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Topic: best way to send/wrap hardbound books?

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Subject: best way to send/wrap hardbound books?
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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i just got a request for a hardbound book

of course wrapping paper around the book wont do so whats

the best way to send/wrap the book?

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,988
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You are right in thinking that the printer paper wrapper will not do, but other types of paper are usually fine. Many people use brown kraft paper off a roll. I am sure someone will post with a cheap place to pick that up.

I just use what is on hand, lots of people save the bubble mailers that they receive books in; small cardboard boxes, etc.

I have used large manila envelopes (wrap tightly around the book and tape down well). If you leave it loose around the book, the book may rip its way out of the package as it gets tossed around by the PO.

I also like to use a folder (I just cut and fold as needed) ... that makes a pretty stiff wrapper and they are cheap, also.

If you are inclined to protect the book with plastic, wrapping a plastic grocery bag around it will usually pad it well enough to be wrapped in some kind of paper.

Last Edited on: 2/9/10 8:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,481
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I use a plastic bag.  Then an old bubble mailer cut into quarters to cover the corners.  Then heavy paper and the label. 

I got one wrapped in a cereal box.  It had a plastic bag, cereal box, then kraft paper.  That help up fine. 

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 1,705
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I've sent some first wrapped in a plastic bag, then put in a bubble envelope that fit snuggly.  I haven't had any problems, so they must have made it ok.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 226
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I have found that using a thick rubber band or two will also help the book keep it's shape and not shift during shipping.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I use plotter paper (scraps that I get from work), which is 24 lb. and thicker than regular printer paper, but you can use regular paper if you have large enough sheets.  Paper grocery sacks work also.  Please DO wrap in plastic before wrapping in paper- this serves as both reinforcement and waterproofing.  The important things are to 1) use more than one layer of paper- so wrap it at least twice, and 2) to reinforce ALL edges and corners with packing tape.  You don't necessarily have to "mummify" it in tape, but the corners and edges are going to get the most stress, so make sure to tape those areas well.  I just pretty much run a strip of tape all around the perimeter of the book along the edges, making sure to tuck and tape down any little flaps of tape that stick out (those can snag in postal machines).  I have sent some very large hb books (think Anne Rice Vampire series) and never had a problem.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I got one wrapped in a cereal box.  It had a plastic bag, cereal box, then kraft paper.  That help up fine. 

I got four paperbacks in a cereal box once.  And there was no craft paper covering the box.  They just put the books in a plastic bag then a mailing label on the front of the box and sent it off.  The box was pretty trashed by the time it made it.  I don't think I would use a cereal box because they are very thin cardboard and don't hold together well.  It was rather weird receiving a box of Cocoa Puffs in the mail.  I'm sure the mailman got a kick out of it. 

I send my hardbacks in poly bags I bought on E-bay.  I always wrap the bag tightly around the book and tape over the four corners so nothing stick out that could be caught in a sorting machine.

Last Edited on: 2/10/10 12:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I send out quite a few hardcover books.  I usually just put them in a bubble wrapper (bought a supply cheap off of e-bay) and tape all the edges down snuggly against the book.  I haven't had anyone complain yet.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,217
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If I have a box, I'll use that. If I have a bubble wrapper I'll use that. I'll even use a regular large mailer but I pad the edges of the books so they don't get squished. And it's wrapped tightly as well.

As for receiving books, I've received hard backs in many types of wrappers and they've pretty much all made it to me just fine. Even cereal boxes - they work great. Just remember that if the box is bigger than the book, like most cereal boxers are, use something in the empty space inside the box so the book doesn't slide around.  

ETA: wanted to mention that it's best to criss-cross the tape when mailing a hardback. Wrap a piece of tape all the way around the length and then do the same for the width. It adds sturdiness.

Last Edited on: 2/10/10 1:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,274
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I too am a fan of using file folders -- very sturdy. Be creative, look around your home and I bet you can find all sorts of things that would work, without having to go out and buy something. A piece of cardboard wrapped around the book and then paper grocery bag (at least two layers). And old gift box, deconstructed. HEAVY plastic, such as birdseed or top soil comes in (well-cleaned, of course!) I also second using a layer of plastic -- think of it as insurance in case the wrapping does rip, and you can never use enough tape but you can definitely not use enough!

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I've used rolls of craft or butcher's paper, plastic coated freezer paper, brown postal wrap, vinyl wallpaper (not the prepasted kind), poster board, corrugated cardboard, bubble mailers, & (mostly reused) tyvek bags.  Plus I save & reuse anything that I get an HC or large sized book in.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I used to wrap the entire book in freezer paper (butcher's paper) and then wrap in packing tape and then just tape the label to the front. Now I use the U-line poly mailers. I use the smaller ones for paperbacks and the larger size for hardcovers or oversized trade paperbacks. I tape the pointy corners down to the book though, to prevent them catching in the USPS machinery.


Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,481
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The cereal box I referred to was unfolded.  So it was a long strip of waxed chip board folded tight around the book. 

One item to NEVER use is Priority mail envelopes or boxes.  Not even old ones.  The post office has a right to charge the priority mail rate for reused postal supplies.  And that is a huge price jump when you get to hardback weight.  The book may end up postage due.

Last Edited on: 2/10/10 3:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1