to fold the plastic sheet to create the pocket, without any gluing or sewing - I just do not know how to explain it - I did not use it since I was a child. It was long ago. I forgot when I was a child :)

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    For #4, are you referring to creating a sleeve by folding the long edges toward the middle, then folding the ends of the sleeve toward the center, and the cover slips into the ends of the sleeve?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:23
  • @fixer1234: wow! so it IS possible to describe! :) Exactly that, yes.
    – virolino
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 7:05

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