When I was in school, a very long time ago, books were given to us on loan. At the beginning of the school year you were given your textbooks and then at the end of the year you gave them back for other students to use after you. You had the option of covering your textbooks. If you chose not to cover your textbooks, then you ran the risk of having to pay a damage fee when you returned your books. Notebooks and the like were yours to do as you pleased, since you bought it. Because we never had much money for fancy book covers, we used brown paper bags and a black marker to tag it and if you were anything like me a few doodles here and there. I considered myself very fortunate if I was able to score plain brown paper bags without the store logo or name on it! I went to public and private school growing up and I did this to my books in private school as well.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I became a parent to a school age child. When LJ started Kindergarten, I was given a list of supplies he needed- a book list – even though technically there weren’t any books on the list, just a bunch of notebooks and pads. On the first day of school I brought in all the supplies neatly labeled with his name. To my horror, I saw that every single student had brought in their notebooks and pads COVERED with fancy sticky contact paper! Immediately, I handed them to my husband for him to make them disappear until we could quickly get the same type of contact paper and cover them so LJ wouldn’t feel like the odd duck out.
Two years later, I’m so over it. On his book list this year, again there were no books, just notebooks of various sizes. Why in the world do you need to cover notebooks?? Notebooks are there for self-expression not to be covered up with the same crap as the masses. And do you know how difficult it is to properly cover a floppy notebook with sticky paper? Very hard. So much so, MJ took it off my hands because I was doing it all wrong and leaving bubbly bits everywhere. So this year, I have boycotted contact paper. I was planning on not covering the notebooks at all but LJ insisted that he have covers because they’re cool to look at, so I got him easy slip on ones that I found on the internet, similar to the fancy ones that the kids with money had at school when I was kid. They weren’t expensive at all. They were actually cheaper than the contact paper and much easier to slip on. However, if brown paper bags were easily available now, I would have suggested he use that and I’m sure he would have loved it because he does take pride in being an odd duck sometimes because he’s more enlightened than his mama.