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Topic: A show of hands

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Subject: A show of hands
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2008
Posts: 913
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I've only been a member for a couple of months, but I read the forums a lot.  When I first read the rules and regs, I decided that since I respect books so much, I would wrap all my books in plastic and both sheets of PBS wrapper.  It seems to me that a lot of people have gotten books that got wet in the mailbox or some other time during shipping.

I got a large roll of the plastic stuff for about $1, have wrapped about 50 books, and still have half a roll.  I would love to see the plastic wrap be a requirement on PBS.  What say you?

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I don't think it should be a requirement. If people want to wrap in plastic wrap, that's fine by me. If they don't, that's fine as well. I have not received a damaged book so I don't see this as a problem. I reserve the right to change my mind but at this point, I think that if people are careful about their package, water damage is a small concern.
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 48
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I started using plastic wrap shortly after I joined almost three years ago.  For me, it just made wrapping the books easier since the tight plastic wrapping kept the pages closer together and made a better package.  Now I use the newspaper sleeves and wrap the books tightly with a strip of packing tape holding the folded over edge.  In those three years I have receives less than a dozen books that have been wrapped in plastic.

As far as making plastic wrap a requirement, it would be nice, but I'm sure some people would have a problem doing it.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,816
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i encase my books in packageing tape, so the plastic wrap is not needed for me.

everyone has their own way of water proofing their books.................or not

Those that care about water-proofing their books do a great job of it.

Those who dont waterproof could care less. 

making it a requirement would only make it a burden to those of us who already water proof in our own way.

kinda like mandatory spay/nueter laws in california, but thats another topic for another day.

ETA:  just so noone flames me about that last line.  I am totally in favor spay/nuetering your pets, but responsble petowners already do that.  My Rhodie has been 'fixed' since she was 12 weeks old.



Last Edited on: 6/25/08 11:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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I'm for it.  Seriously, it's saran wrap will do the trick- it's not a big burden.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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It's too much trouble to wrap a book twice. Two pieces of paper and 3 pieces of mailing tape are plenty for a standard sized paperback.

Of the 248 I've mailed, 0 arrived wet or otherwise damaged.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I use waterproof mailers most of the time, I never use the PBS wrapper.


I will say something about the plastic wrap. A few months ago I rcvd. a book that was wrapped in plastic. No big deal. However, the plastic appeared to have been previously used to cover food. There were dried on bits of red....something.   Not very pleasant.  So, I'm all for plastic wrap, but please don't take it off your food and wrap a book in it!

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,023
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I waterproof my books in a variety of ways.  Sometimes they're mummified in tape.  Sometimes they're in ziploc bags.  Very often I use Tyvek.  Sometimes they're in shopping bags.  Which method depends on the size and number of books.  I don't agree that one method be mandated.

You can always add RCs asking for plastic wrap.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2006
Posts: 5
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I have received several books that arrived soaking wet and are now unpostable.  I know that technically it is the fault of the mail carrier, but if the sender would waterproof first, this wouldn't happen.  I wish there would be some requirement of waterproofing, whether that means wrapping in plastic, covering in tape, or using waterproof mailers.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
Posts: 149
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I am against making it a requirement for several reasons. First of all, I've shipped over 200 books without plastic wrap and have never had a complaint. I use enough tape that unless the package is submerged in water there should be no issue. The only water damaged book that I recieved  was due to postal idiocy and I doubt plastic would have helped anyway.  If someone really wants plastic, I'll be happy to oblige. That's what RC's are for, after all. :)

Wendy H. is right on the money; those who care will do a good job while those who don't, won't. Requiring plastic won't make a bit of difference.


Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2008
Posts: 417
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I don't think it should be a requirement, but I do think that people in areas of the country where there's a greater probability of water damage during shipping should have a custom RC stating that they'd perfer their books be wrapped in plastic.

I saw on the forum recently a poster say they sent a PM to anyone who sent them a book not wrapped in plastic and I think that's a bit excessive. Wrapping in plastic isn't a PBS requirement. If it's in an RC I'd comply but most of the time I wouldn't even think about it. I live in a very dry area for example, so wrapping in plastic is definately not required here.

Just IMO of course. :)

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,898
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It would be nice if everyone did it but I'm not sure it should be a requirement.  You never know what that book is going to go through on the way to its destination.  For the smaller books I send out I use saran wrap or newspaper sleeves or plastic off of something that came wrapped in plastic.  For the larger books I put them in a plastic grocery bag, knot the top fold the knot over and tape it to the back of the bag.  It takes two seconds to waterproof a book that way.

The only problem I've had doing this is once the post office thought I was sending something else with the book because they could feel the knot through the wrapping.  Once I explained what it was they were fine though.

So far I've received 50+ books with no damage but its bound to happen eventually.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,278
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Last Edited on: 1/22/09 6:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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I always find this interesting because I work in a public library and send out about 200 books a month to other libraries and receive about 50 a month that I have requested plus of course the other libraries have to return the books I send them. So that's a lot of books making their way to and fro.

We pop the books into padded bags. Some libraries use jiffy bags (plastic bubble wrapped lined) and some use those bags with the dreaded shredded filler (bag barf is what we call it when it escapes). The bags get re-used until they are falling apart and the biggest complaint we have is that some people use more than 3 staples. 3 staples is all it takes.

I have never lost a library book or had one arrived damaged. It's interesting how many PBS books arrive damaged. I wonder if we get better service because our package is larger?


Date Posted: 6/25/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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No.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you personally want your books wrapped in plastic, make it an RC, but don't force the rest of us to.  All that (often unnecessary) plastic wrap just ends up in our landsfills.  I sometimes use Tyvex-like mailing envelopes, sometimes I wrap in recycled newspaper bags before using the PBS wrapper or a manilla envelope, but I refuse to wrap my books in plastic wrap. 

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I can't plastic-wrap to save my life lol. The few times I have tried, I couldn't get the paper to wrap tight enough around the book and the paper managed to get torn. So when I get a RC for plastic, I use a bubble envelope and seal and tape it closed, with extra tape over the address to it won't smear if wet.

And I have mailed out stuff for the library as well...I fold the bags (unless bubble ones) until the book won't slide, then send it off, no problems. But most of the books are just going around to same state, not long distances.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I am not going to get into "to wrap or not to wrap".. but for those wrappers out there....

The Kirkland brand from Cosco lasts FOREVER. I think have done 200 books or more on the roll.. and it just keeps going.  It also does not stick to itself and the cutter is a little sliding blade which cuts cleanly every time.  I have no more cursing when trying to wrap plastic around books.

ETA:  I live in the land of happy packages.  There don't seem to be any wet spots between sending post office and my mail box... but.. I seriously feel bad for the people who have weather issues in which packages get wet during transit or while waiting in the mailbox.  So... to be on the side of caution, I continue to wrap with plastic.

Last Edited on: 6/25/08 5:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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I, too almost always wrap in plastic, but I do not believe it should be a requirement. I reuse plastic bags that my Avon Lady puts my catalogs in, newpaper bags, bubble wrap that something was shipped to me in, bubble mailers from books I have received from swaps here. I used to buy bread storage bags from the grocery store, specifically for sending PBS, but since I participated in a Reusable Grocery Bag Swap in the Games Forum, I realized the amount of plastic I was contributing to my local landfill. Now it is very rare for me bring home a plastic grocery bag, and I dont purchase bags to mail books in. I find there is plenty of plastic finding its way into my house without me adding to the problem. Reduce, reuse, recycle! 

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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I've long said I felt it should be a requirement.  And since the plastic can be recycled for use again and again, it doesn't have to be harmful to the environment, either.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,818
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i like wrapping in plastic, even when i'm going to put it inside the envelope.  it keeps the corners on the bottom from getting bent as i'm sliding it into the padded envelope.

i reuse shipping materials that are sent on my books - plastic wrap, plastic bags, boxes, envelopes (after crossing off or removing the address) - and if i don't have plastic wrap from shipments sitting around, i use the plastic bags my newspaper comes in.

not only will it potentially prevent a problem with a book i've shipped, if i'm using a box or an envelope instead of the two sheets of paper, i include the 'invoice' part inside the plastic as well, in case somehow the book separates from the packaging.  (not likely with the amount of tape i use.)

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Unless its a condition I dont wrap in plastic and I dont accept the one with a condition if I dont happen to have any plastic. I dont think it should be a requirement for several reason the number one for me being that yes it can be reused but seriously most people dont. And the saran wrap type stuff isnt really reusable. Ive tried to get it off books without ruining it and I just end up shredding it no matter how careful I try to be. Plus PBS is appealing to a lot of people because its basically a way to recycle.

But environmental reasons aside it would be a detriment to the club IMO. When you find out about PBS the first two things that pop out are FREE and EASY. You get FREE (not really but kinda sorta) books and its an EASY to use service. You dont have to buy anything special to use PBS all you need is books, postage and some printer paper. And honestly for most paper back books all you really need is two sheets of printer paper.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
Posts: 270
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I definately do not want it to be a requirement.  I have recieved two water-damaged books in the past, and BOTH OF THEM had been wrapped in plastic, and the sender denied they were damaged when sent.  I have also recieved several books wrapped in plastic that were perfectly fine, but those first two incidents have prevented me from wanting to wrap in plastic.  If it's a requestor condition I might, but I don't want it to be a rule.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I'm on the side of not making it a requirement...like many have said, if you want all your books to come to you in plastic that is fine...make an RC.  I for one am trying to eliminate as much plastic from my life as possible (I pretty much no longer bring home plastic grocery bags as I carry my own cloth bags with me...I don't even use those plastic bags for fresh fruit and veggies...have a cloth bag for those)...If I have some plastic around from something that has been sent to me I use that if not well, it won't get wrapped in plastic.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I generally wrap in plastic, but I don't think it should be a requirement. In 400 trades, I've never sent or received a book that got wet in transit, although I have received a couple that were mangled by post office machinery.



Subject: Plastic wrap........
Date Posted: 6/26/2008 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,442
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I don't think it should be a requirment,byt rather a SUGGESTION......I have the plastic the news paper comes in, assorted plastic shopping bags, bread bags, the plastic sack paper plates come in at work. It makes sense to be wrap books in plastic, so I will continue to do so.