Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Why do people complain about too much tape?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Why do people complain about too much tape?
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2008
Posts: 8
Back To Top
I got my third complaint today about too much tape on a book I sent. Granted, that's three out of 210, so most people must be happy with how I wrap them. But I just don't get it. Wouldn't they rather spend a couple of minutes cutting the tape off than get a book that's damaged? I have Multiple Sclerosis and my hands don't work well, so cutting tape off a book is not easy for me, but I appreciate that someone took the time to wrap it well, and I'm glad that I'm not getting a book with a torn wrapper. I just don't get it.
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

An excess of tape can be very difficult to remove without damaging the book inside. 

I've accidentally cut the covers of at least two books while attempting to free them from a mummy wrap, rendering them unpostable.  I've seen a member comments say they sometimes don't even attempt the feat, use the mummy brick for a doorstop, and just re-order the book.  In addition, there are members (like yourself) with physical situations that make excessive tape especially challenging.

Enough packing tape for safe shipping is admirable Deborah, but there are also a few negative aspects of too much tape :-)

PS: Recently, I'm noticing an increasing number of members using a single layer of printer paper for shipping.  IMO inadequate as they frequently arrive with wrapper and/or book damage.  Wish TPTB would address this, especially for oversized books.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
Back To Top

I would much rather have an overwrapped, overtaped book than one barely covered by one sheet of printer paper. It is very simple to deal with too much tape without harming a book- a seam ripper works wonderfully. In my whole time here, I have never damaged a book by using my seam ripper. I now keep it with my supplies for mailing books so that I can access it easily.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I've ruined 3 books now that came mummified.  I hate it when people do that.  I wouldn't complain about it to the person though.  I tape my books up very well without mummifying them.  It's not necessary. I don't wrap in plastic either and I haven't had a single complaint out of over 400 books.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
Back To Top

Everyone has their own prefererence and you can't please everyone.  When I am wrapping a smaller book and not using an envelope isn't mummified but by the time I add the the label - it is mummified.  I use a little pocket knife to cut tape on books that I receive.  It was posted by another member that they use a seam cutter to get through the layers.  I appreciate the time someone takes to protect the book and rather have it over protected than under protected.  Think about it  - some would complain that it was not taped enough.  I go with what I feel comfortable doing -no complaints so far only compliments on packaging of books I have sent  :)

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
Back To Top

I have no complaints about "mummified" packaging. I use tiny fingernail scissors and cut very carefully-never damaged a book yet.

On the otherhand, I have had several books arrive with ripped packaging. Sometimes the book is fine and other times the side pages are dirty and/or crimped because something jammed into them. I don't always complain to the sender, so they may not realize that their packaging is not adequate. I have started to PM the senders about this since reading the many threads on the subject.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,175
Back To Top

I don't like the mummified books and have ruined one trying to open it but I would never complain to the sender! That's your priority, how you feel most comfortable using the site, so don't chage if you don't want to! I ship in bubble mailers, and once had someone "admonish me" for sending a MMP that way. I just deleted the email and didn't worry about it.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Not a fan of mummy wrap...But I wouldn't complain to the sender either :-) 

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Mummy wrapped books can be difficult to open - no argument.  Using a seam ripper or small scissors are good ways to get into them.  I've used a small box cutter to lightly score the tape on the ends of a book where the paper is folder over so that I know there are at least 2 layers of paper there.  I "nick" the tape so that I can lift it up and then cut it open with smaller scissors that I have.  Like oysters - hard to open, but worth the effort!  LOL!!

Like others I've really appreciate it when books are well protected considering the number of damaged ones I've gotten that a little more protection would have prevented.


Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
Back To Top

There is a line where a book crosses from well wrapped to over wrapped.  I learned when I had open one of the books I had alreadt wrapped up.  That can tell you a lot about what the receiver is going through to get to the book and see if you are causing people to damage books because of your wrapping.

I would not recommend mummy wrapping without a plastic layer underneath. Those seem to be the easiest damaged when trying to get them out.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2008
Posts: 8
Back To Top
I've received a fair number of books damaged because someone didn't use enough tape, and to be honest, decided to go with the PBSwap.com recommendation of too much tape rather than too little, because after I got my first complaint of too much tape, I used less tape the next few times, and someone got a book in damaged condition because the paper ripped. I think it really is impossible to please everyone, so I guess I'd better go with the guidelines.
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
Back To Top

I'm one who probably over-tapes, especially after receiving a couple of books that have been Scotch taped.  I leave part of one end untaped and use a colored Sharpie to draw an arrow with the words "Open Here" to let the recipient know where they can insert their scissors.  I haven't had any feedback about that so I can't tell you if people like it or not, but I'd like to think it's helpful.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

I just don't quite get why some can't get their scissors under a piece of the tape and begin that way.  I've gotten (and sent) some pretty mumified books and all I did was score at the edge of ONE piece of tape and start sliding my scissors along.     I DO know some people have a problem, just saying I don't understand it.  lol

As for having a physical problem, then just like allergies, you should have a RC saying you don't want an overtaped book.

No matter how you package, no matter how you tape, someone is not going to like what you do. 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
Back To Top

I'd rather have a mummified book than one that's just in the printed wrapper without a protective covering on the book.  I've received more than one book that had torn covers and water damage as a result of not taping well.

I have a single edge razer that I found, similar to a small box cutter, I just run it along the seam where the paper is folded.  From there I can usually tear the wrapping or make small cuts to help it along.  So far I haven't damaged a book yet.

Cozi said it.  No matter what you do, someone is going to complain.

Subject: Too muc tape
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,428
Back To Top

I am lean more toward the "semi-mummified"  school.  I have tape going in both directions but there are open spots to get the scissors in.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 333
Back To Top

I would rather have one with more tape than less. I just received a book today that had only scotch tape on it and only on the back...the paper wrapping was ripped open and the book has liquid damage, although the wrapping doesn't, so my guess is that the damage occurred before being sent. :(

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,800
Back To Top

lol!! I LOVE mummified books!  I make it a 'game' to open them.  i am very careful about it. 

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

I used to mummify my books (before I started using the Tyvek mailers) and only had a couple of complaints. I also would much rather receive a mummified book than one with too little tape, as have gotten a few with the wrappers barely hanging on.

For the complaints I got, it was for medical reasons of severe rheumatoid arthritis, I did suggest to the receiver that if they had some disease process that made it difficult to use an exacto knife or scissors to cut the first layer without damaging the book that they should have an RC explaining--I have severe arthritis, I have MS or whatever--and asking for those that typically mummify that they leave a section tape free so they can get into the book easier. I would have no problem complying with that as long as I know up front.


Date Posted: 8/4/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,541
Back To Top

I'd rather have a mummified book too than one with not enough tape where it arrives damaged.  I just carefully use scissors to slice thru tape and edges until I can get the book out.  I've never damaged one yet.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,286
Back To Top

Sometimes it's very difficult to get the scissors under a piece of tape no matter how hard you try, and I've cut a book or two when I've received mummified books.

Another problem with them is there are some people who have arthritic hands and it's very difficult for them to use scissors or other objects to cut all that tape off and you usually can't just cut the one piece, you have to cut several pieces and really work around the book.

I understand why people do it, but I use bubble envelopes so don't have the problem.  Pat

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
Back To Top

I would rather get a book with too much tape than too little.

That doesn't mean I WANT mummified books, they are just the prefered of the two extremes of packing.

I'd much rather have a book with enough tape to keep it secured, while not making it at least a major pain and quite possible a risk to the book inside to get it open. 

Tape is NOT a packing material.  Plastic bags work better for water proofing, and bubble wrap/mailers work better for padding. Tape is only needed to keep the package together--one strip all the way around in each direction is sufficient, with some addition at any loose seam.  Every square inch just makes me sigh when I get the package.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

I've ruined books, and injured myself, trying to open mummified books.  Now I don't even bother.  If it comes in mummified it gets tossed in a box in the corner and reordered.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I've ruined books, and injured myself, trying to open mummified books. 

 Me too! I've come close to slicing my hand open a couple times. 

It's not difficult to wrap a book with just the right amount of tape so that it's secure, but not mummified.

I wrap my books in brown grocery bag paper. I wrap it like a Christmas gift and tape the folded sides down with about two or three pieces of clear packing tape. I don't laminate the whole darn book!

Then I tape the printed label down with two or three more pieces of tape so the whole label is essentially covered in clear tape. That's it.

No mummifying necessary. It's a waste of your resources. Tape ain't cheap.


Now I don't even bother.  If it comes in mummified it gets tossed in a box in the corner and reordered.

You shouldn't have to do that. I wish I could come over and open them for you. LOL.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2006
Posts: 13
Back To Top

I have stabbed my hand with scissors trying to open a mummified package --- and ended up with a good sized cut on my hand.  I don't mind heavily taped packages if they would just leave a couple of areas open where you can at least get the scissors started.   It is a fine line to have a book protected and not - I got one today that was damaged because it was wrapped in one sheet of very thin brown paper and it was torn and ripped and the book was dirty every where the paper was ripped - the paper almost felt brittle. 

I tend to use brown envelopes that I buy by the box at Sams club or reuse padded envelopes that I get in the mail.



Date Posted: 8/4/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
Back To Top

I'm with the set that wishes people would simply wrap securely without encasing the book in tape. It's a pain to open and seems like a huge waste of tape.  I grumble to myself when I get one of those, but I probably wouldn't PM anyone to complain.

One time I had collected the mail on the way to work and it included a book I'd been dying to read. Then it turned out on the way home I had to pick someone up and had an hour to kill.   Great - I thought I'd start the book. Ugh! it was like a Candid Camera episode. The book was so encased in tape that I could not unwrap it.  I seriously could not find anything in the car that would help. I tried scoring it with my keys, tried finding an edge to lift. No luck. I had a conference name badge in the car and stuck the paper with the pin trying to make a weak spot.

The whole time, I just kept thinking. "This is insane. It's a paperback book, not Ft. Knox. I'm a reasonably intelligent person. Surely I can find a way!".

Nope - that one was wrapped by somone seriously addicted to mummifiation by tape. I had to use an Exacto knife on it when I got home.

Last Edited on: 8/4/09 11:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1