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Topic: Mailing across town

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Subject: Mailing across town
Date Posted: 6/7/2010 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 438
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I sent out a book today to someone in the same city as me.  They were literally walking distance from where I work.  I paid for postage and delivery confirmation because I didn't want to freak them about by trying to hand deliver it.  What have other folks here done, or what would you do if you were sending a book to someone so close?

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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Since I meet strangers in all areas of my life - walking, church, clubs, I don't hesitate to meet a PBSer either.  I would have suggested some coffee shop that would work for both of us.  But - I would not have been hurt if they said no and wanted it mailed.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Sometimes members have agreed to meet somewhere, like at a coffee shop, when the location was nearby.  I always mail mine, even when they're close, because 1) I am lazy and, 2) as you said, folks can sometimes get freaked out about meeting people from "the internet".   If it is really close, you can always PM the receiving member and ask if they mind if you dropped it off, or you can just mail it as you normally would.



Date Posted: 6/7/2010 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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I recently sent a book to a neighboring town less than five miles away.  I, too, didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable about meeting in person, but later we did joke in PMs that we could have met at the mall in between.  I was also going out of town so I thought it would be easier on her to mail it instead of trying to make a meet date if she was busy.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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I asked to meet up with a member for 2 books, she lives like 10 minutes from me. She ended up being pretty freaked out, or something. It was pretty odd!

But another time I noticed an unstamped book package in the mail, I asked the sender about it and she had gotten her husband to drop it off on his way to work, he cuts through my neighborhood! I though it was really cool, and even though he wasn't the PBSer I would have liked to meet him.

But I have been wishing for a book meet up in my area, the closest is Richmond (like an hour away) but even they are falling apart. I want to meet some book people dang it!!

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I always PM the person before.  I'll word the PM to ask if there is a safe place to leave the book.  There are folks who are uncomfortable seeing strangers walking up to the door.  We all have different comfort levels and different time availability.  

I have met other members.  I usually offer a neutral location such as the library for a first meeting.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,698
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I'd PM and suggest meeting at a mutually convenient location.  I'd make it clear that I wouldn't be offended if they said no.  Some people are just freaked out by meeting someone from the internet.  I'm not, I've met in person lots of people I first met online.

I've PMd a few other PBS members in my area.  Haven't met any yet though.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,237
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I once got a request for 30 books I had just listed, which I had found in a trash bag in the hills near home. It turned out the requestor was only 2 blocks from me, so I carried the package over. He was grateful to get it and marked the books received immediately, but his wife has never forgiven me for returning the pornographic novels she'd tried to get rid of. laugh

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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Erica, that's hilarious.  Talk about boomeranging books!

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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I live in a big town--but walking distance I might pm them and ask if they'd rather I drop it off(they could say no, of course, but if they're like me, they'd be good getting it a day faster:) 

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I would PM and ask about meeting but still mail the book if they were weird about meeting internet people.

I wouldn't mind at all. I think it'd be fun and a fast way to get a book. Plus, then you know you'll get it. I've seen people post here about books going lost when mailing a book only 2 hours away. If someone was within 20-30 minutes of me and somewhere I would normally be going anyway, I'd ask if they wanted to avoid the possibility of a lost book with media mail!

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 1:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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Erica, that is just amazing!  Only on PBS!

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,830
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Erica, that is *funny*!

i go by basically the same rules as Emily - always PM first, and if they are good with meeting the library is nice neutral place to meet since i don't drink coffee.

the first time i dropped books off at someone's house, i saw the place and recognized it, and it turned out we were acquaintances from college.  i had had classes with her husband, and we hung out with many of the same people from the online forums there.  :)

the other thing is that even if they want to meet to deliver/receive a book, they may not want to hang out.  i've sat and chatted for a while, and i had one who basically handed me the book shortly after i got out of the car (i'd described myself) and then turned around and left.  ok, but if she didn't want to hang out i'd have been ok with her dropping it at my house, since it's not like she didn't have my address in front of her anyway.

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 1,740
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I live in a very small town and periodically check to see if there are any other members on here from my town.  For years I was the only one, well at least with a profile. YKWIM  Anyway,  I was so excited to finally see another member from my town.  I had a few books on her WL. I PM'd her, welcoming her and let her know once I was finished with one of her WL books I would post to her.  Once I did that and she accepted the book, I PM'd her again asking if she wanted me to mail, deliver or she could pick up at my office.  She gladly said she would come and pick it up as she was only about 2 blocks away.  It worked out great but I totally understand people not wanting to do that.  There are some whack job's out there.  Doesn't hurt to ask though.  Just don't be offended if they want it mailed!

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Ericka, ROFL!! That is hilarious!

I would not mind meeting to exchange books, but a PM is definitely the way to go. It would depend for me on how far away it was, what my schedule was like and such--sometimes even if it's 5 miles away it's easier to drop in the mail and not have to try to work around others' schedules and transportation issues and such. I usually don't even notice how close a person is till I'm printing the label, so it would be pretty rare that I would contact the person to ask about a delivery by hand.


Date Posted: 6/8/2010 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Do remember that folks have very different wants and needs.  We have folks with small kids, folks who are housebound, and people balancing work, family, and school.  The option for printing postage can be wonderful for folks who can't get out or who have no time.   We need to offer those folks a way to say no.  Or to just leave the book somewhere safe such as on their porch without taking any of their time.

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Recently I had to mail a book to the Lower East Side and even though I work just two zip codes away (which in NYC is like 10 minutes in the subway), it never even occurred to me to suggest we meet! Maybe next time. :)

Date Posted: 6/10/2010 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I have dropped off books at other members' addresses here in Lincoln, and once or twice in Omaha because I'm there once a week.  I always sent a PM first, and all were very happpy about it.  Oddly enough, we never met, since I dropped them off in the daytime and they must have been at work, shopping etc.  The last two I had requested here in Lincoln were about as far from my house as you can get and still be in the same town--one far north side and the other nearly at the south end of town--out of the city limits, I think.  I mailed both of them, but sent them both PM's about it.  The person on the north side said she was going to order several more from me some time and I should just stick them inside her front door---probably will do that on the day I'm coming back from Omaha. 

Each situation is individual, I guess.  I can't imagine being freaked out about having met somebody on the internet, but I guess Lincoln is basically just a large small town and not really a city.


Date Posted: 6/11/2010 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I've mailed several that are close (like I drive past their house once a week).  I did meet up with one woman though.  We had lunch and chit chatted.  It was nice.  I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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Ive done this with 2 members (PM'd them first) and both are now friends!