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Topic: Alternate Use for Unpostables

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Subject: Alternate Use for Unpostables
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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I know that a lot of members have books which are perfectly readable but due to PBS guidlines are unpostable.

Instead of giving them away why not log on to www.booksforsoldiers.com and send them on to our servicemen and women overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan? Our soldiers have a lot of down time (when they are not fighting) and I'm sure that a few good books will be much appreciated. Also, I know that reading is a great stress-reducer for me and it will be even more so for them.

Date Posted: 7/13/2008 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I know you mean well, but if the books are unpostable here, I would be a little embarrassed to send them to our troops. I wouldn't  think they would want dirty, torn up or otherwise unpostable books either. It would be kind of like saying, " These aren't good enough books for US but they are for THEM."

Again, I know you meant well but I would only send books in good condition.

Date Posted: 7/13/2008 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,417
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Last Edited on: 6/5/11 12:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2007
Posts: 1,180
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I just ran this by my DH who was stationed in Iraq. He says the desert has such sand storms that everything there is covered with a layer of dust that settles everywhere. After the dust storms, there are dunes under the doors. Even after a hefty cleaning, the crevices are full of sand. The base he was stationed at had a library full of books and they all looked the worse for wear but were readable. He shrugged and said he could care less what the book looked like just as long as the last paragraph was not missing!!! 
He added baby wipes and wet ones move very fast over there and soldiers keep packs in their pockets. He would put a handful of wipes in a Ziploc bag and stick it in his pocket. If you send books, you may want to add a package of wipes/baggies. Unpostable books sound like the best bet for soldiers in this area.
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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I was stationed in Baghdad from 2004-05, and for most of my tour, our chaplain's office had a great selection of books -- kind of a take what you want, donate what you want, kind of setup.  Most of the books were probably in postable condition for PBS, but trust me, even the more well-worn books weren't turned down, either.  We didn't have quite the dust problem Dana's husband had at his base. 

The new chaplain decided that his office was not an appropriate place for non-religious books, but the local MWR office picked up the books and took over the "library." 

Anyway, what I am saying is that yes, even books that have been a little beat up would be welcome; however, newer (as in publishing date newer, not necessarily bookstore-condition new) books tend to be more popular since it's hard to get new books over there.

Subject: Use your own judgment but the main idea is correct
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I don't think those folks would really mind a couple of minor stains here and there (esp on the cover), nor a tear of more than an inch, nor minor underlining/highlighting (I had a book recently that I swapped elsewhere because it had about a dozen individual words underlined throughout the entire book) - that kinda thing. Same for ARC's!

For me, a good question to ask would be: if this were a title you really wanted to read, your library doesn't own a copy, and it'd be pricey to buy (even used), would you be willing to overlook those "violations/imperfections" at a Friends of the Library, thrift store or similar sale?

This would also be a project to consider for those of you with posted books that haven't moved in a long time and/or have many other copies of that same ISBN posted here, too.

Laurie: I understand what you're saying, but there are many folks who would gladly take books that aren't techincally postable here because they want to read them, and don't care about being "keeper quality" nor do those folks really care about re-posting them.

Dana: I understand your final suggestion, but that does eliminate Media Mail eligibility.


Date Posted: 7/13/2008 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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I belong to "bookforsoldiers" and I have found that the best way to send books and other things is the large flat rate book which costs $10.98 when sent to service men/women.  It will hold quite a few books and anything else that will fit.  It is well worth the effort and expense.


Date Posted: 7/13/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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My brother was stationioned in Iraq then Kuwait. Not positive but I think it was Kuwait that he said had a baby powder textured sand that got in everything and stuck to everything. When he finally got to come home each of his footlockers had a layer of sand in the bottom. Baby wipes are good, sanitary products are nice, I always sent candy and gum for him to share with the people he was stationed with. Now he is stationed in Germany in a cute little house and he has an account here. Speaking of his bday is coming up I think I'll get him some credits to spend.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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Anne, I think that is a great idea!  I have some books that - while they don't meet the conditions of PBS - are in decent condition and may be of interest to soldiers.  For example, you may have a book with a couple of pages of very slight water damage...no staining, no mold...I don't see why something in that condition couldn't be sent to soldiers.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 352
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There has been several posts on sending stuff to our soldiers.  What I have still been unable to get was an address where we can ship this stuff.  I would love to send a goody box to our soldiers, but don't have a mailing address.  If you could post me one I would appreciate it.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I didn't think it was a bad idea, although I don't usually have many unpostables.  I have had a few - very minor water damage (it sat on my shelf for a long time and I didn't know it so it didn't hurt anything), a cover tear that I thought was a bit over the limit, an ARC that someone just sent me.  I think those would all have been fine.

The water damaged one was a Terrry Pratchett keeper with just a few pages that looked like they got wet somehow.  (I hate the different cover on the replacement!)

Those were mine and they all seemed like they'd have been okay. 

Mendy -
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 8,262
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Another thing to remember is that ARC's are unpostable but recent ones would probably be treasured by our soldiers since they are out before the actual book is.  :O)

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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Becky -

For security reasons, soldiers and other service members can't (at least shouldn't be) posting their mailing addresses plublicly, nor should anyone else, no matter how well-intentioned.  But you can join booksforsoldiers.com or http://www.operationpaperback.org/ to find out how to donate. 

Last Edited on: 7/14/08 8:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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You can also go to www.anysoldier.com to get information about how to send care packages to our troops in every branch of the service.