Wish there were a way to show you here: laminated stuff looks great. The colors pop, it's shiny and it's sturdy. The books thumb easier. We're sure you'll love it, but of course the last word is yours: if you don't like it, we'll make things right.
What lamination is: clear glossy protective film that protects against abrasion and heavy usage. It's applied with a heated adhesive. We use 3 mil for the cards and books. There will be less glare without lamination, especially the color wheel. I used to be very anti-glare myself, but we've tried matte laminate from time to time, and the glossy stuff just looks so much better.
What lamination is not: waterproof, bulletproof, nor easy. Sorry to charge so much extra, but it's a laborious process. Lots can go wrong. It's not waterproof because we laminate flush. That is, the final step is the cut, so the edges will take in water if drenched. It is harder to crease a laminated page but not impossible. Some loose pieces we do not cut, so the edges are theoretcially sealed.
Is unlaminated any good? The unlaminated card stock in the books is 100-pound cover, which is very sturdy. It should remain functional as long as you need it. It'll just be a little more obvious how useful it is.
Sample? Want to get a visual-tactile comparison of laminated versus unlaminated? Email us your mailing address and we'll send you some pieces from the scrap pile. Or if you're in a hurry, order both and return one later.