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Topic: A gentle reminder

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Subject: A gentle reminder
Date Posted: 8/16/2009 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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The two-sheet PBS wrapper is NOT meant to cover a trade size paperback book.  Neither is it meant to be the sole wrapping for hardback books.  The two-sheet wrapper is meant for standard sized mass paperbacks.  If the book you are sending is anything thing other than a standard (not the "extra long" or 500+ pages) mass paperback, please, please, please use a padded envelope or sturdy brown paper to wrap the book.  Please.

Thank you.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I agree - unless you use legal size paper for large paperback and trade size and double wrap.  HC -yikes - I always send in a box. 

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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While I agree with the sentiment, I disagree that a padded envelope or sturdy brown paper are the only alternatives.  I'm not paying for a padded envelope, or sturdy brown paper (unless I'm reusing a paper bag).  I have used a variety of wrappings and never had a book arrive in disarray.  There are other options, but I do agree, the 2 sheets PBS produces has extremely minimal usage.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I don't know what PBS was thinking when they decided to recommend the two sheet of printing paper method. It's inadequate even when mummified in packing tape.

I use brown grocery bags and packing tape. That's it. No complaints from anyone.

While I don't buy padded envelopes for PBS, sometimes I'll recycle them when the opportunity presents itself.

I  like the creativity that some members put into their packing. I once received four books in a Lucky Charms box. That was clever. Yesterday I received two books in an Omaha Steak box.

 

 

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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PBS doesn't recommend using the two page wrapper for larger books. They say it can be used for 1, possibly two smaller paperbacks and alternate wrapping should be used for anything larger or heavier than that. The wrapper, if used right, if completely adequate for single MMPs.

Unfortunately, the people that are sending books wrapped like that are not the ones reading the forums or the Help Docs that tell us that though. Whenever you get an inadequately wrapped book, make sure to politely let the sender know that they need to use better wrapping or they risk a credit if the book is damaged due to poor wrapping.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Julie, I didn't mean to imply that a padded envelope or sturdy brown paper were the only two alternatives.  Indeed, I don't believe that.  I just used those two as easily identifiable alternatives that most people can readily get their hands on.  My overall intention was just to remind people that careful packaging will make for happy PBSers.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I was going to say what Melanie said.  You are probably preaching to the choir. Although maybe a member who lurks and never posts will see this.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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Wait -- I can use cereal boxes to mail books?  It's OK via media mail and not considered advertising?

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Lots of members use cereal boxes for media mail Purvi :-)

Unfortunately, when members look at the help directions for wrapping oversized books, the method PBS has chosen to illustrate uses two sheets of paper.  If wrapped as directed, some portions of the oversize book will have only one layer of printer paper which IMO is totally inadequate for any book subjected to Media Maul...much less some of the larger hardbacks I've received with this style of wrap :-(

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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For a standard mass market paperback, the pbs wrapper works just fine. (A layer of protective plastic inside is a plus.) I have never received one that was problematic or had a complaint about one that I mailed.

Re using boxes - PLEASE don't use laundry boxes for mailing. The smell will *never* come out.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,462
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Ceral boxes?  I wouldn't think those are sturdy enough to withstand the mail system.

You can buy a roll of brown postal wrap at the dollar store.  A roll lasts a long time, thru many, many books.  I use that on occasion.  I did buy some poly mailers.  I paid $20 for 100 of them, free shipping.  That's 5 cents per poly mailer.  They're a lot easier than the brown paper and I just fold over and tape the excess of the envelope so it's tight on the book.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,961
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I have received books using many different methods. I've had them in cereal boxes, macaroni and cheese boxes, omaha steak boxes, etc. When using the cereal boxes and other food boxes, they had all been turned inside out. I think this is a USPO requirement having something to do with the books not having been in contact with food.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,722
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Please keep in mind that recycled food boxes may attract bugs. A cereal box may be better (because presumably the cereal was inside a waxed bag and never came into contact with the outer box) but a mac-n-cheese box will have noodle residue within it.

I've ordered about 300 books and I've never gotten a recycled food box ... and I would not welcome one, either.

I do cut pieces of cardboard from larger cardboard boxes to stabilize packages of books, though, This works really well.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,961
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I should explain about the macaroni and cheese package. It was one of those big boxes that holds other boxes of m&c, so no actual noodles touched the insides. I think they probably sell them at Cosco's or Sam's Club. The members who do use the food boxes do turn them inside out, plus they usually wrap the books in plastic. So, I don't have a problem with it, while others may.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 8/16/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I reuse the bubble wrap bags I receive.  I did get a deal on new poly bags too.  If I don't have a used envelope or bag I break down and use a new one.  I could warp in the printed label but I have a difficult time doing it - the envelopes are easier for me.  I also reuse any boxes I receive, so long as they're book size.

Gloria M. (glo) - ,
Date Posted: 8/16/2009 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2006
Posts: 726
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Okay, I love the cereal box idea. I am going to start using them also when I can. gloria

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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As much as cereal is costing these days, trying to get as much as possible from it is a good thing!  ;D  But I've not yet received any books in food boxes.  Although I'm sure the meat never touched the box from Omaha Steaks - that just sort of creeps me out!   I hope I don't get any of those. 

OTOH - in recycling plastic pre-wrap, I've used new sale packaging from men's underwear and Charmin toilet paper packages.  I guess that would bother some people.

Ruth

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Does anyone else recall, quite a long while back, someone started a thread, similar in thought, asking folks what they used/how they recycled wrapping materials.  I recall one person saying they re-used old wrapping paper from birthday presents.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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and we have complaints about the 2 sheets of printer paper and recently someone mentioned the postal inspector wanted us to just use a ziplock bag and tape it firmly to the book and attach the mailing label.....yeah right like that is going to happen with Media Maul!!!

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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I received a book wrapped in old birthday wrapping paper. They used 2 layers. The side was ripped from top to bottom. I think that type of paper is too thin to be a good packaging material.

If using any kind of paper, use packaging tape on the sides as well as the top and bottom.

Date Posted: 8/16/2009 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,313
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If you (general you) don't want to receive books shipped in former food boxes, please don't request my books or provide an RC regarding that.

I generally wrap them in a layer of plastic and then wallpaper, but if I get a request for multiple different sized books, I'll use cereal boxes, cracker boxes, boxes that formally held canned cat food, etc.  I still wrap the books with plastic first, but I do use just about any box that works. 

Date Posted: 8/17/2009 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I actually received a book that was wrapped in one layer of thin (cheap) Christmas wrapping.  Of course, it was completely shredded.  I've become amazed by what people think will make it through the mail system.

Ruth

Date Posted: 8/17/2009 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,722
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I love recycling ... I just happen to think that food wrappers should be recycled as ... other food wrappers, not sent to me in the mail.

For example, I don't mind the cereal box, but please don't rinse out the waxed bag that held the actual cereal and use it to waterproof the book.

because in the past, some people have recommended using things like recycled bread bags to wrap books in. (just turn inside out and dump the crumbs in the trash!). That's the kind of wrapping that draws a lot of bugs because you can't really get rid of the food crumbs as well as you think you have. And, bugs can be drawn to tiny miniscule amounts of food smells that you can't really detect.

And, in my part of the country at least, bugs are an ever present problem that you must fight vigilantly every day.

I got a book mailed in a ziplock bag a while ago. Yup, as the only wrapping. Arrived in perfect condition. too. They handwrote the address on an index card and stuck it inside the ziplock!

Date Posted: 8/17/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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And, in my part of the country at least, bugs are an ever present problem that you must fight vigilantly every day

LOL.  Here in dry Southern California? What on Earth is there to "fight vigilantly" every day? Ants?

Food boxes are fine as long as the sender uses common sense. Some of y'all are visualize books dripping in crumbs and steak juice. I mean really...



Last Edited on: 8/17/09 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/17/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,722
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Ants, ants, ants, and we also have cockroaches. They usually stay in the garden, but when I let my husband do stuff like store empty cans (waiting to be recycled) in the garage ... they start to migrate inside. I'm constantly making him rinse empty cans and storing them outside ... he likes to recycle, too ... but I hate the bugs.

I could easily get rid of the ants by spraying poison all over the yard, but I am against that for many reasons. I'm left with localized poison bait and things like that, and they are very temporary.

This one is not book mailing related ... but, I have to go out once a week at night to kill all the black widows in the garden and around the house. I live out in the desert and you would not believe how many of these we have. I am 100% against spraying poison all over the place, so I am pretty much left with step and squish.

Also, I am currently trying to attract more lizards to my yard. In my last house, we had quite a few yard lizards (they come into the house sometimes too ... we had a very entertaining incident once with a coffee mug from the cupboard and a very lively young lizard), anyway, I would see them in the yard every day, and I never saw a cockroach, ever.

So yeah, I do spend more time than the average person preventing bugs, way more time than I ever had to worry about it on the East Coast (which was never, pretty much).

Laura, for all the people that have common sense out there and would send appropriate wrappings ... you still get the senders who do things like wrap books in dryer lint (from one memorable post I remember).

Now ... back to the regularly scheduled thread .....

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