Book Reviews

A truly unique new offering for Latin Mass goers....

Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass
Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass by Jeff Ostrowski, Editor  970 pages

Original year of publication: 2013

I was quite delighted to run across this wonderful new Missal/Hymnal created for the Traditional Latin Mass. Before I even start this "review", I must stress one point very frankly. I am no authority whatsoever on the subject of sacred music. My knowledge is quite lacking in this area so I will not even pretend to provide a critique of the musical portion of this book. I will focus mainly on it's construction, layout, and form.

Here goes-

A true "Pew" Missal/Hymnal- it seems to be a very well constructed book for the purpose it will fulfill. The covers are hard and matte laminated.  The color and artwork is quite beautiful and fitting for such a book. The sewn binding should provide years of reliable service. The quality of print is excellent and the size of the fonts used has been well thought out, you can tell. The layout and typesetting should appeal to a wide range of users.

The introductory pages include a Foreward by Fr. John Berg, FSSP, a preface by the editor, and a nice note that the missal was based on the Fr. Lasance Missal of 1945. What an excellent choice. The good Fr. F.X. Lasance is so well known for his religious books. (See last photo in Image Gallery for a rare look at the good Father.)

The Mass Propers, located in the first section of the book are clean and simple.

The most striking feature of this book by far is the nucleus, where the full color medieval-style illuminated pages are located. The real-life photographs are a bonus as well. Words here cannot describe them. Pictures tell the tale, which I have provided below. Provided first is the Order of High Mass and then an entirely new section for the Order of Low Mass, totally and completely repeated. This is a great feature. Less guessing and very easy to follow.

The last section of the book contains chants and hymns, for use in the Traditional Latin Mass.

The tome is concluded by a comprehensive index.

The book has only two drawbacks or 'cons' as I see it. Number one is the lack of marker ribbons. Even with it's simple layout (designed for less "page flipping") I can't help but think that one will struggle to keep his place during mass. Maybe one could put his finger in the propers or use a bookmark. (funny enough, a free bookmark was included with the book). I can see where the ribbons may have been left out intentionally, since they can be subject to abuse and damage. On know on older missals and other liturgical books the ribbons are the first thing to deteriorate. The second is the sheer bulk of the book. It could be difficult to get this book stuffed into the sometimes slim "pockets" on the backs of the pews. They may have to find a home sitting on the seat portion of the pew, at the ends. Softcovers would have helped a little but would have sacrificed the durability of the book itself. The full color pages are thick and do add bulk to the textblock but as I said above, these pages are what sets this Missal/Hymnal apart from similar books.

My overall assessment is a postive one and this new offering will be a huge improvement to the popular "red books" offered by the Coalition for Ecclesia Dei. I don't mean to knock the "red books". They are very inexpensive and have proved their worth over time. The last comment I will make is the price. It is modest. I paid $22.99 for a single copy and price does down as the bulk goes up. 50 to 99 copies are $18.99 and so on. Definitely an investment for a parish or chapel but they could be a great help for the ability of the laity to assist at Holy Mass.

There is a great website which supports this book.

My pictures are posted below.

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Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale, 1962, Pocket Edition
Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale, 1962, Pocket Edition by The Roman Catholic Church

Original year of publication: 1962

I am always pleased to see yet another edition of the Roman Breviary back in print. This new offering could be called "The Diurnale-Resized". This is an exact reprint of a popular reprint that I have already reviewed here on Here is the review of the full sized edition, which measures 7" tall by 4" wide. The new pocket edition comes in at 5" tall by 3" wide. This Breviary brings a whole new meaning to the word 'portability'. It is neither heavy nor bulky and will fit quite easily into most purses, handbags, briefcases, or even a breast pocket or inside pocket of a coat. At almost 1 1/4" thick, you probably won't want to put it in your back pants pocket! Anyway, on to the details.

*This is an exact facsimile reprint (not a newly typeset edition) of the Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale. (If you don't know, a Diurnale is simply a Breviary which contains all of the "Day Hours" of the Divine Office, namely- Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. This volume does not contain the hour of Matins.)

*This is the "1962" edition in which the rubrics were officially promulgated in 1960 and put into force in 1961. This edition is used by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, The Society of Saint Pius X, The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, many other traditional religious orders, and scores of traditional lay Catholics throughout the world.

*Contains all Latin text, no English. Psalms are Vulgate edition, not "Pian" or "Bea" Psalter.

*Contains all of the Propers for all of the principal feasts according to time (Proprium de Tempore) and the feasts of the Saints (Proprium Sanctorum) for the entire liturgical year.

*Contains many 'extras'. I call them extras because some of them don't actually form a part of the Divine Office but they are part of the patrimony of the Church. I won't relist them here. Refer to the review of the larger reprint for details and page scans. LINK

*Although this is nowhere contained in the book, (because it was removed by the reprinter) this book was originally printed by Desclee, Society of St. John the Evangelist.

*Beware: the print is rather small. If you have poor eyesight, this may not be the book for you. Normally, pocket sized books are formatted especially for the purpose, with larger fonts to make them easier to read. This one is just a standard sized edition, shrunken down. See the image gallery below for a detailed view.

Construction and features: Covers are flexible with a black imitation leather covering. Gold embossing on cover and spine. 4 ribbon markers. Decorative headbands. Red page edges. Red and Black text throughout. Printed on thin, off-white "bible paper" (approx. 20lb or a bit heavier).

It seems to be well put together. It is not an exquisite edition by any means but this should keep the cost down. Seems to be quite durable and well made.

N.B.- The only difference between the content of this edition and the larger one is that the table of movable feasts has been updated. The larger edition ran from 1962 to 1997 and the pocket edition runs from 2008 to 2043.

The cost was modest for a book of this type. 35.51 Euros ($47.96) plus 6.80 Euros ($9.18) for shipping. I ordered it on Jan. 6, 2013. The order was processed on Jan. 8 and the book shipped on Jan 17. It arrived on Feb. 4.

At this point in time, the only place that one can order this book from is the Abbaye du Barroux in France. I would guess that it is only a matter of time before it is available from U.S. based religious booksellers but if you want a copy now, go to and place your order. What are you waiting for???!!! Here is a direct link to the book- Diurnale Romanum (format poche)

Explanation of images in the photo gallery:

1-6 are various exterior views of the Breviary.

7-10 are interior views, the first image with a quarter on the title page.

10-12 are close-ups of the text, the first being the pocket Diurnale, then the full size, and then side by side.

13 is the pocket Diurnale next to it's big brother.

14 is a family photo of big brother, little brother, and older brother. (older brother is a pocket sized Horae Diurnae from 1884 A.D.)

15 is the title page from the 1884 Horae Diurnae

16 is the pocket Diurnale in a custom made slipcase, which I fabricated from cardboard and book repair tape.



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Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale, 1962 Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale, 1962
Breviarium Romanum, Diurnale, 1962 by The Roman Catholic Church

Original year of publication: 1962

I am pleased to provide yet another review of an edition of the 1962 Roman Breviary. This edition, distinct from the other two editions of the Roman Breviary I have reviewed, is neither a complete offering of the Divine Office nor is it a newly typeset version. This tome is a "Diurnale" which simply means that it only contains the "day hours" of the Divine Office, namely- Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline.
The hour of Matins is not in this book. Since the hour of Matins comprises a great number of pages in a standard Breviary, leaving it out allows all of the other hours (and their propers for the entire liturgical year) to be offered in one, handy volume. Also note- this is a facsimile of the original edition, not a new edition.

Upon opening the delivery box I immediately noticed that the tome was sealed in a plastic wrapping. I love when publishers do this. When sealed in plastic, there can be no doubt that your book is a completely new, uncirculated copy. Upon initial inspection, it appears to be a very well made book. Offered as a cloth hardcover, this book looks to be very durable and should provide years of service. Not as elegant as leather, but it does the job. The red page edges are a nice touch. 4 marker ribbons protrude from the binding. Text is clear and sharp. The black is black and the red is red. I have seen other facsimiles that were not quite up to par on text colors. I've seen faint blacks (almost grey) and the red looked more like pink. This one is excellent. Choice of paper color and weight is excellent.

This Diurnale is an extremely versatile book. Personally, I do not like to take my regular Breviary outdoors for fear of losing or damaging it. This Diurnale is perfect since I never usually pray Matins anyway and if I lost it, I would only be out $75 instead of $150 (half the price of the Nova et Vetera Breviary set). $75 is still a lot of money but you get more than just a Breviary by obtaining this volume. Here are some of  the extras: Prayers before and after the Divine Office, The Little of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Office of the Dead, The Gradual Psalms, The Seven Penitential Psalms, The Litany of the Saints, Prayers Before and After Mass, Excerpts from the Roman Ritual (for celebration of the Sacraments), The Itinerarium Clericorum, The Litany of the Holy Names of Jesus, The Litainy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Litany of the Precious Blood of D.N.I.C.,  The Litany of Loreto, The Litany of St. Joseph, Various Blessings (from the Roman Ritual), Indices to the Psalms, Hymns, Canticles, etc..., and finally, short forms of the Sacraments.  Lastly, it comes with a small booklet containing the propers for feasts in the United States.  ALL IN THE SACRED LANGUAGE OF LATIN (sorry, 'not a spot of English in this book) It should also be noted that this Breviary contains the traditional Vulgate Psalms (in single column format), not the Pius XII Psalms like most other editions printed in that era. 

If you happen to be saving up for a full Breviary ($300) and you do not intend on praying all of the hours of the Divine Office because of your state in life, you may want to seriously consider buying this book instead. You will not be disappointed with it and you can always upgrade to a full Breviary someday if you stick with it.  And if you want to pray Matins occasionally they are available online for free (as well as the rest of the Roman Breviary). Divinum Officium

Click the "View Sample Pages " link below to get a closer look at the interior of the book.

If you are new to the Roman Breviary, consider this resource- LEARNING THE NEW BREVIARY

Printed edition available here.                                                                                                    

diurnalesamplepages.pdfView Sample Page

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Finally, the Roman Breviary in Latin and English.

The Roman Breviary in Latin and English
The Roman Breviary in Latin and English by The Roman Catholic Church

Original year of publication: 1963-4
Reprinted in the year: 2012

 After a very long wait since the announcement of it's return (over 5 years, I think) the Roman Breviary is once again available in Latin and English, in one complete edition. Essentially, it is a reprint of the edition that was published by the Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota but with some modifications. The main changes are as follows- The new edition has been completely re-typeset, the English translations has been modified, images have been added, and the Latin text of the Psalms was changed from the Pope Pius XII Psalms to the traditional Vulgate Psalms (called the Gallican Psalter). Re-typesetting was necessary for three reasons. To create a new, clean text for reprinting. To correct errors in the original text. And of course, if one is to replace whole parts of the text with different ones, this would never work for a facsimile edition. Also, it was necessary to modify the English so that it closer matched the Latin Psalms and Canticles (and other readings from Scripture) that were changed in the new edition. The addition of images was a very smart move on the publisher's part. This gives the Breviary a more authentic, Liturgical feel. The exclusion of images is a relatively novel idea which in my opinion is the wrong direction to go when publishing Liturgical books. Lastly- The replacement of the Pius XII Psalms with Gallican Psalms was a must for many reasons.

 My own conclusion. This Breviary is a monumental work for the traditional movement in the Catholic Church. It aids in the accessibility of the texts of the Roman Breviary to all. So many people, even in traditional circles, are intimidated by all-Latin Breviaries.This publication will ease the intimidation. Often times the rubrics are the biggest challenge in praying the Divine Office, not the Latin text of the prayers. The fact that these tomes have the rubrics in English is a big plus. The price is very steep for those on a tight budget. Save your pennies if this is something you desire, it will 'pay you back' every time you pick it up and read the Holy Words of the Divine Office.

If I only had one criticism, it would be this- That the rubrics are only given in English. Even though I just praised the fact that the English rubircs were a plus, it is unfortunate that the original Latin rubrics were not included in the typesetting.

For a full description with page samples, pricing and availability, go to the Baronius website- Baronius Press

This Breviary has been reviewed by both Fr. Z and the New Liturgical Movement blog. Links to those reviews are given below.

Fr Z's Review

NLM Review

I have posted some pictures below. As you can see, the Breviary set also includes a free book on how to pray the Breviary by Fr. Bernard Hausmann and some insert prayer cards and booklets with commonly said prayers of the office on them (in Latin and English)


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A totally NEW, completely re-typeset edition of the Roman Breviary....

Breviarium Romanum 1962 edition
Breviarium Romanum 1962 edition

This review is of a brand new, totally re-typeset edition of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum published by Nova et Vetera in Germany.  A couple of things to mention at the outset- When referring to a "1962" edition of a liturgical book, it simply refers to a year commonly accepted as the last year of minor reforms before the total overhaul of the Breviary, Missal, and Sacraments in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The new rubrics for the Breviary and Missal were promulgated in July of 1960 to be put in force in January of 1961. The other thing I want to mention is this is not a book review in the strict sense. I will be commenting both objectively and subjectively on various material aspects these tomes, not on the content.

Upon handling these tomes, one immediately senses a degree of quality in publishing that is quite rare these days. I felt as though I was handling an original set from early 60's, mysteriously preserved in new condition. But I wasn't. The smell of the leather and fresh ink. The feel of the limp leather covers and smooth ribbons. A bibliophile's dream. Nova et Vetera should be applauded for their accomplishment.

On to the details. The covers are of the highest quality leather which is grained yet still smooth. It has 5 raised bands on the spine and rounded corners. The first endsheets (just inside the covers) are made of a heavy, resin-impregnated stock. The next sheets are of a slightly heavier stock than the rest of the pages, containing some commonly said Breviary prayers. The page corners are rounded as well, with nice gold gilding. The paper is a very thin yet strong cream "bible paper".  Thin enough to keep the tomes very slim, yet thick enough that the text bleed through is tolerable. The printing is clear and sharp, in a very easy to read font. The rubrics are in red of course, but this red is quite different than any I have seen in a liturgical book. It is a very deep, dark red, almost burgundy. It is very attractive and sits well the black text on the cream paper. Both tomes lay flat in your hand or on a table, nearly anywhere you open it.

I like the order of sections as well. Proprium de Tempore first, followed by the Ordinarium, then the Psalterium, then the Proprium Sanctorum, and finally the Commune Santorum. This allows one to work from the center of the Breviary and then move to the front and rear sections for the Propers. Not all Breviaries were printed this way in the 60's. My Desclee edition with the Pius XII Psalter has the Ordinarium first, followed by the Proprium de Tempore, then the Psalter and so on. Speaking of the Psalter, this new edition does contain the Vulgate Psalter, not the Psalter of Pius XII, which is sometimes a stumbling block when purchasing a used original edition.

A few extras to mention- Also included with the tomes are two sets (one for each volume of the Breviary) of heavy laminated cards with commonly said prayers on them. Available at extra cost are two small booklets. One is of propers for feasts celebrated in the U.S.A. and the other- Hymni Antiqui, a collection of ancient hymns. The nice covers, for storage or transport, are available for a discounted price when purchasing them with a Breviary set (when ordering directly from the publisher). They are available in smooth or grained leather.

We have posted some pictures below in the image gallery. The publishers website has many more exterior and interior shots on their wonderful website.

The Breviary can be purchased from 2 U.S. sources

Preserving Christian Publications                                                                                 

FSSP webstore

It can also be purchased directly from the publisher at


Some other resources I should mention are-

Learning the New Breviary

(an interpretation of the rubrics and guide to praying the 1962 edition)

Free download here. Buy the printed edition here.


 Pocket guide for recitation of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum


Ordo (an indispensable tool for proper recitation of the Divine Office)

FSSP edition

SSPX edition

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Stock Number: 00000
Notes: This book is not available from This is only a book review.

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ANOTHER totally new, completely re-typeset edition of the Roman Breviary....

Breviarium Romanum 1962 Edition, SSPX
Breviarium Romanum 1962 Edition, SSPX

I am happy to provide a review (well at least an examination of the externals) of yet another newly typeset edition of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum. The publication of this Breviary is yet another sign of the demand for the traditional Roman Breviary in the official liturgical language of the Church, Latin. This particular edition was prepared by the SSPX or Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X, meaning "Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X". Since the SSPX uses only the liturgical books of 1962, it is quite fitting that this edition has been prepared for the priests and religious of the Society. Fortunately, this edition is available to the general public. This meets the need considering the boom in the number of lay people who now say the Traditional Roman Office in the sacred, unitive Latin language. There does not appear to be a website supporting these tomes, like the Nova et Vetera edition so I thought it might be worth my time to provide some pictures and details this edition of the Roman Breviary.  Now, on to the books.

I am very impressed with the quality of these tomes.  The covers are flexible but not too limp. They are made of smooth grained black leather. The binding appears to be strong and tight as well. 4 ribbon markers protrude from the spine. The gold gilded page edges are beautiful and finely crafted. The paper is very thin yet durable. The "bleed through" is noticeable but not excessive. Each tome lays flat either in your hand or on a surface. The text is well laid out and very readable. I must say that I really like the font used in this edition. It is large, clear, and attractive. Included with this set are 4 individual prayer cards containing the Te Deum, Psalm 94, the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the final Antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Also included is a booklet containing the the propers for feasts observed in the United States. I should also note that this edition does use the Vulgate Psalms, not the Psalter of Pope Pius XII (like most breviaries printed in the 50's and 60's.)

Overall, I believe these tome to be well made, durable, and attractive. They should provide a life time of service in prayer. At $300, one must make sure his money is well spent. They are a worthy investment, considering these books will be used daily.

Where to buy:  Preserving Christian Publications

                          Angelus Press

                          (Angelus Press also sells the tomes individually)

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Review of bookbinding services by Constance Wozny Review of bookbinding services by Constance Wozny Review of bookbinding services by Constance Wozny
Review of bookbinding services by Constance Wozny

I would like to share with you the excellent experience I had with the services of Constance Wozny, Hand Bookbinder.  I obtained a 2 volume Breviary which had no marker ribbons. Apparently one of it's previous owners had cut the ribbons completely off. All that remained were little frayed nubs sticking out of the tops of the books. In order to make this Breviary more friendly to use, I decided to have new ribbons installed. After seeing an advertisement for her services in a Catholic newspaper and also after viewing her website, I decided to contact her. She gave me a price for installing the new ribbons and it was very reasonable (only $10 per volume) so I decided to send them off. In only about 2 weeks I had the Breviary back in my hands with very nice new ribbons hanging from each small tome. I am very happy with the both the color and texture of the ribbons and with the workmanship.

Here services are definitely "old fashioned". I say this not to imply that they are "out of date" in some way. Example: She called me after she had received the books to clarify choice of ribbon material. Also, she sent a handwritten invoice with the books. How often do you see that anymore?

A car salesman once told me "A good car will sell itself". So true. The services of of Constance Wozny, Hand bookbinder have sold themselves. Just look at the beautiful work she is capable of.

Speed, quality, and value. What more could you ask for?


Rosaries of Regina Angelorum Rosaries of Regina Angelorum
Rosaries of Regina Angelorum

I ordered the Miraculous Medal/St. Maximilian Kolbe Rosary just under a week ago. As a member of the M.I. (Militia Immaculata), which was founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe, I was very pleased to find that Regina Angelorum had designed and produced such a rosary. I must say that I had never handled or even heard of a "wire wrapped" rosary. I am very impressed with the durability that this method produces. The simple "bent eye-pin" construction of most rosaries is easily compromised. Just a slight tug will send beads flying. The wire wrapping method traps each bead or group of beads between two revolutions of wire wrapping on each end. There are no split rings to separate either. The wire wrapped links attach to each other and directly to the center piece and crucifix. The choice of colors and bead sizes was well thought out, too. This rosary should provide years of service in prayer. The rosaries of Regina Angelorum are durable, beautiful, and affordable. Also, there is something to be said about sacramentals that are made by small apostolates such as these. Much love goes into the production of each item. This cannot be said for mass produced sacramentals and religious items.
Buy one (or more!) for yourself, for a friend, family member, or anybody.

Blessed Be God
Blessed Be God by Callan and McHugh  748 pages

Original year of publication: 1960
Reprinted in the year: 2010

Yet another fine reprint (2nd!) from PCP. The Blessed Be God prayer book has proven it's popularity not only by the success of the first reprinting, but simply by the depth and breadth that this prayer book covers. This book is one of the most comprehensive Catholic prayer books I have ever seen. Well, I must confess that shortly after I purchased  a copy of the first printing, I have seen very little of it. My wife quickly snatched it from me. She uses it daily. It contains an abundance of daily prayers, devotions, novenas, litanies, etc... It also contains the Order of Mass. Another plus is that the book is filled with wonderful line art images. The text is clear and sharp. PCP has done a wonderful job with this facsimile reprint. One observance I made was the fact that PCP did not simply reprint the first printing with a different cover. The first reprinting appeared to be from 1925 or later. This second reprinting is a newer edition, from 1960. It also now has a table of movable feasts good until 2041 A.D.

Physical features: 

Size- 4" by 6 1/2" (more compact than the first reprinting)

Construction- Black bonded leather cover, sewn binding, rounded cover and page corners, heavy end sheets. Thin, white paper.

Additional features- Gold page edges, black ribbon marker, two-color headbands. 


Available from Preserving Christian Publications, you can also view a few enlarged page images on their site.



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Dimensions: 4" X 6 1/2"
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Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin by K.P. Harrington  698 pages

Original year of publication: 1925

 A very useful offering from Armfield Academic Press, Medieval Latin will be the delight of the Latin student, whether a beginner or more advanced. Inside is a very well-rounded selection of Latin readings from (to quote from the Preface) “... history, anecdote, argument, the epistle, the drama, the essay, the dialogue, the novel, and epic, lyric, pastoral, didactic, and satiric verse.” These selected readings will be very helpful to Latin students of either the classical or ecclesiastical orientation. As my interest is mainly in the ecclesiastical, such readings are of great interest to me- those of St. Bonaventura, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great, Isidore, and too many more to list here. Each set of readings is precluded by an informative introduction of the author, references to some of their other works and writings, and a bibliographic reference to where one would find the complete work from which the selected reading was taken. Two other nice features of the book are the numerous pictures and illustrations, and the footnotes, which translate more difficult and less common words and phrases. (from the Preface) “As a rule the [foot]notes translate all words not found in Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary except such as are obvious after a little thought or intelligent conjecture.” Offered in an attractive yet simple and affordable soft cover, this book will not hurt your eyes or your pocket-book. The print quality is very good. All too often, facsimile editions are hurriedly thrown together and mass-marketed for immediate and maximal profits. Such is not he case with this book. The text is dark, clear, and sharp. The pure-white background contrasts with the text nicely and only in a few places do any background spotting or “noise” remain (which do not affect the text). In conclusion, I highly recommend this book. Value, quality, and usability. What more can you ask for? Purchase craft corner

How to make a simple slipcase for your Missal, Breviary, or Prayerbook
How to make a simple slipcase for your Missal, Breviary, or Prayerbook

Protecting your fine book is important, especially if it travels with you. I can't count the number of times I have clumsily dropped my missal or breviary because of either being in a hurry or having too much in my hands at once or both! There is nothing worse for a book's binding than dropping it on it on the end or edge of it's spine. The simple answer is buying a slipcase made for the book or having a custom one made. This method can be expensive and does not give the self-satisfaction that you made something yourself. Please refer to the step by step pictures below. Note that the book repair tape that I use comes from a company called Brodart. Here is a link to the product :  LINK (N.B.- always buy the tape which has a "release backing" as it is so much easier to work with.) The tape is expensive at about $30 a roll but it will make many slipcases. I'm sure other types of tape will work but this one is the toughest, stickiest, and best suited for the job (it is waterproof, too!!) You can use my exact method or tweak it if you are a crafty person or have a creative mind. Make and enjoy. (note- Even though I have acquired a better camera, I'm still having problems with image quality/consistency. The pics aren't perfect, but they server the purpose for now....)

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