It’s time for a hodge-podge of miscellaneous book information, where we will share a small collection of random and (hopefully) useful tips relating to books. Today’s special feature includes some tips from Meg on removing stickers and/or price tags from book covers; 2 ways from Natalie that you can keep track of books that you read; and AB’s favorite book-chocolate pairings. Enjoy the smorgasbord!
Removing Book Stickers (Meg)
Without showing too many pictures of my wounded books, let me just simply state that I have easily ruined more than one book dustjacket trying to remove price tag stickers – namely from the Goodwill. I LOVE our Goodwills in many ways! Especially since every week I can get 10 books for $1.99 with the right color price tag. But those tags … ugh. They are the stickiest of sticky stickers I’ve ever encountered and have given me no end of grief. Finally, last week after ruining the dust jacket to my new copy of Gilead (Marilyn, please forgive me), I did some quick research and honed in on a few methods to remove the paper monsters.
Method #1: HEAT (aka. a hairdryer)
Apparently the first basic rule of trying to restore any old book by removing something sticky (like tape or a sticker) is to involve heat. Seems simple enough. So I tried it out – both on a paperback and on a hardcover dustjacket. The method? Simply blow the heat on the sticker for at least 10-20 seconds and then, regularly reapplying heat, work your fingernail under the sticker.
The sticker came off pretty easily without tearing the cover. However, it did leave most of the invisible sticky residue. So that’s where Method #2 came in.
Method #2: WD-40
I know, at this point all the chemophobes are crying “TOXIC CHEMICALS!” Maybe. But that’s how much I love my books, folks. And yes, I’ve tried rubbing alcohol, olive oil, etc. Trust me when I say those don’t begin to touch the power of WD-40. Behold!Not a trace of residue or stickiness. None. Isn’t that beautiful? The trick with the WD-40 is to spray it on a cloth (just a little – you don’t want it soggy) and then after a few seconds just rub it gently around on the sticky part. It should only take a minute or so of rubbing to get everything off. (Note: WD-40 will not work until you have all of the paper part of the sticker removed.Which is why you start w/ the heat approach.)
Now, lest you think that this will magically work on every book sticker you ever encounter, I do need to deflate your optimism just slightly. Because along comes the big, bad Target Sale Sticker. I tried removing this bad boy (with the ol’ fingernail approach) several months ago and got this far —>
Yes, it was definitely yucky looking. So when I found my new methods I was so excited. “Yay! I can finally remove the rest of the bullseye from poor Nora!” Well, it was a nice thought.
Actually as you can see below I WAS able to remove most
of the sticker and residue. However, there is still a ring of residue left (slightly yellowed) that honestly feels like cement residue. It’s not budging. I couldn’t even scrape it with a nail file. So, there’s that.
Oh well. It will just have a nice “vintage” look to it I guess.
Let us know how it goes for you and if you have any other great “sticker removal” advice.
(NOTE: I did confront the Goodwill manager about putting stickers on dustjackets. His appreciation for the well-being of their books’ appearance wasn’t quite up with mine. So back to the WD-40.)
Keeping Book Lists (Natalie)
I’ve been keeping lists of books I’ve read and books I want to read for years, albeit sometimes haphazardly. I’m not sure when my obsession with lists started (like many other great things I think it goes back to an American Girl book on organization). But I made lists of the books that graced the small bookshelf in my room. Eventually, I started gathering journals and notebooks for my lists instead of a pile of notebook paper. Fast forward to today and now I keep a list of books I’ve read and want to read in my day planner. With a busy freelance job and one child in school, my planner is my lifeline and goes with me everywhere, so I can jot down book titles immediately. But why should YOU bother?
- Posterity: Even if you aren’t a “diary keeper,” a book list can function as a journal/diary that you probably wouldn’t be too terribly embarrassed if someone read it. Write down the book you’ve read, the date you finished it, and then a quick word or two about the book. (Good questions to answer: Did you enjoy it? How did you feel when you read it? Did you like the characters?)
- Memory: Most of my friends are voracious readers and frequently recommend books. I would be wandering around the library or bookstore desperately trying to recall even the first letter of a book title if I didn’t write it down.
- Progress: Did you start out reading mostly light fiction and then move onto a deeply philosophical work? Seeing a varied list of books can be encouraging that you are continuing to grow and develop your mind as a human being (mind muscles work similar to the rest of your body’s muscles – they get better with a good workout).
- Paper Journal: This is my favorite method. I love putting pen to paper after I finish a book. If you want to go this route, I recommend a Leuchtturm1917 and a nice fountain pen, although ball point will do.
- Pinterest: Create two boards – Books Read and Books to Read. Or come up with your own different fun titles for the boards.
- Phone Apps: Book Catalogue is a fun app that allows you to scan a book’s barcode. You can also enter a book manually or search through Amazon, Google Books, Goodreads, and LibraryThing.
I actually use a combination of methods one and two. I’ll pin interesting books and then write them down, which works well for amassing a large list quickly.
If you already keep a list, please share what’s on your list. Perhaps you have a clever method of keeping track or cataloguing books. Or head on over to our Facebook page and share a photo of your list or Pinterest board. Feel free to take a look at our Pinterest page and follow us!
Books à la Chocolate (AB)
No need to prolong this part. We all love books and (should) all love chocolate. So here are a few pairings that might help you savor these classics in a whole new way. (NOTE: We may have had a little too much fun coming up with these.)
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven with Wuthering Heights … because Heathcliff and Cathy are simultaneously dark and crazy.
Theo Organic Free Trade Raspberry 70% Dark Chocolate with Jane Austen’s Emma … because even bitter moments taste sweet in the end (especially with a Mr. Knightly involved).
Lindt Caramel with Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate truffles with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins … because those salty tones intensify the perilous nature of the aquatic arena.
Ferroro Rocher’s milk chocolate-layered wafer shell enclosing a hazelnut with The Hobbit … because it also has something in “its pocketses.”
Classic Milk Chocolate Bunny with The Harry Potter series … because, well, chocolate frogs are harder to come by. And bunnies hop too.