Do You Have a Valuable
or a Damaged Book?

What you need is a clamshell. A clamshell is built all the way around a book to protect it from injury, dust, fire, water, and people who don’t know how to handle good books.


Clamshells are made for particular books, and for particular reasons. The size of the book determines the basic size of the clamshell, and the reason can be one of many. It may be to protect a damaged book that would cost too much to repair; it may be because the cover of the book is exquisitely figured and needs protection from handling and shelf friction; it may even be because the owner wants all of his books to look alike on the shelf.

I have made clamshells for:


Leo has been making beautiful clamshells for my museum for many years and they have their own special place in our library.
David Copperfield
International Museum of the Conjuring Arts
Leo's boxes are sturdy and functional, and perfectly fit to your books' needs. He also offers a vast array of choices in material, suited to the personality of your library.
Bev Rogers
Victoriana collector


I’m glad you asked that question . . .

A clamshell is a custom, handmade box that fits completely around a certain book to protect it. It shields the book from sunlight, dust, rough handling, and can even do its job in the case of a fire. It will not only keep out the soot and smoke, but quite often even the flames.

The books that need clamshells are those that need protection. They are either too fragile to be repaired, or they are valuable, for one reason or another. They can also be a number of books that the owner feels should all look alike on the shelves, or are smaller than the other books and need some height to fit. In some cases, two or three small books can be combined to fit inside one clamshell.

When a clamshell is setting on a shelf, it looks like the other books. The spine has the title, and sometimes the author, and the outside is either a colorful cloth or a luxurious leather. It can be finished as plain or as fancy as the owner wishes.

Although each clamshell is skillfully constructed by hand, they are not that expensive: certainly, less than having a delicate book repaired.

So, look over your library, book by book, and select the ones that need some protection. Contact me and together we’ll decide how they will look . . .


For years I have enjoyed the wonderful emotion of reading. At an early age, I also learned how to put together a library, so I had two functions I could enjoy, at any time, together or separately. Having inherited a large curiosity bump, I not only read what I had to in school, but branched out to other subjects that interested me: mainly magic and its allied arts, but also the unusual branches of animal biology, mathematics and topology, and science fiction for fun. I later gathered together small archives and libraries on various other subjects, as they became important to me.

One of the results of a lot of reading was the realization that I also had to take good care of the books I temporarily owned, as well as repair the less fortunate ones that came onto my shelves. This, naturally, led me into the world of book repair and the acquiring of books about books. Being heavily involved in books and having taken care of a number of other magicians’ libraries, I also became an editor and author of other people’s books as well as writing a number of my own. The stories about this work alone could become a book.

Frequently Asked Questions

A clamshell is a custom-made, handmade enclosure for one or more books. The inside holds the book in place so it can’t be dislodged or shifted. The outside can be as simple or as ornate as the owner desires.

A clamshell is protection. It protects a valuable book from excessive handling, sunlight, dust, and is excellent for containing a book that is in bad shape physically, but it is too expensive to repair. Clamshells have also protected books against damage from sprinklers or household leaks, and even fire.

A clamshell looks like a book setting on a shelf. It can be covered in cloth of almost any color, or in one of many different leathers. It can either look like the book itself, or it can be one of many volumes that have an overall matching look. When opened, the inside can either match the look of the book or be a contrasting color.

The clamshell can be personalized to the owner with a name and/or icon stamped on the cover. If there are items associated with the book, like photos or letters, they can be put into a pocket on the inside. A small book can be fitted into a clamshell that matches the rest of the library shelf in height. A number of small books can be enclosed inside one clamshell for easier handling, shelving, and display.

Estimates are free, but I have to see and handle the actual book. This can be done in person, if you are in Las Vegas, or we can do it all by mail.

Talk to me . . .

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If there are any questions you’d like answered or if you have any special requests, please don’t hesitate to contact me!