Dust jackets, that detachable outer sleeve that covers a new hardcover, have a history dating back to the 1800s. They were (are?) used to protect fancy book bindings before they reached their final destination. They were usually treated like gift wrapping… torn off and thrown in the trash (back then they didn’t recycle). And, well, you may still treat dust jackets that way. Who needs that extra paper hanging off a hardcover threatening to give you a nasty paper cut? Occasionally they’re shiny and pretty, and sometimes if the book is thin enough it can be used as a bookmark of sorts, but for the most part dust jackets are just for show.
But one man, surprisingly, has capitalized on the dust jacket industry (apparently there’s a dust jacket industry). Thatcher Wine started Juniper Books in Boulder, Colorado in the early 2000s. The focus is the creation of unique libraries through the use of custom-designed dust jackets. They work with clients, commercial and private, to create unique book sets that they can feature in their library. In some cases they design an interesting jacket to cover a boring law book simply to liven up a library’s bookshelves, but in most cases they sell the book along with the cover.
This unique approach to dust jackets creates endless possibilities for library design. Thatcher Wine, ironically part of the dot com boom originally, has tackled a unique niche of the print industry and in doing so has found huge success. His creations have been featured in the Green Room at the Academy Awards, libraries of major hotels worldwide, and on CBS Sunday Morning News…
So the next time you’re trying to find a unique gift for a fellow book lover, you might look at a Juniper Books design to add to their library.