What is a book sleeve? Book sleeves are known by many names. Most of us used to put brown paper bags on our school textbooks and the ideas revolved from there. There are now stretchy book covers for school textbooks and kids these days will never know how to perfectly cut up a paper bag to fit your books. Books sleeves, however, are made to protect books when they’re not in use. Sleeves are a way to protect books in your bags or when you carry them so that pages do not get bent or dust jackets do not get damaged. Recently, book sleeves have swept etsy and the bookstagram community on instagram.
Do I need one? As mentioned above, books sleeves are a protective cover. If you would have told me six months ago that book sleeves are necessary and that I would own a dozen of them, I would have called you crazy. But truthfully, I do think book lovers need to protect their books. I am the kind of person who always carries a book with her. There is constantly at least one, but more than likely two, books in my purse. As a consequence, I have damaged a few books this way. Book sleeves protect your books. My paperbacks are free from lipsticks loosing their caps and I can keep the beautiful dust jackets on my hardbacks. Simply, book sleeves protect books. And if you carry books on you at all times, I would recommend buying a book sleeve.
There are a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colors of book sleeves. I do not claim to be an expert, but I own more than my fair share of sleeves. I thought it would be helpful to walk you through the sleeves I own and list the pros and cons of each. For reference and to compare sizes, I have chosen four books to demonstrate each sleeve’s capabilities. These books are: the mass market paperback version of The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin; A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas; Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo; and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
There are two sleeve options for Baby My Book—paperback (10” x 7.5”) and hardback (11.5” x 9’). Some of these sleeves come with pockets and others do not. You can also customize and add on a strap or vinyl lettering to your sleeves.
I chose a blue swirl pattern hardback sleeve with a Velcro closure and pocket. I also decided to add on a book strap in white. The foam is stiff, meaning it will hold it’s shape, but there is also some “give” when trying to put in larger books. The pocket is perfect for a small journal, post-it flags, and a pen. The strap is also long enough that you can wear it as a cross body, if need be. The inside lining is a white felt-like material, and seems to protect my books well. This size can fit most of my larger books—both hardback and paperbacks.
These sleeves come in one general size and are approximately 10” x 7”. I chose an Australian Shepard and donut print from this shop. This sleeve is deceivingly small. It can only fit smaller paperbacks and works perfectly for mass-market paperbacks.
Book Keeper Boutique (Etsy Shop)
Book Keeper offers sleeves in three sizes: baby, mama, and papa. Baby keepers are designed to fit kindles and some small paperbacks. Mama keepers fit paperbacks and smaller hardback books. The papa keepers protect larger hardback books. I have purchased two sleeves from Book Keeper Boutique—a baby sushi keeper and a papa Velaris/Night Court/galaxy sleeve. The baby size fits mass-market paperbacks and other small books. I use it to hold my journals and small notebooks. The papa size is huge in comparison. It fits all of my large hardback books and is beautiful. The foam in both of these sleeves are harder so that the sleeves keep their shape when not in use.
Book Biffs come in two sizes: paperback (7.5” x 9”) and regular (8” x 10”). I have the regular size in a Harry Potter print. The foam in this sleeve is firm and not quite as forgiving as other sleeves and because of this only fits small hardback books and paperbacks. But, this sleeve is well made and adorable.
The Bookshelf Quest (Etsy Shop)
The Bookshelf Quest offers two-sized book sleeves: one for paperbacks and one for hardback books. I picked up one of each size: a Night Court/purple star hardback size and a “Not all those who wander” paperback sleeve. I love both of these sleeves. These sleeves look like they can’t hold much, but they can. The paperback can hold small hardback and larger paperback books. The hardback sleeve can hold two average-sized hardback books. I also requested an add-on button closure and I love it!
The Cozy Life Shop (Etsy Shop)
Cozy life has three book sleeve sizes: sapling, pine, and redwood. Saplings are the smallest and protect kindles or small paperbacks. Pines are the prefect size for general paperbacks. Redwoods, the largest, fit large paperbacks and hardback books. I chose a redwood Jane Austen inspired cozy. This sleeve is wonderful, I love the pattern on it, and holds large paperbacks and hardback books.
These covers come in either large or small sizes. I have purchased one of each. The large sleeve is whiskey themed and the small one is Nightmare Before Christmas themed. The shipping for both of these sleeves was incredibly fast, within 48 hours. There are some slight imperfections on the small sleeve as the top seam is not completely straight. The small sleeve fits paperback books only; it’s too short for hardback books.
Thingimabobs A Plenty (Etsy Shop)
This shop sells “bookimabobs” and reversible bookimabobs. These come in one general size of 8” x 10”. These sleeves fit paperback books as well as some small hardback books.
This is one of my favorite shops and shop owners on etsy/instagram. The sleeves are well made and I have no fear of them falling apart or fraying. The first sleeve I purchased is a dragon scale/mermaid scale sleeve. The fabric of this specific sleeve is stretchy and there are some imperfections on the top, but I was warned of this before I bought it. The colors on this sleeve are amazing. It is generally green, but in the light there is a purple shift. The second sleeve I purchased is a Game of Thrones fabric. This sleeve is just as wonderful as the other one. Both of these sleeves shipped fast—I believe within 24 hours of purchase.
Black Violet NYC
Black Violet offered large and extra large book sleeves. I save this one for last because this is the only shop that I would not recommend. I had a horrible experience with my shop and it seems like I was not the only one. First, the etsy shop has been taken down. I don’t know if the owner did this or it was for some other reason, but I will not speculate.
I purchased a large Supernatural themed book sleeve from this shop. I purchased this sleeve on 6/5 of this year, but did not receive it until 7/12. The sleeve was supposed to be delivered by 6/12, but was not shipped until 6/30. My biggest problem was not that the sleeve arrived late, but that the shop owner lied to me. When the initial ship date passed, I didn’t do anything. I understand people run late. When the initial delivery date passed, I contacted the shop. The owner told me she would ship it out the next day and it should be there by 6/20. I waited and understood. At the end of June, I contacted the owner again. I didn’t hear anything until I threatened to open a case on etsy. Sure enough, the same day, a printing label was finally made. But it still didn’t ship out for 3 more days. I have no problem if a shop or a business gets busy, I understand that handmade products take time. I just did not appreciate being lied to.
Second, the quality of this sleeve is the worst out of all of the ones I own. For a “large” it barely fits most of my paperback books. Cinder sits very snuggly and I have had covers bending while trying to put books inside. The inside of the sleeve is also fraying. I’m afraid that it will all come unraveled at the seams.
**I am not sponsored by any of the above named companies or brands. I bought all of these on my own. All links are not affiliate links, they will take you directly to each shop owner’s site**