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Stickers on books! Especially if the book has an old dustwrapper which has lasted for years until...
No need to spend twenty minutes removing them: try eucalyptus oil. Put a little on a cotton bud, wipe over carefully, leave to dry. If it doesn't peel off straight away, apply a little more oil and try again.


Thankyou, Barbara!!

Claire (Paperback Reader)

I received a review copy of Her Fearful Symmetry yesterday with a sticker on it (Author of The Time Traveler's Wife). It isn't too offensive and I think I may actually leave it there as the mess that could be created in attempting to remove it is too awful to contemplate.


Some bookstores are very good about having stickers that peel off easily and leave no residue. But then others...sheesh it is annoying. You would think those working in the world of bookselling would realize the value that many readers put on the physical object itself. Back in May I blogged about a $150 "collectors edition" of a book that had been mangled by the store's security apparatus. The damage to the book, no doubt, rendered the value of the book much less than the $150 they were trying to protect in the first place.

adele geras

I agree about stickers entirely! And can't wait to read this book which sounds fascinating. I liked the movie a lot, though the Julia Child bit was better than the Julie Powell bit, I thought. And all that food...bad for the waistline just to see it up on screen.


I always remove the stickers too! Especially the Oprah Book Club ones!!

Mary McCartney

Or what about people who write - sometimes in pen - in library books? The book doesn't belong to them, they've no right to write in it, not even to correct the spelling or grammar.


Eucalyptus oil sounds much nicer than my suggestion of lighter fuel but it does dissolve the glue through the label very nicely and easily and then evaporates away invisibly.

Linda Gillard

Worse than stickers are those printed stickers - the Richard and Judy ones which look as if they'll peel off and then you discover they're actually part of the cover! One of my favourite books, THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO is disfigured in this way - a white circle with a bar of Galaxy in the middle! Horrible. There should be a law.


Yes! And what I don't understand is, given the advent of the post-it and glue that both sticks and is removeable, why that cannot be used so that I don't have to pick savagely at the label with my fingernail for half an hour. Huff-puff.


Barbara I love the tip!

Claire (Paperback Reader)

White Spirit is a great resource for cleaning books (including residue from stickers) if you can abide the smell.


I find that annoying as well. If publishers are going to put stickers on books, they could at least use the kind that peel off easily! I'm always suprised to find used books that still have stickers on them (which are harder to take off as they've been there so long), so apparently not everyone minds! I was having problems posting earlier this week--glad things have righted themselves! (Are you being 'warned' by Typepad that a new interface is coming, by the way?).

Simon T

I do like the title to this post ;-)

And I so agree, especially with Linda - the fake stickers are awful. I always remove stickers as soon as I get the book, I think they're horrible, but when you can't remove them at all...

I tend to go for a bit of white spirit, but eucalyptus oil sounds less abrasive.


Ha ha - this made me smile ruefully. I too remove them immediately along with any price stickers. I am always wondering how much they add (or subtract!) to the sales figures of the books to which they are stuck?

Heather Bond

I too dislike stickers and remove them as soon as possible (sometimes I pull a bit off in the store to make sure it won't give me too much trouble). The only thing worse is a movie tie-in cover or when the 'sticker' is a permanent part of the cover. Grrrr.

Years ago when I managed a bookstore, we started offering 20% off the price of selected new hardcovers. Unfortunately the first round of bright red, 1" square, 20% OFF! stickers were impossible to remove from the dust jackets without serious damage. Needless to say that was the end of the stickers in my store!


bookdealers' tip: Warm the sticker by holding a hair dryer over the blighter for 2 minutes. many resistant ones come straight off if they are warmed. Sometimes you get half off and have to warm it up again. But it helps get most off in one go.


I loathe stickers (especially on books and apples) and I'm sure Julia Child would have loathed them too ... but now you've got it off, I'm sure you'll love the book, she's such an engaging character, full of joie de vivre. I enjoyed this book so much more than Juklie Powell's book of the blog.


and have you noticed that it is always a 'Major film'. Looking forward to the day I see a sticker which says now a 'minor film'.

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