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Topic: Question regarding sending a note with the books I send

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Subject: Question regarding sending a note with the books I send
Date Posted: 1/27/2011 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2011
Posts: 205
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I know that including a note means that I can't send a book via media mail...but that's okay. I plan on sending via First Class so that won't matter.




In the FAQs, etc. It says that we are not to include "flyers, brochures, etc." without permission.

Does that mean that I am not allowed to send a personal note to the people that request my books? I'd like to do so...but don't want to get into trouble or go against any rules, here.

Just trying to figure things out.

Thank you for any help you may offer.



Date Posted: 1/27/2011 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,039
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You can send a note such as "Enjoy the books!" or 'Happy Holidays" in a Media Mail package without paying extra postage.

As to including a note in a First Class package, I would think it over a little bit more. Many people might take offense at a note that would seem to request a reply, or that includes any messages about religion or other messages about anything that someone might regard as personal. Obviously I don't know what type of note you might want to include .... but I suspect that there are many people who might consider it intrusive.

If you have some type of business, it would be against the rules to send other members advertising for it.

Another way to start a conversation with people who order from you is to just use PMs ... people will answer or not, as they are inclined.

Edited to add ... I see you are a brand new member. Welcome to PBS! I think you will find that it is a great site with friendly people, in general.

If you coudl tell us more about what kind of notes you are wanting to send .... if the purpose if a permissable purpose at PBS, we might be able to figure out a way for you to do the same thing without needing to mail notes! For example, if you are wanting to start discussions about books, there are many ways to get in contact with other members who enjoy the same type of books as you do. If you want to contact the person who orders a book from you specifically ... you can use a PM (which also sends an email to the member).

Last Edited on: 1/27/11 3:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/27/2011 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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No that's allowed but I'm curious as to why? I just toss that info not in the recycle bin as soon as I open the book.  Plus the added postage would really add up after awhile if you send everything 1st class.  Unless you only ever send smaller mmps. Not to mention the time involved in writing notes to everyone.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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Depends on what your personal note is going to say. If it is just something about the book itself or PBS it shouldn't be a problem. If your personal note is going be "advertising" anything including religion, personal beliefs, products, businesses, etc then you should not send it. The club is about swapping books and anything not pertaining to that specific swap could cause the receiver to complain.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2011
Posts: 205
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This may not be the right place for me.

I wanted to include a note such as "I hope that you enjoy your book!"

I'm uncomfortable over the idea of just sending something without communication, at all.

It seems rude.


But that's how I was brought up.

It never hit me that people would find a simple note to be rude or intrusive.


*I* was simply asking to not go against rules HERE...not that I thought that people would take exception to a friendly note being written to them.


I'm a friendly person.

Looks like I need to find a friendly site!



ETA: Thank you, Sara, for your welcome. :)

Last Edited on: 1/27/11 4:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Carianne,

Welcome. PBS is a friendly site. heart

I think most of the responders didn't know what type of note you wanted to include, so they were trying to be helpful and cover all the bases.

Your "I hope that you enjoy the book!" should be fine to send via Media Mail, if that is the cheapest way to mail.

Hope you enjoy your time here. smiley

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Absolutely that sort of note is permissible, wthatever class of mail you opt for, and a nice touch...I often will write "hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!" or something along those lines. Where it gets sticky is if you are sending a note with a religious or political message. And as others have mentioned, no advertising please! And welcome to PBS -- this is a great place with great people. I love it here and I hope you do too.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I think most of the responders didn't know what type of note you wanted to include, so they were trying to be helpful and cover all the bases.

Yes, there have been people in the past who've tried to promote their religion, political message or business in with their books, and those really aren't welcome. People don't want other people to use the site to proselytize or advertise with their trades.

I wanted to include a note such as "I hope that you enjoy your book!"

I don't think people would mind, but I feel that this is really a business transaction, so probably would just think 'that's nice' and toss it. Not that it's something that's needed when I just purchased something from someone.

You can also do that in PM, especially if someone PM's you about receipt of a book. When I get a "Thank You" or something nice I usually just say "You're welcome. Enjoy!"

I do get a bit uncomfortable if they try to start a conversation about a book I've sent. Most of the books I've sent out I haven't read, and can't answer any of their questions or just chat about it. Haven't read it!

If you have something particular you want to discuss, I think the forums are the best place for that. There are many different forums for many different topics you can introduce if you're looking to hook up with new friends.

So an extra note is nice, but I wouldn't want someone to go to extra expense to send me one. I'm happy already with a book in the mail! lol


Date Posted: 1/27/2011 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Carianne!

A brief message can be added under Media Mail guidelines:


From DMM Section 173:

4.3 Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail prices. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother."

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed. . . . .

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Welcome to PBS!

The second page qualifies as an invoice per the media mail rules.  We are allowed to write a message on the invoice.  We can also add a bookmark.  I have received some wonderful handmade bookmarks from PBS members.

The problems comes up when folks add religion, politics, or advertising.  That is strongly discouraged.  I think your question raised up all of our red flags about past arguments over those touchy subjects.  This is a national group with a wide range of members.  We need to keep that in mind.

I'm also unhappy when I get a negative comment on a book that I have not yet read.  Getting a negative review before opening the book?  Been there, got that.  Please, may it never happen again.


Date Posted: 1/27/2011 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,540
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Please stay with us Carianne. We all love books. I include an index card with all my books. It has the book title, transaction number and the addess to and from.Easily a quick note to "enjoy the book" could be added. Maybe even a heart or smiley face. And if you ever wanted to PM me about  book or the weather, I would happily PM back. This really is a fun group. Check out the games section to see what fun is going on over there too.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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Yes, had you included in your OP that is what you wanted to include, then we would have all said that is fine and you could even send it Media Mail. With your question about a rule to not include flyers and brochures, it sounded like you looking to send something more indepth than just a friendly oneliner to enjoy the book.

Keep in mind that many of the answers you get in the forums will be from people who have seen all kinds of crazy so we tend to cover all bases instead of simple yes/no answers :) Even saying something as innocent as "yes, you can add short message" can end up with a sender telling someone they are going to burn in hell for reading that kind of book--to spoilers on how the book ended--to the sender trying get the receiver to request the rest of the series from them on eBay--or some other type of nonsense.

BTW: I don't think you will find a book swapping site more friendly than PBS!

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2011
Posts: 205
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Thank you all for your help...and for your welcome.

I would never send anything about business/religion/politics. I don't talk about those things with people in "real life" so I definitely would not do it in a correspondence.

I just wanted to send a short "I hope that you enjoy your X, Y or Z" note because that is what I do whenever I send something via mail.

I'd not include notes on the book that I sent or anything other than "I hope you enjoy your book!" because that would not be appropriate.

I get that. I'm a formal person (which is why I asked the question, anyway) and it horrifies me to think that people would imagine me to be improper! Anyone that knows me would be taken aback by the responses here (and could see why I'd be horrified...)  but you don't know me: so I can *definitely see* why my question stirred up some issues that I, as a new member, had no prior knowledge regarding. I thought that I was asking a simple question. :)


Thank you for including Media Mail guidelines, Denise! I didn't know that I could include my short note per Media mail regulations! I thought that there could be nothing in the way of correspondence, anywhere (even on an invoice), in order for something to qualify for Media Mail rates.

Good to know!


Thank you again, everyone. I appreciate your help and your feedback.



Date Posted: 1/27/2011 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
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If you are printing the PBS wrapper there is a small blurb with the book title and reminding the receiver to log in to receive the book.  There is some spare white space on that print out where you could write a little comment.  I've received several with "enjoy the book" and whatnot.  This site is definitely a bit more informal, but if you enjoy going the extra mile feel free to but please do not be offended if not all members do so as well.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I thought from your OP that you wanted to include like a short letter or something. Which to me would seem very time consuming and expensive to have to bump every book up to 1st class. 

But  many people write a "enjoy" type thing on the insert paper.  

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2011
Posts: 205
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No...I said "personal note" meaning just that. 

I wanted to know if I could include a personal note. Not a letter...not a spoiler...not a political statement...not a religious diatribe...not an advertisement. A personal note. And now I have that answer. Thank you, everyone.

This site is definitely a bit more informal, but if you enjoy going the extra mile feel free to but please do not be offended if not all members do so as well.

I just like to include such things because that is what *I* like to do. I don't expect anyone else to do the same thing, of course.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2008
Posts: 35
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Carianne . . . I have received small notes like what you mentioned, and I thought it very sweet.  A couple of them I have kept with the book and used as a bookmark while reading!


Date Posted: 1/27/2011 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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Welcome Carianne! :-)

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,480
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Welcome to PBS, Carianne!

I always write a short message on a post it note and attach it to the book.  Just something like "Hope You Enjoy This and Thanks!" I doubt that everyone notices and I'm sure that the notes hit the trash along with the wrapper, which is to be expected.  I just feel more comfortable including a short note.

I hope you decide to stick around, PBS really is a great site!

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,018
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If I want to make a comment with a book I send, I usually PM rather than risk a media mail package going first class.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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I use whatever comes with the book as a bookmark.  Although I have heard people complain in other forums about getting bookmarks...can't imagine why.  The library would probably enjoy it if I stopped taking one every time I check out a book (at least once a week) and it would be a lot handier then me carrying around my paycheck as a bookmark all week long. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2011 6:43 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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I would definitely not spend the extra postage just to send a note. a sticky tucked into the front cover is fine-also you can send the "PBS packing slip" and write a short note on that.. I personally don't care if there are notes or not. I just want postable books! There is always the PM if I want to contact someone. If you want to meet more of us, check out the Games forum...(wicked laugh).

Date Posted: 1/28/2011 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I love receiving home made book marks.  One of the gamers I regularly get books from makes little braided book marks that my daughter steels from me.