In this day and age, modern first editions aren’t worth much without their dust jackets. The jackets are considered an integral part of the book—as important as the title page or chapter four. A book without a jacket is simply incomplete. That wasn’t always the case, though. Jackets (or paper wrappers) started out as a way to protect books before they were sold and were generally thrown away at the time of purchase, often revealing a decorative cover beneath. The earliest dust jacket in my collection is from 1876—the first edition of Lewis Carroll’s epic nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark. Though this was far from the first printed dust jacket on a book, it is quite early. What is more significant, however, is that Lewis Carroll is credited with introducing the idea of advertising on a dust jacket. While he does not mention the subject of advertisements on the “paper wrapper” in his correspondence with his publisher Macmillan, he was certainly very closely involved with the production and design of the book, and it seems unlikely that these would have been included without his approval. Whether it was his idea or not, multiple sources mention this as the first dust jacket to include advertisements. On the rear panel are advertisements for the Alice books, along with the German, French, and Italian edition of Wonderland. The advertisements include quotes from the press, something frequently found on dust jackets to this day. I’m thrilled that the first edition of my novel, The Bookman’s Tale will include a couple of great blurbs (yes, that’s the marvelous word for those author endorsements on the back panel) from Robin Sloan and Jennifer Lee Carrell. And it’s nice to think that, on the shelf next to me, is the dust jacket that started the idea of doing something more than just protecting a book.