Starting the new year: WASTE BOOK pro tip

It's a new year and a new WASTE BOOK, right?  Perhaps you're the sort that uses your WASTE BOOK to the very last page.  I tend to start a new one quarterly or if I'm super-procrastinatory, semi-annually.  If you keep going to the last line, though, this post is even more useful to you.

My WASTE BOOK of choice these days is Field Notes Brand notebooks.  They're a good size, the production value is excellent, they come in a variety of styles — my favorite is the dotted grid and they don't make nearly enough of those — and their special editions are just amazingly creative.

The one drawback is that if you carry yours in your back pocket as I do, the cover will tend to wear out and fall off.

Fortunately, I didn't spend 30+ years as a media specialist without learning nifty book repair tricks, so listen up.

Step one: buy yourself some book repair tape.  No, packing tape will not work. (It would work, but trust me on this one: the ease of book repair tape will pay for itself in the hours you spend cursing at packing tape.)

I recommend Kapco's Easy Bind® Clear Polyester Repair Tape, 1-1/4" wide:


Here's why: it has a little strip running down the middle of the backing that allows you to position the entire piece of tape before committing to a final placement.  Much tidier and easier than holding a huge piece of packing tape over the target and hoping for the best as you drop it into place.  Which you very well know never, ever works.

Step two: measure out three strips of the tape as tall as the WASTE BOOK's spine, 5-1/2".  Now cut a little angle off each side of both ends up to the center strip.


This is so that you don't end up with any little bits of tape sticking up over the cover. 

Step three: peel off the little center strip.


Start with the inside.  Position the center strip along the inside cover and place it.


Now it's a simple matter of peeling off each side of the backing.  Repeat with the inside back cover and the outside cover.  Much less stressful than wrangling one big piece of tape and to my mind worth the expense.  After all, you get 100 feet of tape, and if you use three strips for every notebook you can protect 72 notebooks.  Even if you're using up one every three months, that's still 18 years of notebooks at about 42¢/notebook.

Or you can spend 18 years cursing at packing tape and ruining your WASTE BOOKS.


You're welcome.