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Topic: New member question about wrapping

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Subject: New member question about wrapping
Date Posted: 3/24/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2009
Posts: 250
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I'm new to PBS and VERY excited...this is just what I need to get rid of a LOT of accumulated books and get some new reading material, as I'm a pretty obsessive reader! 

My question is...I have mailed out five books so far, and wrapped them all using the printed PBS wrapper.  From browsing the forums here, it looks like a lot of people don't use the PBS wrapper.  Is it considered bad swapping "etiquette" to use it?  Is it easily damaged?  Once I get some envelopes from receiving books, I'll most likely reuse them for sending books out, but for now, I've been wrapping. 


Date Posted: 3/24/2009 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I use the wrapper sometimes. I think if you tape it up nicely with mailing tape then it's fine.  The problem is when people only use gift wrap type tape, don't use enough tape or try to use the PBS wrapper a book that's too large for it.  You can also over tape. Some people mummify their books and I've damaged 3 of them now to the point of unpostability trying to get them out of all that tape.

I use mailing tape to seal the seem and ends really well, then I put a piece on each long corner to prevent tearing.  

Mostly I recycle mailers from books I've received.  I also bought a lrg box of jumbo sized white envelopes from Staples.  They worked out to like .25 a piece. I use the 1 page label and then I put the book in sideways, fold the envelope in half and tape up.  But when I just have a small paperback to mail, I use the PBS wrapper.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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For a small paperback I've been using the PBS printed wrapper (books wrapped in plastic first in case they get wet in transit).  If its a big thick book or multiple books I will use either a bubble envelope or double wrap them in the thick brown paper.  I'm fairly new also, but haven't had any damage yet.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I use the PBS wrapper over a plastic bag for all my mass market paperbacks.  For two or larger books I'll wrap in old envelopes, old maps, old bubble wrappers, various heavy paper.  I think the secret is to wrap them tight, but not so tight you can't get them open.  And good shipping tape.  All the books I received that were damaged were either hit by the weather (one wrapped in holiday paper where the red smeared) or too loose so the mail machines torn open the envelope.

They say you can use the PBS wrapper on trade paperbacks.  Not true.

As I have an inkjet printer, I also put tape over the address.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 158
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I try to recycle materials.  Today I used a bag that had little snack-size bags of chips (for water protection) and a Drumstick ice cream box (to decrease possibility of damage).  I cannot stand the thought of paying for shipping materials.  I guess I'm cheapy (thrifty?) in some ways.  The strange thing is that many times I'm wrapping a brand new hardback book in items that others consider trash!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/24/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I was using the PBS wrapper but I'd get tape all over everything.  It was a struggle for me.  I just bought some 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 envelopes from Office Depot 100 for $10. 

I print the label that's used for packages, cut it in half.  Wrap the book in plastic - right now from newspapers.  I cut the label in half so the part with postage is on one half and the other half has the reqiestors address and the remeinder to mark it received.  That I slip inside the plastic just in case. the envelope is damaged.

Then just tape the label on the envelope, slip the book wrapped in plastic inside, seal and mail!

That's what I do with paperbacks.  I don't have many hardcovers but I save all my Amazon boxes to reuse.  People have suggested using cereal boxes for hardcovers too.  Paperbags make excellant wrappers for the bigger books so long as you protect them with plastic and plenty of tape.

If I use the PBS wrapper I always try to leave a spot free so someone else can open the package.  Thankfully I haven't damaged a book yet but I can see how easily it could be done..

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 11,130
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They say you can use the PBS wrapper on trade paperbacks.  Not true.

I have sent and received trade paperbacks wrapped in the PBS wrapper (plus a layer of plastic and tape) without problems.  For thicker books, it might be more difficult, but it isn't impossible for most books.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I've bought several rolls of brown patterned paper from the dollar store. Each roll lasts quite a long time. Hardbacks I use a bubble envelope that i buy or recycle. Larger books, I use poly bags that I bought from ebay (they are also waterproof and very durable).

I love finding new ways to send books :D

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Using the PBS wrapper is just fine! It works well for a majority of books. I've sent tons of books that way and never had a problem with a book being damaged. Just be sure to use lots of tape...packing tape works best--don't just use a tiny bit of cellophane tape though, that often won't hold.

If a book is larger, the PBS wrapper won't be enough on its own, you shouldn't leave any of the book hanging out. I used to take two pieces of printer paper taped together to wrap HC or large trade PB books, and then would wrap the PBS wrapper over that, and use plenty of tape. No problem.



Date Posted: 3/24/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I use the PBS wrapper for all of my smaller books. I always put a layer of plastic ont he book first, a newspaper bag works great, wrap the book int he 2 pages adn then use shipping tape to tape the heck out of it.  I have had the most damaged books come that were wrapped in gift wrap or brown paper (these seem to tear att he corners most) or the large paper envelopes if they are not taped up well. If the PBS wrapper can cover the book then that is my first choice. If the book is too big then I use Poly envelopes that i get on Ebay.

Welcome to PBS and I hope you enjoy it here.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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Kristina, welcome to PBS!

Ah yes, the fine art of book wrapping. Please do use some form of plastic wrap, please! Media mail  (or Maul Mail as some PBS'ers lovingly call it) gets a lot of rough treatment. Maybe its the area I live in but I have received Media mail boxes that had huge holes, brown wrap with half the wrap missing, envelopes ripped open on both ends, the outer wraps have had boot prints, tire tread, rain damage, melted snow puddles, stains of unknow origin, etc. Despite all this, so far the only damaged books I received were the ones not wrapped in plastic. There are a lot of ways to wrap your books, choose whichever one(s) works for you, add plastic wrap and packing tape and everything should work out fine.

ETA: The Media Mail isn't all bad, only about 10% of the books I receive look like they have been jumped in a dark back alley.

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2006
Posts: 4,994
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Sometimes I use the PBS wrapper, and sometimes I don't.  It just depends on what I'm sending and what I have in the house that I can use instead of that.  I always wrap in plastic first, to protect from the weather and then I tape it up tight with packing tape.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 3/24/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 154
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I've had more books damaged by being in a too big mailer than being in the printed wrapper. Seems they are treated so rough, they end up torn and books inside are smooshed.  Now, keep in mind I mostly deal with "normal sized"  mass mkt paperbacks, I don't have or request hardbacks or textbooks etc... I like my books wrapped in plastic and then in my experience the tighter the outer wrapping the better shape my book arrives. Plastic, double layer of paper plus good tape is actually suprisingly pretty stable.

I sometimes use the brown paper bag type shipping paper, and tape the PBS lable to it.  But honestly, GOOD shipping tape, and a lot of it is key.  (NO plain ol' scotch tape!!!!) But there should always be "a point of entry" to your tape job :)  Am I the only one who gets serious satisfaction out of wrapping my books well? I love to do it, it's almost theraputic, lol. 

Last Edited on: 3/24/09 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/24/2009 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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A size 0 bubble mailer is the perfect size for many paperbacks, with a nice, snug fit.