Back when we were attending school in the sixties and seventies, you had to buy new books or use second hand ones. Most people would try to get books from a cousin, sibling or neighbour. To keep the books new so that you could sell them or protect them for a sibling, you covered your books with brown paper. Yes, brown paper!
Occasionally some company or the government sent packages of neat looking book covers. They might be colorful with room to write your name and grade on the front. I don’t remember the images that were on them, but we loved getting them. And we usually taped them on one of our favorite books, like a Math book or Literature book. Book covers were dull looking, not embued with bright images, so these ready made covers were coveted. We could doodle on them, or color parts of them.
As a teacher I noticed that some parents actually cover their children’s books, in this age of technology. Schools provide the books, but not all books are kept in tip top shape. It was touching to see children taking pride in their newly covered books.
I see that we really were ahead of our times, when we used that brown paper to save books from being burned or destroyed. Parents worked with their children to take care of textbooks and therefore these books could be used countless times, until the program at school changed. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here!
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