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Topic: Do you have to send your book in the traditional PBS wrapping?

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Subject: Do you have to send your book in the traditional PBS wrapping?
Date Posted: 12/29/2011 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2011
Posts: 1
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I want to put my book in a envelope, it's just easier and it seems safer for the book. Is that okay? Is it okay that I hand write the address too?

I'm new to this so any advice would be helpful. :) Thanks!

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2006
Posts: 846
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Hi Zoey and welcome!

Yes. You can put the book in an envelope and hand-write the address. Or you can print the wrapper  out and cut out the address and tape it to the envelope. Whatever is easier for you.

Hope you enjoy PBS and feel free to ask any further questions.


Last Edited on: 12/29/11 8:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/29/2011 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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Welcome Zoey!  The only problem I've ever found with PBS is that it is too addicting - I can't stop ordering books!  I just ordered from you. :)

But to your question - Envelopes can get expensive if you have to buy them - any books sent to you in one is worth saving and using again - most of us do our best to recycle them a few times.  If you do use bubble envelopes that are bigger than the book, it helps to tape the corners down - less for the postal machines to grab and rip. :)

An alternative to using the printer paper is one I read about here in the forums - go to your local thrift store and buy a roll of wall paper - I almost always use it to wrap books with now.  It's reasonable (about $1 to $2 a roll) for the amount of use you can get from one roll - it's thicker than printer paper so I feel it protects the books better, and it can be a bit more waterproof than the printer paper. 

For hard covers or multiple book orders where the size of the books are all different, I save food boxes (cereal, snacks, etc. - only ones where the food inside was also in a bag) and pack the books in there with newspaper filling the spaces so the books can't move around and be damaged.  I've found that wrapping these orders in any kind of paper, just doesn't work as well and they end up with damaged corners.

Hope these hints help.  Ann Marie

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,283
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Hi Zoey,

Welcome to PBS!

The best wrapper is one which is tight around the book, and well taped with packing tape.  If you use envelopes that are much larger than the book, it is often better to fold it over and tape it tight around the book. When books are loose inside the package, the package can get tossed around, and the book can rip open the packaging from the inside as that happens.

I've mailed more than 1000 books out, and I use mainly the paper wrapper. I've only had one book arrive damaged. Of the books I receive, about half have arrived in the paper wrapper, and none of those have ever been damaged. I have received books in damaged wrappers, but those tend to be either bubble envolopes which have been punctured (it's very common for bubble wrappers to arrive with punctures or tears, although to be honest, most times the book inside is just fine) or brown paper (common to be ripped up as well, tape does not adhere well to brown paper and in my experience, those types of packages are more likely to be damaged or to arrive with contents missing).

The most important thing is to use enough packaging tape ... I purchase mine at the dollar store, and although the tape is thinner and a little harder to work with, it sticks just fine, and the much less expensive price makes the slightly increased difficulty of working with it reasonable (to me, anyway).

Oh yes, one more tip .... many senders here will also wrap outgoing books in some type of plastic to waterproof the book before it gets mailed ... I use plastic wrap, which I also get at the dollar store, and I find that a $1 box with 100 sq. ft. in it will wrap about 80 books .... without adding any weight to the package to speak of. Most members here do appreciate some type of plastic layer, although it is not required.

Last Edited on: 12/29/11 9:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/29/2011 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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The biggest key to successful wrapping is tape!  I usually will use a bubble mailer for hardcover books and then apply tape liberally to the corners or anywhere the book might poke at the envelope.  For paperback books I usually will take a manila envelope, which are pretty cheap at the store, and wrap it around the books and tape every available space.

As has been mentioned, it is a good idea to make sure there are no loose corners or empty room in whatever you use to wrap, these tend to get damaged more often.  You certainly can use any wrapping material you like as long as it secures the book well and won't get damaged.  Handwriting the address is fine as well, but you can print off the address in a single page and just tape it.  I find that to be easier since the PO is far less likely to misread something that is typed as opposed to my sloppy handwriting lol.

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I usually use bubble envelopes with a lot of packing tape.  I also usually handwrite the addresses.  I keep all bubble envelopes that I receive, unless they are on their last leg, and reuse them.  If I need more I go to the dollar store and get them.  You can get different sizes to fit different size books.  Sometimes I use plastic wrap around the book first, just to be safe.  I've never had a problem.

Like others have said, wrap in whatever you feel comfortable with.  Just make sure the book is secure, the edges are well taped, and the address is clear.

And welcome to the site! smiley

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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What everyone else said. The big thing is the tape, and inside plastic wrapping to protect the book from water damage.

Where I work we deal with a records storage company, when we request a record it comes to us in large, waterproof envelopes - I save them and cut them down to fit various size books. I'm a self-admitted mummifier but always leave an untaped area on the ends for the receiver to slip in scissors or seam ripper.

I reuse a lot of the various envelopes the books I request come in. If you or family / friends work you can ask them to save envelopes or book-size boxes. A local convenience store saves book-sized boxes for me. You'll become proficient at working with all sorts of odds and ends in which you can send books.

Welcome to PBS - you're going to have a lot of fun here.


Date Posted: 12/30/2011 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,860
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Sam's Club has bubble-wrap envelopes at a very cheap price.

Or, you could use paper grocery sacks to wrap books.

I personally find the BW  envelopes the easiest to use.

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2011
Posts: 1,358
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Hi Zoey! Welcome to PBS! When I first joined the site, I found this thread extremely helpful. Also, feel free to ask any question you have in the forums, we are very friendly! You will enjoy it here!



Date Posted: 12/30/2011 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Zoey!  As already posted, any snug & secure packaging is acceptable.  Same with handwritten address, but be sure to double check the address (I've received some with transposed street numbers). 

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I've received some with transposed street numbers). 

I don't have a printer at home - and no matter how careful I've been, I've transposed a ZIP number a time or two, caught by the crack window crew at my post office. They've blocked PBS at the office so I can't print from there any longer. 


Date Posted: 12/31/2011 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Although in defense of the PBS mailer Zoey, IME it's more than adequate for shipping a single mmpb (or maybe a couple smaller series romances).  I've both sent and received hundreds of MMPB in the PBS two sheet mailer...with zero problems.

I take the second (receipt) page, circle the receivers addy in bright ink/highligher/etc., place it partially inside the book, wrap in recycled plastic, add a blank (or recycled page) to the PBS outer mailing sheet, place both together like one page and do a 'present' wrap.  Secure with packing tape, and use clear packing tape over addy to protect it from liquid damage.  Other members may do it a bit different, but this has worked wonderful for me.

Tradesize paperbacks, hardcovers, and other odd sizes...often travel better with different wrapping. 

BTW - there are some older threads where members list the recycled packaging they like to use...such as newspaper sleeves, magazine sleeves, Subway bags, etc. for plastic underwrap.  Recycled bubble mailers, expired calendar pages, etc. for outer wrapper.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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Like Denise, I've sent hundreds of books in the PBS 2 sheet wrapper with no issues whatsoever - my single damaged was a spiral binding that got smushed in transit.  The (again, very few) inbound USPS damaged books I've received all looked like they were caught and ground up in a machine - which is likely what happened.

I "package wrap" with both sheets, then use a strip of packing tape on the seam and one on each end (again, folding it package style), stamp and go.  The key thing is to secure any "snaggable" folds with tape which will make it cruise smoothly through the USPS sorting machines.  I actually don't mummify my books with tape, though lots of people do.  Packing tape is actually pretty pricey and completely encasing a book makes it difficult for anyone with a fine motor condition or joint pain to open.  I also don't use plastic by default (it is not required), though I do if it is a requestor condition.  The vast majority of destinations are dry and secure.  Usually problems are consistent on the receiving end (leaking mailboxes, careless carriers, damp climates) and those requestors have plastic wrap as a condition.  The folks who have stated wrapping needs to be snug are dead on - damage tends to occur from the book bouncing around inside the packaging.

Don't worry about it too much - it has been my experience that the USPS does a danged good job as long as the packaging is secure and adequate.  And welcome to PBS. smiley

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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I save all the plastic packages in which our medicines arrive. I think it's called Tyvek, or something like that. Also, most mail order catalogs use the same "stuff" to send their "stuff." It's almost impervious to anything but knives or scissors! I still carefully wrap, though. Another thing I've found helpful and was suggested much time ago here is painter's drop cloth. I invested in  a roll about 4 years ago and I am still using it with much left. Now, that stuff IS impervious! I haven't yet had a book damaged in the mail - Knock on wood! I also use plastic wrap from Wal Mart, but their heavier mil  doesn't require tape! Hope these suggestions help!     M'ann




Last Edited on: 12/31/11 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1