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Topic: too much tape

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Subject: too much tape
Date Posted: 7/28/2010 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I recieved a book yesterday in a plain manila envelope that was then tightly wound in layers upon layers of clear packing tape. It took me nearly ten minutes

to safely get the book out of its "mailing cocoon"!  Makes me wonder where the bargain/saving money of PBS comes in to play for this sender....a bubble wrap envelope would have been protective & cheaper!!!

I marked it as recieved of course...but did write a nice note to the sender saying the tape was way to much and made opening the package not only hard but risky to damaging the book with my scissors.

was this appropriate?

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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This issue has been cussed and discussed numerous times.  Some people say it's better to have too much tape than not enough, others, like you, say it's a major PITA to open the wrappers when they are tape mummified.  I tend to agree with the former. 

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Ugh I hate mummified books.  I've received around 1,000 books between 3 tradings sites and games and I've only had 2 get damaged by the PO. On 1 I don't think extra tape would have helped because it was mangled by a sorting machine.  The 2nd one was becasue the sender used the PBS wrapper to wrap a tradesized book, taping the wrapper to the  book and then only using scotch tape.  Better taping would have helped that book but it still wouldn't need mummification.

I have on the other hand several books that came mummified and are no longer postable because I cut the cover on 2 of them and the rest are bent out of shape from having the wrapping on too tight.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I don't mind the book being mummified......if there is enough of an "edge" space at one end/side of the book for me to put my scissors on and snip it open.

If I have to "poke & snip" like  a surgeon to free the book ...thats when it becomes annoying because if the book gets damaged during removal its already in my hands and that sucks!

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I agree that mumified packages are annoying but I prefer them to the book getting damaged. I'm just very careful to open the package, even if it takes me 10 minutes.

Whenever I get those packages that are super difficult to open, I don't mention it to the sender because I think it's better safe than sorry and I wouldn't want them to get the impression that they shouldn't do what they can to protect their books (it's not as if they'll be able to please everybody so as long as the book arrives in good condition, they should use whatever method is easier for them.) They alone know what kind of packaging supplies they can afford/have at hand so suggesting to use something else may not be a welcomed suggestion.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I sort of feel sorry for the sender here. I bet they only did it because someone complained they didn't wrap well enough, so they made sure they wrapped well, and now that leaves someone unhappy. Hopefully they don't get too frustrated.

I personally prefer mummified over scotch tape packages. I've received both and prefer taking the time to find a way to get the mummified book open than having the scotch taped book arrive damaged.

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 7/28/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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I guess I have been lucky - of the 300+ books, I've received, I have yet to have one damaged by the PO (knock on wood).   I think there is such a thing as overkill with tape and I have received some of those.  But I just mark them received and go on my merry way.

And those were the ones (luckily only a couple) that were damaged by me trying to get those packages open. 

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 248
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I dislike the tape-mummification as well. But as long as I don't have an RC against it (which I don't) I don't complain. One of the things that will happen on a site like this is there will be differeing opinions on what is good/bad, right/wrong, helpful/annoying.

I just carefully open the package and try to keep my annoyance to myself! Well, I usually complain to DH. But other than that I keep it to myself!

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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Sometimes it is an adventure getting a book out of its packages. The Egyptians would have LOVED packaging tape! Personally I prefer to use bubble envelopes with just enough tape to seal it and protect the label.

Sometimes even yards and yards of tape aren't enough. I got one that used the PBS printout and lots of tape, but one of our Florida afternoon thunderstorms did it in. I guess take was never meant to be waterproofing, since the paper was wet and the ink on the wrapper ran. Luckily I managed to salvage the book.

There is to much to do to waste time wondering about people's wrapping habits. If the book gets there in one piece, I'm happy and enjoy the adventure of opening the package!



Date Posted: 7/28/2010 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Has it really been that long since "mummification provs vs. con" has been discussed?  Everyone has their opinion And experience - about it.  As a person who gets wet mail every time it rains - I prefer that mummification show up rather then not during the rainy season.  Sometimes it's the difference between drowned and dry.  But not always.  It's a pain when it rains and the sender hasn't prepared for that.  It can rain or have a wet accident somewhere along the journey.  There are ways and tools (like seam rippers) that will help make opening these packages easier and less dangerous to life and page. 

Seems like old times ...  didn't realize that it's been so long since this subject had come up.  ;D


Date Posted: 7/28/2010 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,833
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Easiest way to get into a mummified book without damaging it is to use a seam ripper- problem solved. 


Date Posted: 7/28/2010 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I'd rather spend ten minutes unwrapping an overtaped book than get a book that was ruined because it wasn't prepared right.   I spend more than ten minutes just choosing a book.  I can spare that much time to get one open.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Adrienne- I use a seam ripper too!!! It get's those mummified books out of their package- with no damage- in under 30 seconds. It works worlds better than scissors.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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Mummification is the primary reason I don't have books I'm getting for my mom sent to her. She'd never get them open, and the frustration level (which I sometimes encounter) would certainly be more than she needs. I've ruined my share...carefully using a box cutter to get into one end of the package, only to find when I'm trying to remove the book that the packaging has been taped to it as well.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2010
Posts: 220
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Oh my, I guess I am somewhat of a mummifier. A few years ago I received a book that was just lying inside an open manilla envelope. I was amazed that it made it to my house. The sender had not used any tape.  So I do go a bit overboard partly for that reason and because most of the time I use recycled mailers and I want to make sure that any potential weak spots are reinforced.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Not a fan of mummy wrap, I've damaged a couple while attempting to free them from packaging (now unpostable).  Really don't care for tape adhesive on my sewing tools either (seam ripper or small scissors).  The extreme tapeage either way (too much or too little) can be annoying and/or damaging, is moderation really that difficult?

Last Edited on: 7/28/10 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/28/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,833
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I'd rather spend ten minutes unwrapping an overtaped book than get a book that was ruined because it wasn't prepared right.   I spend more than ten minutes just choosing a book.  I can spare that much time to get one open.    +1

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I'm kind of on the fence on this one.  While I fear damaging a mummified book getting it open, I would rather receive one like that then one damaged due to poor wrapping.

+2 on Cozi's comment

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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The Egyptians would have LOVED packaging tape!

LOL Wayne!!

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,833
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Really don't care for tape adhesive on my sewing tools either (seam ripper or small scissors).

They aren't expensive so you can  buy an extra to use just for books.

Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 7/28/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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I clean my seam ripper and scissors regularly anyway, so the tape adhesive isn't bothersome.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Is this mummifying?

I wrap my book snugly, then I tape by reinforcing the edges, covering the label, and extending the tape all the way around the back. I don't pull the tape tight, or wrap it round and round several times, but the package is usually completely covered with a smooth neat layer. I leave one small tape-fee bald strip at the spine of the book, just so someone can get the peeling started. I don't go wild with the tape, but the package is encased.

I have gotten packages that I'd call "mummified" because the person seemed to use an entire roll, taping in every direction and in multiple layers, and I can't find a safe way in or make any sense out of it.

Subject: Taping book wrapper for mailing
Date Posted: 7/28/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 19
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I've had 2-3 books damaged or lost in transit to me as they were not adequately taped.  What has worked for me is taping all around the outside edge and then once around the middle.  This protects all edges and it also helps prevent damage from the book running across a conver belt wheel.  I received one package completey ripped off the book with an apology letter from the Post Office.....it had a wheel mark right across the length of the remaining portion of the wrapper and it would not have happened if a strip of tape had been applied around the middle of the book.

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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A seam ripper!!!  What a great idea!!  Thanks!

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2007
Posts: 563
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I would much rather have to work a little harder to open a well wrapped book, than have the disappointment of a lost or badly damaged copy of something I really wanted, especially if it is one that was on my wish list for some time. And yes, I am a mummy wrapper.