Todd Paoletti, a big fan of Bible Design Blog, has two young kids in the house and figured, in the battle between them and his new ESV Readers Bible, the kids were bound to win. So he armored up the hardcover edition,with interesting results. Here's Todd's story:
"Big fan of the blog. I just wanted to share with you a little mod I did to my ESV Readers Bible that I purchased based on your review(s). I love the hardcover version but could immediately see the cloth over board binding to be a problem in my house. With two young kids there is always a puddle of liquid hiding somewhere on a surface and I didn't want to worry about setting the Book down and having the cover soak through anytime. I also didn't want to worry about food or condensation from a plate or cup that was set on top of the book. So, after carefully taping off the front and the back I sprayed several coats of Plastidip that I picked up from Home Depot. The covers are now waterproof and super durable. It has a nice textured grip on it now too. Anyhow, was an easy modification to add durability to this wonderful ESV Layout. Useful for anyone with kids."
And here's the result:
Until now I had no idea such a thing as Plastidip existed in the world. What I'll do with this knowledge, I'm not sure. When I discovered the existence of silver spray paint, I spent a day begging my wife to let me paint everything (Monkey bookends? Yes. Lamp? Hmm, okay. Fabric lampshade? I'm taking that paint away!) Todd might get me into a lot of domestic trouble.
This cover hack reminds me of my first grade school field trip to the library, where for craft time we were taught to make brown paper dust jackets to protect our books. It's not a practice I've continued into adulthood, and frankly there's a part of me that would be thrilled to think there are people out there using, say, $200 goatskin Bibles as coasters on the coffee table (talk about patina). Ordinarily I would advise you not to baby your Bible, to let it take some damage. That's what the cover is for. But if spray-on plastic is an option, well, that's pretty neat.
What do you do, if anything, to protect your books from mishaps? I'd love to know more of your methods, especially if they involve out-of-the-box ideas like this!
J Mark Bertrand