American kids may know beginning-of-school book covering as a time-honoured ritual, but, at least when I was growing up, we never had to cover anything. (Maybe because we didn't take textbooks home much until high school?) Anyway, Javamom (a.k.a. the Vintage Bookbinder) would laugh at the primitiveness of this, but I needed to cover a copy of Churchill's The Age of Revolution and had to find instructions. Not for durability, but because our paperback copy had a nasty photograph on the cover.
So, Martha Stewart to the rescue. A piece of Amazing Animal Paper later (see the peacock feathers on the top?), and we're done.