Sunday, April 8, 2018

Book Sleeve Comparisons and Reviews!

Hey guys! So, the new obsession on bookstagram lately has been candles and book sleeves! I, too, have got on board with these new obsessions. Today, however, we're here to talk about book sleeves. There are many different stores out there with many different designs, styles, and materials. I have 4 booksleeves from different stores/subscription boxes that I'm here to talk to you guys about. 

First things first, I want to talk a bit about what I'm rating these sleeves on. There are four categories that I'm going to be rating each sleeve on out of 5 stars, and then I will average out the scores for an overall rating out of 5 stars. The categories that I'm rating these sleeves on are durability and ability to protect my books, size to price ratio, quality of craftsmanship, and the overall feel of the sleeve. I am not rating these on size to book ratio or design because you can get a sleeve in pretty much any size or design so it wouldn't be fair. For the ability to protect my books testing, I carried a book the size the sleeve was made for in the sleeve for two days in my school backpack, carrying the books and sleeves with me to classes, lunch, choir practices, and even water polo practice. 

Next, I want to talk about which book sleeves I will be reviewing. The first is from Book Beau and is the one that I got in my September 2017 Owlcrate box. The second is from Melvis Makes and is the first book sleeve that I ever bought for myself. The third is from Book Bud by Gabriel Lea. The fourth is the Fairyloot exclusive book sleeve that was included in their November 2017 box. I included the same book next to each sleeve for size comparisons to be easier.

Let's go ahead and get into reviewing the first sleeve!


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As I said before, I am reviewing Book Beau first. This is the design that came in the Owlcrate box and I've slowly grown to like it more and more. It can fit a normal sized paperback or thin standard hardcover book. 


Category 1: Durability and Ability to Protect my Books

I've been using this sleeve for quite a bit while at college. I've been reading a lot of arcs and smaller paperback books and it's nice to have this to put my smaller books in and not having them be dwarfed by the bigger sleeves. As I said before, I got this in September. I've used it primarily for taking books around campus but also for transporting books from home to college and vice versa. It still looks brand new from when I first got it, so the durability is quite good.

This sleeve also does a nice job at protecting my books. My paperbacks have held up very well in this sleeve. The only thing is that after extended use (as in, a week or more) of being in the sleeve and me not reading a book, the corners of my paperback got a little crumpled. However, I only noticed since I went looking for the smallest of imperfections and it is not noticeable otherwise. 

For this category, Book Beau gets a 4.75/5 rating. 

Category 2: Size to Price Ratio
It is hard to gauge the price of something when it came in a subscription box, but I decided to go on the Book Beau website and find the price for a beau in a similar size on their. What I came up with was the "Indie" size (7.5x10 inches, approx) at $20. 

Do I think that the Book Beau I got was worth $20? Not really. I would not have purchased this sleeve on my own for that amount of money and am grateful that it came in a subscription box where I got other items to balance out the price. I just personally don't think that this sleeve at this size and quality is worth $20 plus shipping. 

For this category, Book Beau gets a 2/5 rating.

Category 3: Quality of Craftsmanship
When I heard that we were going to be getting a book sleeve in the September Owlcrate box, I was super excited. When I got it, I was a little disappointed. There are a few issues I have with the craftsmanship of these sleeves. 

First, and this isn't necessarily Book Beau's fault, is that the sleeve was slightly too big for the box so it had to be squished in. This meant that the sleeve had creases and wrinkles in it when it showed up. Even now, over 6 months of use later, there are still creases in it. I have heard that ironing it gets rid of these, but I don't own an iron. This is mostly due to the size of the subscription box, but it is important to note that it's possibly these sleeves will get wrinkled in shipping or by daily use. Again, not a huge deal, but something that irked me.

Secondly, the overall make of this sleeve is a bit sub-par. There's no inner lining, for starters. It's just a piece of fabric sewn to the outside of a couple pieces of foam. It very much feels like it, too. There are also many lose threads that weren't trimmed when I got it. Another issue I have is open seams on the inside. They're on the inside, so I'm not worried about the look. Rather, I'm worried about potentially putting a book that barely fits inside and having the seams bend the pages or mess them up. Overall, this sleeve looks and feels like something I could have made in high school FACS class. 

Book Beau has recently switched to a manufacturer instead of doing it by hand, so there may be a difference in craftsmanship with later sleeves. Also, this sleeve was mass-produced by hand so that may be a reason why there was an oversight on some of these things.

For this category, Book Beau receives a 2/5 rating. 

Category 4: Overall Feel
Overall, this book sleeve does its job. It protects my books when they're in my backpack or traveling hundreds of miles between school and college and book signings. The fabric design is pretty good so I feel like that bumps it up a little bit in my subconscious even if I don't intend on rating it because of that. However, I would not buy this sleeve on my own, especially after having owned one. I wouldn't buy this sleeve for a friend or family member either as I can get a bigger sleeve that is better designed at only $2 more (more on that down below).

For overall feel, Book Beau gets a 2.5/5 star rating.

Final Thoughts
Unfortunately, I just do not think that Book Beau is worth it. The price is too high for a sleeve of that size when you can get a better-made, bigger sleeve for the same price from other sellers (see the pricing on Melvis Makes and Book Bud down below). I'm sure that when beaus first came out and were the only one of their kind, they were a great option. But with the explosion of book sleeve sales and shops as well as competitive pricing, Book Beau cannot compare to other sleeves that I have.

Book Beau got an overall 2.8/5 rating, which isn't terrible, but there are better sleeves out there. I'm not going to get rid of it or stop using it as it does do it's job as a book sleeve, but I will not be buying another and recommend that you buy from a different source.

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The next sleeve I will be reviewing is from Melvis Makes on Etsy. The pattern is a galaxy pattern with glow in the dark stars. I bought this over a year ago (I can't remember the exact date) and it's the first book sleeve I ever had. This sleeve can fit two small paperbacks, larger (taller paperbacks), standard hardcovers, and even hardcovers up to the size of Tower of Dawn.


Category 1: Durability and Ability to Protect my Books
I've had this sleeve for a while now and it still looks almost brand new. Even before coming to college, this sleeve made countless trips to school, my dad's house, on vacations, and even on my sister's trip to Washington, D.C. It's been through a lot and at no point has it looked or felt less than its best. It also protects my books very well. There were zero crumpled corners, dents, or anything of the sort. It held its own. I have nothing else to say other than the durability is fantastic and it does a great job of protecting my books.

For this category, Melvis Makes receives a 5/5 star rating.

Category 2: Size to Price Ratio
This sleeve cost $23 to make and ship from the U.K. to the Chicago area. The size on this measures 11x8.5 inches. As you can see, compared to Book Beau, you are getting a lot more sleeve for your money. Do I think that this sleeve is worth it at its price point? Yes, I do. Between the amount of sleeve you get and the cheap shipping, I think that this is the best deal I have gotten so far.

For this category, Melvis Makes receives a 5/5 star rating.

Category 3: Quality of Craftsmanship
This sleeve is very well made. There are no lose threads or open seams anywhere. The corners don't tuck in and the entire design is very smooth and well-executed. There are only two small complaints that I have with this sleeve's design.

First, there is no padding in between the outer fabric and the inner liner (it is important to note that it does have an inner fabric liner whereas Book Beau does not). I believe that it's just thick fabric. However, as this sleeve protected my book 100% and there wasn't any damage, I don't think this is as big of a deal.

Secondly, the inner liner is not connected to the bottom of the sleeve. This means you can pull it out and put it back in. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because you can clean it easier, but sometimes putting it back in does get bunched up. Not a huge problem, but one to note for prospective sleeve buyers.

For this category, Melvis Makes receives a 4/5 star rating.

Category 4: Overall Feel
The overall feel of this sleeve is very nice. It fits well in your hand and it's a nice texture. There are very little errors in the craftsman ship of it. I also picked out this design so I feel like that is another reason why I like it so much. As I stated before, this specific design glows in the dark and I love it so much. This sleeve has also been through a lot and stayed resilient.

My overall feeling for this sleeve is that it deserves a 4.5/5 star rating.

Final Thoughts
I think that this sleeve is definitely a top contender for best sleeves out there. It's made well and it protects your books very nicely. It's offered in a wide range of sizes and designs, which is a huge bonus. Also, this was one of the larger sizes they offered, so a smaller size would be even cheaper than this already was. I find that Melvis Makes is definitely a bang for your buck. I would definitely buy from them again in the future and I will be considering this store when buying book sleeves for my friends.

Overall, Melvis Makes received a total score of 4.6 stars.

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The next sleeve I'll be reviewing is Book Bud by Gabriel Lea. This is one of my favorite ones that I have and I can say even before I go into this that I highly recommend them. This sleeve is sized at --- and is one of the exclusive designs that they have on their site.


Category 1: Durability and Ability to Protect my Books
I've had this sleeve for a little under a year now and it's done a very good job at protecting my books. It's made a lot of trips with me to work at the pool and from my dad's and back, as well as to college and back home multiple times. The sleeve looks just like it did when I got it in the mail and I couldn't be happier with how it's been holding up.

It also protects my books extremely well. The only thing is that one of my books' corners was a little crumpled. However, you can't even notice unless you are actually looking for what is going on. Plus, I'm not sure if that is due to the sleeve or if it was like that before I put the book in.

For this category, Book Bud received a 4.75/5 stars.

Category 2: Size to Price Ratio
I paid $23 for this sleeve plus shipping from Australia to near the Chicago area. I bought my sister one for her birthday so I was able to combine the shipping, so that was nice because the shipping was around $7, which is still reasonable for shipping from Australia to here. The sleeve was 10.5 x 8.5 inches, which is big enough for most of my books.

Now, in terms of is this sleeve worth it for this price, I think it is. The sleeve has a nice cotton (?) padding in between the outer fabric and the inner lining. The inner lining is also a nice soft fabric that I really like touching. The fabric in this specific sleeve was also printed exclusively for this shop, so I do think that it was worth it for the price. However, the non-exclusive fabric sleeves are only $19, which is a nice price for the quality materials that you are getting in these sleeves.

For this category, Book Bud received a 5/5 stars.

Category 3: Quality of Craftsmanship
This is a very well put together book sleeve. The look of the sleeves is really sleek and smooth. The outside fabric feels very nice to the touch. It's not soft but it's very smooth and doesn't wrinkle. The designs are printed directly on the fabric and they're very vibrant. There is some padding between the outer fabric and the inner liner, which is made of a super soft material. There are no lose threads, no creases where there shouldn't be, and the liner is sewn to the bottom. It's tall enough that when I do put my hardcovers in, not only does it fit in the sleeve without creasing, but the sleeve covers the top of the book.

Overall, this category received a 5/5 stars.

Category 4: Overall Feel
Overall, I love this sleeve. From the sleek design of the sleeve to the quality materials that went into this sleeve, I genuinely feel like this is a bargain for the price that it's set at. It does a fabulous job at protecting my books and has lasted for quite a while. Plus, I love that this creator designs her own fabrics and then makes sleeves out of them. It adds a nice touch that this sleeve is designed around one of my favorite series.

I feel like this sleeve deserves a 5/5 stars.

Final Thoughts
This was probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. The shop owner personally reached out to me to let me know of any hiccups in production, like fabric being late on delivery, and kept me updated each step of the way. That's something that I didn't get with the other times I've bought a sleeve. And despite it shipping all the way from Australia, I got it in a timely manner a week before I expected. I already have gifted one of these sleeves to my sister for her birthday and she loves it and uses it all the time. The price is great for the quality that you get and I couldn't be happier.

Overall, Book Bud received an average of 4.9 stars out of 5.

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The last sleeve that I'm going to be reviewing is one that was an exclusive item in a Fairyloot box. You can't get it from anywhere unless you buy it from somebody who got it in the box, but as Fairyloot plans on putting sleeves in more boxes, you could use this review as a resource to see if you would want the sleeve that comes in their box.


Category 1: Durability and Ability to Protect My Books
I haven't had this sleeve for as long as the others, maybe about 4 months? I bought it from someone who got it in their Fairyloot box but didn't see themselves using it. I can't really rate on durability, for this reason, but it does still look brand new even after these few months of me using it.

As with the others, this sleeve spent two days traveling with me around college in my backpack and it held up well. The book had zero damage at all apart from what was already done before going in the sleeve, which was still minimal. It did great there. Plus, this sleeve is the only one that I have that is waterproof, which I'm stoked about. It means that this sleeve will probably be the one that I use when I take books to work (I work at a pool).

For this category, this sleeve received a 5/5 stars.

Category 2: Prize to Size Ratio
This is also tough to judge simply because the sleeve came in a subscription box and was made my the Fairyloot team, so I can't get an accurate price for just the sleeve. However, the other sleeves I reviewed around this size were ~$20. A Fairyloot box costs $36 plus shipping. That means that if the sleeve were full prize at the same as the others, the rest of the box would cost only $16. That's impractical as a book is that much and Fairyloot includes a lot of other items. So, I'm going to go ahead and say that the sleeve itself would cost less than $20.

I think this is a great price for the size and quality that you're getting. The price I paid from the person I bought it from was $20, which included shipping. I was not disappointed in what I got.

This category received a 5/5 stars.

Category 3: Quality of Craftsmanship
The craftsmanship on this sleeve is stellar. For one, there is a lot of padding for if you drop your book and it's waterproof, which is a bonus. There were no lose strings or open seams and the actual sewing of the sleeve together was done very well.

The only qualm I have is that the width of the sleeve is not proportional to the height. That means that even if a tall, thick book were to fit vertically, it may not fit width wise. But it's still a big sleeve that had held my larger paperbacks and hardcovers.

For this category, this sleeve received a 4.75/5 stars.

Category 4: Overall Feel
Overall this sleeve is very sleek and well made. It does a great job at protecting books and I have a feeling that it's going to be very durable for a lot of years.

I think that this sleeve deserves a 5/5 stars.

Final Thoughts
This sleeve is amazing and I'm so glad I was able to find someone who was selling theirs. The price I paid was definitely worth it and I think that between the design and the fact that it's waterproof, it's just overall a stellar sleeve. I would definitely buy a Fairyloot box just for the book and a sleeve like this one.

This sleeve received a total average of 4.9 stars out of 5 across all of the categories.

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Final Judgements
This was definitely an interesting experiment for me to run. It made me look a lot deeper into if I was getting my money's worth, if the sleeves were truly the best quality, and so much more. I'm really glad that I did this, though.

The Fairyloot sleeve and Book Bud by Gabriel Lea tied for first place with 4.9 stars, with Melvis Makes after with 4.6, and Book Beau last with 2.8. It is clear to see that just because a sleeve is super popular, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best option out there. It is worth it to go searching for smaller shops with more quality sleeves at better prices.

My personal favorite is either the Fairyloot one or the book bud. I can't decide which one I prefer, because each of them are beautiful. All of these are extremely useful and I'm glad to have them all, but there are pros and cons to each. I will be expanding my collection soon, though.

I hope that this helped you with your decisions on where/if you want to buy a book sleeve! I would definitely buy one again from any of these places except for Book Beau. And if you already have a book sleeve, I hope that you found this informative and a way to compare yours to other brands!

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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren

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