I started adding fabric to the covers early on. I wanted them to be a work of art on the outside. Maybe a conversation starter if you carry it around with you. or are traveling.
The fabric is canvas or denim painted with acrylic so is very sturdy,
which helps them weather the abuse they get.
I couldn't stop there so the back gets at least one star. They are sew on as well.
I found it helps the back from getting worn.
I did a post in the past about my journals you can see here. It shows the exact brand & type I use and a bit about page embellishment & indexing.
One of these lasts me about a year. They are numbered, the first was started in 2010. The current is number 7. I started using these because the paper is mixed media, which means it can withstand water. If you are playing with water color or water first then paint or ink it is very important.
Lots of clippings and copying (borrowing) designs seen elsewhere.
What's in your journal?