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Topic: How do you wrap your books?

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Subject: How do you wrap your books?
Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Hi Everyone,

I use the cover that prints up if it fits the book. I tape all corners and seams.Do you find these reliable?

On larger books, I've been using manila envelopes that I cut up to wrap tightly, and also tape all corners and seams.

I sent a few with stuffy envelopes, but I've heard that they're not very reliable.

I also received a book that was wrapped in a brown paper (grocery sack) but didn't seem strong, and althought the book was fine, it was shredding a little at the edge. So was hesitant to use that.

What is the most econonical but strong way to mail books? How do you keep your cost down? Any advice would be appreciated.

FYI,  I use plastic wrap on every book.

Is there anything I should be doing better?

Thanks.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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I recycle bubble wrappers from PBS or use a plastic underneath a brown postal paper or the wrapper if the book is small.

I have received some in manila envelopes and would encourage you to reinforce those really well with tape and include a plastic underwrapping. Almost all manila wrapped books I have received have had the corners beat out of them. Many use plastic grocery bags and cut them down to wrap the book in first.

If you use a plastic wrap first so nothing can blead onto the book you can try layered wrapping paper or wall paper.

Others I've seen recycle boxes from cereal, frozen meals, etc.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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Hi, Rose!

You're going to get a ton of differing opinions about this one, but I'll jump in.   :)   I've mailed 413 books so far and to my knowledge, none have arrived damaged.

I wrap all of my books in plastic.   If it's a mass market paperback that fits the standard PBS wrapper, I use it.  If it's an oversize or trade paperback, I wrap it in brown kraft paper (similar to a grocery bag).   If it's a hardback, I splurge for a poly bubble mailer.  

Regardless of the wrapping material, I cover all the seams and all four edges with packing tape.  No problems.  

I've received over 300 books (I've already forgotten the exact number).  I've received a few with damaged wrappers and pretty much all of them fell into one of two categories:  Sealed with regular gift wrap type tape instead of heavy duty tape or in a paper envelope that wasn't wrapped snugly around the book. 

I'm a big believer in the basic wrapping methods, with sensible use of good tape.  

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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I've received a lot of brown paper packages that have ripped in transit, as well as those just sent in the wrapper if they haven't been taped really well.  There is also a problem with using too much tape, tho, because the book can be damaged when trying to open it.  I send my books out in bubble wrapper packages and tape the ends.  As long as they are new and haven't been reused, they seem to be very strong.  I haven't had any complaints yet.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Ok, that was lots of good advice. I have a couple of questions.

Cindy, is brown Kraft paper stronger that brown grocery bags? Do you have an economical place to purchase? Are the "poly bubble mailers" better than the paper bubble?

Carol Ann, you mention that too much tape may not be good either. This is what I do. I wrap the edges where I fold over, and any seams, so there is nowhere for a machine to catch. After doing  this, it seems pretty tight, and may even be more difficult to open. How do I rectify this?

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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I've tried a few different methods but the one I use now is that I've bought bubble mailers off of Ebay (they're so cheap in the carton!) and use those. They go for under $20 a case mostly (for about 100 bubble mailers) and it's so much easier to stick them in the bubble mailer, seal it and stick a little extra packing tape on the back and you know it's going to get there in good condition. I've never had a complaint yet. It cost a little more, but I figure it's worth it in the long run. It's protected from almost anything and so much easier then dealing with the plastic wrap and paper etc.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I think what Carol Ann was referring to was books that are entirely covered in tape.  It's nice to protect the book, but that sort of wrapping is tricky to get open without damaging the book.

If you want to continue to wrap your books with the PBS wrapper, and they are trade sized paperbacks (the larger size that many people read), I would advise you to add about 1/4 of a sheet of a third piece of paper to one end, just to make sure you have enough paper.  Then, tape the heck out of both ends.  I cover both ends and any open seams in tape.  This way, some paper is still exposed for the person to be able to open the wrapping, but the tricky areas that tend to get caught in postal machines are wrapped.  As others have mentioned, also wrap your books in plastic first.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I'm a fan of the brown grocery bags.  These are the heavier bags used by places like Trader Joes in lieu of plastic bags (not the thinner bags that are more similar to a lunch bag).  I wrap in a plastic bag first, usually recycled from my newspaper delivery, then wrap in the brown paper bag, and then make sure all of the seams and corners are well-taped with packing tape.  So far I haven't heard of a book not making it in good shape.

I've received books in all different types of wrappings, and almost all have come in decent shape.  The few that have had tattered wrappings were a mixed bag of wrapping approaches:  a couple were in the PBS wrapper, a couple were floating loosely in a manilla envelope, and one was a stack of five books wrapped in a brown paper bag that just couldn't do the job.

As another poster said, you'll get a bunch of different opinions and ultimately you'll find what works best for you!  Generally if you wrap tightly and use good tape sensibly your book will make it to its new home just fine!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I use the two PBS printed pages over cling wrap for MMPB's, and have never had a problem or complaint with one wrapped like that.   I tape the back seam and both ends with packing tape.  It's easy to get through with a tiny corner snipped off and sharp straight scissors to cut.  I have found that if you leave the corners a little loose - i.e. don't make that perfectly fitted gift corner, then it protects the corners a little better, and is easier to get into.

For trade PB's, I just add another sheet of printer paper, overlaped and taped with the non-address sheet, close the ends, then put the address sheet over and around.  Again, packing tape over all loose edges, like above.

For hardbacks I just use brown craft paper. 

The only damaged packages I've gotten are books in envelopes - of all kinds; bubble, manila and tyvek.  Postal sorting machines are not kind to loose envelope materials around solid objects.  If you have to use these, tape them close around the book.  It saves wear on the book from sliding inside the envelope, and gives the machine less loose material to grab and tear.  Make sure your label is on good and tight too.  I see a lot of ripped and falling off labels on these.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 416
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I have used all the methods described above and received books in all of them as well.  I have had only a couple that just barely reached my mailbox unharmed.  The manilla envelopes that are not taped tightly around the book were the worst.  Brown grocery bags are my #1 choice after I secure the book in plastic wrap from my delivered newspaper.  It seems to work fine and keeps the earth green by re-cycling.

Recently, I have been wrapping my books in heavy Christmas wrapping paper and taping well.  It's like getting a little present in the mail around the holiday time.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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Rose, the brown kraft paper is about the same thickness as a grocery bag.    I started using it because I keep it around the house for other projects and it was just handy.  I really like it for larger paperbacks, since I buy it in a big roll at Staples or whatever office supply store I'm in.  Plus, I only use it for bigger books, so it lasts a long time. 

 

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 5:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I wrapped one of my books in cling wrap before final wrapping and got an email from the receiver that I shouldn't use it.  She said if she would not have been able to get the "goo" off the book, I would not have received a credit.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Phyllis, maybe you wrapped in the "press and seal" type of cling wrap, which can leave a residue on the book.  The "old fashioned" type of cling wrap doesn't leave goo on the book.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 7:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Hi Kristen,    Yes I did use the "new" press and seal.   Since then, I bought the old stuff.   Haven't had complaints since.

Being a member of this club is a continuing learning experience.   I think my first book's packaging got torn apart because of poor wrapping.   I am "ultra" careful now.

We live and learn.   This discussion forum is great and answers so many questions.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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You're all  great...so many good tips! Just one more question:

Some of you have suggested that I wrap the  heck out  of the corners, and others have suggested I leave a little corner for the receiver to get into.

I have been wrapping the whole corner completely, but someone mentioned she  had a little  difficulty getting in,  though appreciated how protected the book was. How can I leave a corner that might not get caught on a machine?

BTW, I always cover the address with packing tape. And one more curiosity question....if the address of the recipient is  enclosed, why is it that any books go missing? I always enclose the address sheet that is printed up with the  label. I cut it away from the address when  I am not using the PBS wrapper to wrap. SHouldn't the PO be checking  for addresses inside a package? They suggest that be done in their ads. Hmmmmm

 



Last Edited on: 12/4/07 10:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2007 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Rose - don't make perfect corners when you wrap.  Leave them a little bunchy.  That way they're easy to snip off to get scissors inside the wrapping.  It looks a little sloppy, and someone with OCD probably can't do it, but it works great!

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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I wrap mine in a plastic bag, then wrap that in postal wrap that you can get just about anywhere that sells office supplies (CVS, Walgreens, grocery store). Then I tape all the corners very well and attach the label.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 468
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I've just been using the PBS label and a couple of sheets of legal size printer paper I had sitting around. I wrap in a layer of saran wrap first with a little scotch tape to hold it in place. Then I wrap in one or two sheets (depending on the size of the book) of the legal sized printer paper, also taped with a few piece of scotch tape just to hold it in place. The outside layer is the PBS wrapper which I tape all around with packing tape. I tape all edges and corners. Even if they snip past the PBS wrapper when they cut the wrapper off, there is at least one other layer of paper and the saran wrap underneath.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Thanks  Sharon for the tip. Good idea about corners. Thanks also to everyone else for your ideas.

Rose

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I have plain manilla envelopes. I dont cut them I dont do anything special to the envelope before I put the book in. What I do is fold the sides up so that its taped up securely on the book with no extra paper hanging off to get caught up in machines.

Date Posted: 12/5/2007 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,286
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I wrap mine in a layer of plastic (recycled Wally Hell bags, LOL) and then in wallpaper.  The wallpaper is nice and sturdy and seems to work well, plus it's pretty!