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Topic: IAre there reasons for asking for no plastic wrap on books?

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Subject: IAre there reasons for asking for no plastic wrap on books?
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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Yesterday I had a request for a MMPB with the stipulation that no plastic bags or plastic wrap be used in sending the book. I was somewhat surprised by the request. I live in the very dry desert southwest, yet I send all books wrapped in plastic wrap. I know they often go to damp areas, especially in the winter months.

I thought perhaps the requestor had received books where tape was secured to the book, or that perhaps the requestor is allergic to all kinds of plastic.

Has anyone else experienced a request such as this? Does anyone have ideas as to why the person did not want the book wrapped? I have "much fear and trepedition" about sending a book without first wrapping  it. Than you for your ideas.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I also always use plastic since I first read here about those who live in wetter climates than I do receiving water damaged books.  However, I also "mummify" the outside package with packing tape to further waterproof my package, and it also ensures that the package doesn't get destroyed by USPS machines.

So if you must omit the inner plastic wrapping, perhaps you can reassure yourself by completely encasing the outer wrapping in packing tape.

NOTE:  There are PBS members who have a problem with the mummified packages because they have trouble getting into the packages because they are so securely bound.  (I don't have this problem, careful use of an exacto blade or inexpensive box cutter can open these without any problems.)

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I think there are people who object for environmental reasons.  There might be other reasons too, but that one that I have seen on another thread.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I don't know if you've accepted the request yet, but maybe you should accept & then inbox her and ask about her mailing preferences?  I was going to suggest a poly mailer, but she might have a problem with that too.  It could be someone who is actively boycotting plastic/poly products on principle.  It makes life more difficult, but some people do that.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2005
Posts: 205
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Maybe they have a hard time opening the plastic. Or maybe they hate that plastic cling stuff and it makes them crazy getting it off.  They could just hate plastic in general or the extra trash it makes.  Could be a lot of reasons I guess. I never wrap in plastic and have had no problems.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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And don't mummify the thing!  If someone wants no plastic they are clearly not worried about water damage, so you don't need to make it impossible to get in in retaliation for them asking for less work in packing.

It's also possible they have an allergy to the plastic used in plastic bags.  Unlikely, but latex allergies aren't that uncommon so maybe other plastics too?

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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My thoughts are that they live in a dry climate and they don't want the extra waste plastic generates.  I usually wrap in plastic (recycled newspaper bags, mainly), but if I ever got this condition I'd just omit the plastic and not worry about it.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 9:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2006
Posts: 198
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It does get hot enough here to melt the plastic wrap a little bit. I have never had it stick to a book, but I have opened some books where I knew it plastic had changed properties a little.

That's one RC that wouldn't make me anxious, though - just don't wrap it in plastic and wrap as you normally would otherwise, you should be fine!

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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Well, I have sent out books just using the printed piece of paper (if it is a normal sized paperback), and have had no problems with it getting safely whereever. --I reinforce with tape at each corner, all seams except a few little gaps so it can be opened, etc.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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There have posts somewhere along the way that warn you not to use the press & seal plastic wrap because it sticks to the cover of the book or leaves a residue or something. 

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2008
Posts: 880
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Somewhere I read plastic wrap leaches ink from the book cover.   ???  I've had several books mailed to me in plastic wrap and so far have not noticed any problems with it.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 9:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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I remember reading in a post about someone who got a book wrapped in saran wrap (or some other sort of plastic) and it did take some of the ink off the cover (it was one of those shiny covers with raised lettering)... so maybe that is what they are thinking of.

If you are worried about water damage, maybe you could just wrap the book in some old newspaper (the black ink, not colored sheets).  I know newspaper is usually very absorbant.  I personally have not run across that sort of an RC, just the opposite.  I tend to prefer wrapping all my books in pastic...

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I"d accept the request but, then I'd send a PM and state that you had accepted but, in the even that the book was damaged you would accept no responsibility and would not return a credit...let them know you'll give them 24-48 hours to respond and if no response you will mail thinking they have accepted your conditions.

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
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I received one wrapped in some sort of plastic that left a 'funny' feel on the book.  Hard to describe as it wasn't slimy, but definitely didn't make the book feel pleasant.  I took some Goo Gone and it took the 'feeling' off the book.  It's the only one I've received wrapped in plastic that had that feel.

What about bubble wrap?  I send out most books either in a bubble wrap envelope or wrap the book in bubble wrap.   I would guess that this would also not make the RC for the person who doesn't want plastic ?  Pat

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2008
Posts: 417
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If they state explictly that they don't want the book wrapped in plastic then put it in a bubble mailer (if you feel strongly about the plastic issue) or just wrap it well in accordance with the site guidelines.

I don't agree that you should PM them and say that you're not responsible for damage if they insist on no plastic. Plastic is NOT a site requirement, nor should it be an expectation. Not to mention that damage in transit (unless caused by inadequate wrapping as per the site rules) is not something you're responsible for as a sender anyway.

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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I wouldn't appreciate a book that was wrapped in newspaper.

Newspaper ink smears on absolutely everything!  Not to mention you get ink all over your hands when you open it.

Date Posted: 7/26/2008 6:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2006
Posts: 4,790
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Last Edited on: 1/31/09 8:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/26/2008 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I absolutely hate it when people mummify the books. I've damaged 2 just trying to get them out and I can't mark them RWP even though they are now unpostable.  I was being really careful too and both times I damaged the cover.  Everytime I see one of those over taped books I want to hit reject and send them back.

Date Posted: 7/26/2008 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2005
Posts: 391
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I have a little bit of OCD/sensory issues sometimes and while I don't make it a requirement or anything, plastic wrap completely icks me out. It's clingy and sticks to you and is just... well... ewww... (laugh) - it may be that. It may be that it melted on them one time a bit.

I'm actually anti-RC, but I do have one now just as a "if you want to be nice to me" type of thing. So far, I have yet to have someone turn me down, so I must have written it well. LOL... see below:



My only request - and it is just a request, not a requirement - is to please do not use a huge amount of tape on the book packaging. I have weak hands and need a corner to get a pair of scissors in there or something. I'm super easy to work with, just have a hard time opening mummified books. Many thanks!


Date Posted: 7/26/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 7:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 7/29/2008 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Besides the environmental reason (that was my first guess), my other thought is maybe they live somewhere so hot, with a mailbox in the sun, that the plastic 'sticks' to the cover of the book?

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 469
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I usually wrap in a light layer of saran wrap (not cling wrap) before using the PBS wrapper, but this week the temps do have me concerned about continuing to use it through the rest of the summer. I am in the Mississippi Delta and we have been hitting the triple digits for the past few days. My concern is also about the possibility of the plastic melting. I think I might switch to wrapping with a paper/plastic/paper layer in stead of plastic/paper/paper and then the mailing tape.

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 6
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I wonder if the objection is from people in humid climates wrapping books up in plastic. Not only does plastic keep moisture out, but it seals it in as well. Mold and all sorts of ickiness can result from wrapping a book that was slightly damp to begin with.

I have found that food storage bags (no ziploc, no fold-close) work nicely for wrapping books as a first layer. I fold them over without sealing them with tape. They are also quite inexpensive at the grocery store and I use them around the house for some things.

As for cling wrap and similar products...I can't stand them.

Oh, and do I understand correctly that some people are putting plastic wrap in with their recycling? Where is that allowed?


Last Edited on: 7/29/08 4:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2