Recently we have been thinking about how we are going to handle a certain book. Yes, I know this sounds funny – we do make treatment decisions daily but this one really has our wheels turning. The said book is a binder-style cookbook. There are pros and cons to each option we come up with. Is there a “right” solution?

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So what do we do?

Option 1: Make a box for it.
Pros: This would help protect it a bit – and would definitely help if it gets returned into the book drop. Pages are easily removed to make photocopies.
Cons: This wouldn’t stop people from easily removing and stealing pages. Pages can also be easily torn/damaged around the holes.

Option 2: Post-bind it.
Pros: Less likely to have pages stolen. More stable than the ring binder.
Cons: Harder for people to make photocopies of the pages or use the book, because it wouldn’t lay open as easily.

Option 3: Send to the bindery.
Pros: Easy solution.
Cons: Slick pages paired with the heavier tabbed pages would just be a recipe (pun intended) for disaster.  It wouldn’t be long before pages (tabbed or not) started popping out.

Option 4: Leave it as-is.
Pros: A basic scan of the stacks shows that there are a number of these types of cookbooks left as-is on the shelves. Leaving the original binding unboxed and unaltered is visually appealing to those just scanning the shelves for similar books.
Cons: Same as option 1 : the possibility of numerous damaged pages if going through the book drop, and vulnerability to theft of individual pages.

Is there a simple/right solution? Are we thinking too hard about this? We go back and forth on what best to do. My question for you is: what do YOU do with items that come in ring binders like this?

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