Slipcases and Books

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Q. Kumber
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Slipcases and Books

Postby Q. Kumber » August 20th, 2017, 5:57 am

Two recent sets of books in my library came in slipcases, Hofzinser and Tenyoism. Each set comprises of two large heavy volumes. And the upcoming Thompson books will be the same.

So I feel they should reside in their slipcases on my shelves. But the slipcases are a bloody nuisance. To refer to any of the volumes, I need to take down the (heavy) slipcase, slide out both books so's I can try and get hold of the one I want to read. With the Tenyo books, I also have to be careful with the extra pocket holding the tricks.

You might think it is only a few seconds extra, and indeed that's all it is, besides an exercise in weightlifting. I'm then left with a large heavy book in one hand, which I have to put down before replacing the slipcase on the shelf, at which point books on either side may have moved a little making it a two handed job to replace.

The obvious answer is to get rid of the slipcases, but then I feel that should the books ever be sold on, a new buyer would want the cases. In my case I've banished the cases to a storeroom, which really brings me to ask, what is the point of slipcases other than to look nice and justify a higher selling price.

I'd appreciate the input from others who actually read the books they buy.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby erdnasephile » August 20th, 2017, 8:42 am

Hi, Q:

I'll take a stab at this.

Slipcases do apparently add monetary value to a book set. However, for me, I like slipcases for the simple reason that they protect the books. I have received so many books with dented corners, so I have appreciated the slipcased books I own. I also had volumes damaged in the Northridge quake years ago, so ditto. In addition, they keep dust off the edges of the books.

One factor that really matters to me is that a slipcase that is too thin/flimsy in proportion to the weight of the contents is worse than no slipcase at all. They offer minimal protection and in that case, you have yet another thing that can be damaged. Warping over time can also be an issue. A too tight slipcase is also no good for obvious reasons, as is a slipcase that you can't get a good grip on.

The best slipcase I've had lately comes with Gabe Fujuri's publication of the Neilsen poster book--super heavy construction and rigid, strong corners. Textured so it doesn't slip in the hand, and the volume makes a nice smooth exit.

That said, I sympathize with the difficulty with slipcases for heavy multi-volume sets. What I do is to first slide the slipcase about halfway off the shelf. I then gently tip the entire set towards me while the unit is still on the shelf, keeping my thumb in front of the volume I don't want. That allows the just the volume I need to slide out a bit. The slipcase is then tipped back flat on the shelf, and I pull out the desired volume.

Good luck!

PS: One missed opportunity was the slipcase for the Hofzinser set. Those notches could have been useful had they been cut deeper. However, they are so shallow you can't get a grip on the books. They exist only to taunt the prospective reader.

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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby I.M. Magician » August 20th, 2017, 8:48 am

The only slipcase book(s) I access on a regular basis is Tenyoism. I keep it on the floor near my reading chair and when I want to pull a volume out, I tilt the slipcase forward, get a grip on the book I want, and slide it out. That way, I don't have to lift the set.

I suggest that a set like Tenyoism needed to be in a slipcase because it houses both books and the tricks and DVD's keeping them together.

Perhaps some books didn't need a slipcase such as one edition of the Goshman book. I suppose they added it to make it a truly deluxe edition. That being said, I like slipcases.

I agree with erdnasephile that a slipcase protects the book but what protects the slipcase? I find it equally annoying receiving a damaged slipcase! You can't win...

My complaint is that many books are shipped without shrink wrap. It doesn't cost that much and keeps the books clean at least until it reaches the buyer.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby erdnasephile » August 20th, 2017, 10:35 am

I.M. Magician wrote:...Perhaps some books didn't need a slipcase such as one edition of the Goshman book. I suppose they added it to make it a truly deluxe edition. That being said, I like slipcases.

I agree with erdnasephile that a slipcase protects the book but what protects the slipcase? I find it equally annoying receiving a damaged slipcase! You can't win...

My complaint is that many books are shipped without shrink wrap. It doesn't cost that much and keeps the books clean at least until it reaches the buyer.


Funny you should mention it--I think that Busby once wrote that when Mr. Goshman saw the finished book, he actually paid to have the slipcases made to make the product nicer (not sure if that story is apocryphal or not)

I agree about the damaged slipcases. My least favorite slipcases are the ones that came with the hardcover reprints of the EC library. 5 hardcover volumes in one slipcase that is color printed--too flimsy for the product and although the color print is cool, they show so much shelf wear and practically every one was damaged in shipping or use.

My complaint is similar which I've said before: many booksellers do not package properly. RK, GF, MC, and others do it right, but it's a drag to pay big money for a book only to receive it in dented corners and spines. Padded envelopes are a waste when it comes to books. There is a great seller on ebay (who is a pleasure to deal with); however, when it comes time to ship, they just throw the item into a plain manila envelope (even if I offer to pay extra for a box). The post office is not a merciful entity.

PS: I seem to recall that RK refused to let Tenyoism out the door without a slipcase that works--kudos to him!

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 20th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Two different topics here.

1. I have all my books individually shrink-wrapped. There is a specific reason for this: when a stack of books is in the carton going from the printer to the fulfillment warehouse, the books will shift slightly and scuff the djs. If that box is then sent (for example) to Murphy's Magic, the books will continue to shift ever so slightly back and forth and scuff the djs. Only a shrink-wrapped book can prevent that.

2. Slipcases: A slipcase has always denoted a book of higher quality because slipcases are expensive! If a book is expensive, or it's a deluxe edition, and particularly if there is more than one volume in the set, then a well-made sturdy slipcase is a sign of quality. There are crap slipcases--some of those made by the company Old Dominion for L&L's books are done with thin boards.

Thumb notches are another issue. They are meaningless if the book inside the slipcase is too big or heavy, or if there is more than one book inside the slipcase. That's why there are no thumb notches on the slipcase for Tenyoism. They don't belong on the slipcase for the Hofzinser books, either. I also despise the fact that when they cut thumb notches into the case, you can see the gray board inside the cloth.

Tenyoism is just ridiculously heavy. The only way to get the books out of the slipcase without damaging them is to turn the entire slipcase so the opening is on the table, then lift the slipcase while the books stay where they are, on the table.

Any other questions? :)
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AJM
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby AJM » August 20th, 2017, 2:39 pm

Slipcases always!

Shrink wrap always!

Bubble wrap / packing always!

Nothing annoys more than a book with dents and dings - unavoidable in the pre-owned market but inexcusable when buying new.

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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby I.M. Magician » August 20th, 2017, 3:09 pm

AJM wrote:Slipcases always!

Shrink wrap always!

Bubble wrap / packing always!

Nothing annoys more than a book with dents and dings - unavoidable in the pre-owned market but inexcusable when buying new.

Andrew


I agree with you 4 million percent Andrew!

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erdnasephile
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby erdnasephile » August 20th, 2017, 5:53 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:
AJM wrote:Slipcases always!

Shrink wrap always!

Bubble wrap / packing always!

Nothing annoys more than a book with dents and dings - unavoidable in the pre-owned market but inexcusable when buying new.

Andrew


I agree with you 4 million percent Andrew!


Amen! The other packing method that works are those single piece cardboard deals that fold around the book, but have a big lip of cardboard around the periphery of the book itself. I've received books like that from overseas with no damage at all.

With respect, RK, Tenyoism could NEVER be too ridiculously heavy! ;)

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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby Andres Reynoso » August 25th, 2017, 2:47 pm

Caveney Wonders it's a book I bought on eBay and received it with a paper wraping the slip case. I have kept the paper in order to continue protecting the case. I have the books on the floor bellow the bookcase (the shelves aren't high enough for them)

I bought on a bargain sale a Taschen book about costumes, is hugh as a lot of Taschen books are. The book was new but slipcase was damaged for long time into the warehouse / bookstore. The case is ustuck by one side. I think is very light cardboard considering the weight of the book. I tried to glue it but eventually unstuck one more time.

When have bought second hand books on ebay or in conventions I have apreciated when they come with that plastic that protects the dustjacket without glue or tape (I don't remember the name of the plastic, I haven't never seen it here in Mexico)

I remember one convention where Richard Kaufman signed me a new copy of Berglas Effect, he unwraped it carefully, signed and rewraped. He knew I will travel and the book must continue protected :D

On first Genii Convention (The 75th anniversary bash) I carried some magazines in order to be signed for the magicians on their covers. When I returned to Mexico I discovered a lot of scuffs caused by the shift during travel (just as Richard mentions about books) So nowadays I keep each magazine into bags, the kind used to protect comics. On second Genii convention I took off Joshua Jay's cover issue from the plastic bag, Josh was delighted I protect the magazines this way.
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Joe Mckay
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby Joe Mckay » August 26th, 2017, 3:01 pm

I threw my Tenyoism slipcase straight in the bin.

Sorry, Richard!

I am a reader not a collector.

pixsmith
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby pixsmith » August 26th, 2017, 5:19 pm

For what it might be worth, I've done this in the past.

Take a piece of at least 1" grosgrain ribbon that will go all the way around the book with a little left over - maybe 4-6" extra total.

When you put the book back into the case, put the center of the ribbon across the front of the book, and snug up the free ends on the spine side. For most of the books I have, it's easy to dress the ribbons so they are relatively inconspicuous. When I need to take the book down, I can use the ribbon to pull it out far enough to get a good grip on it.

I'm not sure it will do what you want, but it might be worth a try.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 27th, 2017, 1:34 pm

pixsmith, that's an excellent idea.

Joe, I'm never going to sell you another book!
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AJM
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby AJM » August 27th, 2017, 3:59 pm

I have a number of books
- that have poorly designed or 'flimsy' slipcases
- have damaged slipcases
- that I'd like to have slipcases for

I guess I could ask a bookbinder to make me a few custom made ones however I'm guessing it would be prohibitively expensive.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby erdnasephile » August 27th, 2017, 4:09 pm

What would make those slipcases more useful for heavy volumes would be if there were a divider as wide as your thumb between each volume. This, coupled with a notch on either side of the volume, would allow one to easily grasp the volume you want and slide it out. It would also make the slipcase more rigid and sturdy, as the divider would act as a crossbrace. To fix RK's problem with notches showing unsightly bare cardboard, the slipcase could be made with the cardboard that has color throughout the entire material (they use this for high-end framing mattes). All of the slipcover materials should be acid-free, pH neutral, naturally.

Of course, all of the above would make the slipcase more expensive than the books, and is therefore, completely impractical! ;)
Last edited by erdnasephile on August 27th, 2017, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby I.M. Magician » August 27th, 2017, 4:14 pm

I suspect a motorized mechanism which slides each volume out of the slipcase one book at a time would be nice.

When you want to return the book to the slipcase, it would do that for you as well.

Wouldn't such a wonderful convenience be worth every penny?

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Re: Slipcases and Books

Postby lybrary » August 27th, 2017, 5:15 pm

Reading this discussion I am so happy that my library is for the most part digital. The volumes, no matter how big, slide out with just one click of my right hand on a button of a stationary trackball. The amount of movement is barely noticeable, yet the volume immediately opens itself up, allows me to search, read, browse, continue where I left off, and when I am done another click makes it automatically go back into its virtual slipcase. It is a wonder of modern technology. You should give it a try :-)
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