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Topic: Wrapping paper whine

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Subject: Wrapping paper whine
Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2005
Posts: 839
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I wish R&R would recommend something else besides a sheet of computer paper to wrap these books for mailing.  I got a torn book today ( the cover) and the white paper was torn off so it was torn in transit.  I use a heavy brown wrapping paper and that seems to make it through better.  This topic has probably been beat to death but I wanted to whine a minute :)

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Every book I get in the PBS wrapper arrives w/the wrappger damaged. Or with so much tape that I have to perform delicate surgery to get the book out without causing damage.  So far none have been damaged but it's just a matter of time.  I rarely use the PBS wrapper.  I save small boxes, and bubble mailers and then recycle them.  I bought some Tyvek envelopes for cheap on ebay.  Office Max had 8x10 boxes of bubble mailers BOGO the other day.  They worked out to .35/each-worth it to me for the extra protection and the time saved in wrapping.  At Walmart I got a roll of thick, glossy, silver wrapping paper for $1.00.  I've wrapped 8 books in it already and still have a ton left.  I wrap them in a piece of cheap plastic table covering that I also got for $1.00 and wraps a whole lot of books. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I'm a noob so I don't have much experience but I have received one book and it arrived safely (in remarkable condition, actually!) having been wrapped in the standard two sheets of wrapping paper. I have sent three books and as one was a(n) HB and the other two, trade paperbacks, I wrapped them both in heavy brown paper. I hope they all make it safely!
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I haven't had much success with receiving books wrapped in just brown paper - they arrive just as damaged and beaten up as the plain paper wrappers, unless they've been tape reinforced.  Same thing with bubble wrappers, the ends just come to me all chewed up by USPS.

I highly recommend tape reinforcing the edges of whatever mailing material used.  The USPS machines are ROUGH on book packages.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2005
Posts: 839
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I would love to buy some of those white plastic envelopes to mail in..but I hate to add to the expense now that postage has gone up so much.  I do use too much tape but mine are pretty well water proof with the heavy brown paper.  I have gotten several books that made it through fine with the white computer paper..but it only takes one getting torn to make me whine.  I'm not blaming the sender..things happen but it happens easier to that thin paper..

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
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In my experience the white computer paper only works well, if it is completely covered in packing tape! Which is what I do! I would much rather have to work to get the wrapper off than to have it falling out and/or damaged. I've had that happen plenty of times! Lots of times I receive books in bubble envelopes or waterproof envelopes, I reuse them as much as I can. When I have a hardcover or oversized book I use the brown wrapping paper, but again plenty of tape! I have never had a complaint about the condtion of my books when received.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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In my 524 + books recieved I havent had a problem with the typing paper used as wrappers. Ive only had a handful of books get to me damaged and only one that I remember was in the typing paper. That one was doomed no matter what it was wrapped in though cause it was sitting the bottom of a bag full of water.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2006
Posts: 172
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I also haven't had a problem with the typing paper wrapping. They arrive safely to me.

However, I have had lots of problems with the envelopes!! lots of tearing at the corners or rips all the way down one side (no idea how the book stayed in it).

I always reinforce edges with tape and try to make sure that the book can't move within the envelope.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 126
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I will sometimes wrap in the PBS wrapper, and have never had any trouble with them coming loose (at least, no one has complained about them).    I always run packing tape across the paper meeting points and around the corners.


Date Posted: 1/9/2008 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I agree that I don't think it's necessarily the paper, but how it is wrapped/taped that can be the problem.  The only books I've received where the wrapping had been torn were the ones that a corner or flap of paper that was not taped down must have snagged in a machine along the way.  For this reason, I always reinforce the corners, edges, and flaps with tape.  Also, try to make sure that the book is not too loose in the paper- the wrapping should be snug around the book(s), so that the wrapping can't be snagged and ripped in a sorting machine.  I use white plotter paper to wrap most of the books I send out- it's slightly heavier than standard printer paper, and I always wrap in at LEAST two layers.  I have never had a report of a problem with a book I sent, and have had several people PM me and thank me for the good wrapping job.  So if you do use just the PBS wrapper, just add an extra layer of paper underneath, and make sure it is well taped.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 125
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I used to buy books from a small shop in the UK that wrapped their orders in heavy brown paper.*  They always got to me in good shape.  That was because they were first wrapped tightly in plastic and then the brown paper was wrapped around the book and packing tape was used to reinforce the ends and sides of the book.  I thought it was twee and charming back then (and wish I'd kept at least one package front with the addresses elegantly written in fountain pen!) but now I see it as a way to keep them from getting damaged by USPS. 



*Why yes, I did fall in love with Helene Hanf's books.  Whyever do you ask?  ;)

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2005
Posts: 159
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I hate the typing paper being used to wrap the books. I have arthritis in my fingers, and I have a bird of a time trying to open them. They are usually taped to high heaven (has to be...otherwise the wrap falls apart), and there is no place to stick in scissors to open it with. I have made more than a few of my books unpostable by trying to open this type of packaging. I mail mine in bubble wrap packages. It's easier, has great protection, and is easier for the reciever to open. Yep, that's my big beef here....those darned paper wrapped books. lol. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I've never todate had a problem receiving or sending using the computer paper and instructions provided on wrapping books.  Of course when I do send that way I use saran wrap and LOTS of tape.  But I've gotten lazy in my old age ;) and now use bubble mailers and online postage.  I for the first time bought a box of 25 mailers on ebay, I would love to find a cheap place to buy the vinyl mailers.  For now the bubble mailers will do... I still use loads of tape!!!


Date Posted: 1/9/2008 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I've always wrapped in the printer paper with the book first wrapped in plastic wrap and then lots of tape on the ends and edges of the paper where it could get snagged.  no one has said that the book didn't arrive in good condition.  if it is an oversized book I usually use a bubble mailer just because it is easier, but when I first joined I wrapped some odd shaped books with several pieces of paper and they arrived just fine (to the best of my knowledge)

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I haven't had any problems either sending or recieving paper wrapped books.  I always tape the seam and ends on mine with packing tape.  The only problems I've had have been with envelopes and bubble mailers.  These get torn by the machines with alarming frequency.

And of course, the more difficult, or the more start-up costs you impose in the members, the fewer people who will be willing to mail books.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,389
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As long as they are mass market paperbacks, the standard wrapper seems to work just fine.  As long as it's taped sanely.  Too little and the PO mangles it--to much and I mangle it (while muttering things inappropriate to this forum trying to figure out how to get to my book).

For anything larger than a mass market, though, the paper doesn't work so well. Trade paperbacks bend too easily and let the paper get snagged. And hardbacks just get banged up--which is true of the brown-paper wrapped perfectly snug against the corners of the book just as much as the normal paper.  If there is no padding (padding=give) then all the bumps and bangs are going to go straight through to the book--and thus, bashed up corners.

Neither smooth paper nor tape is a padding material.  Not all books need padding material, but the corners of hardbacks benefit from it.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 3,562
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Funny enough, the only books that I have received USPS damaged were in a sturdy corrugated cardboard box. One corner got crushed and completely bent the spines on two of the books. Every other book I have gotten has been shipped fine.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 3:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 6,447
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I have been using the poly envelopes lately. I wrap in paper than put the books in the envelope and fold it over so it's snug to the book. Haven't really heard anything either way about how they arrive.

I got the poly envelopes on Ebay. I think they work out to about 10 cents a peice.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,762
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I agree that it's all about the tape, so don't be too stingy with the tape!

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 59
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i mail mine with the computer paper. And have never had any problems

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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It is funny because the worst ones I've received have been in poly mailers.   They were NOT tight in the envelope and while they didn't tear, they had HOLES in the envelopes from the machines.   Really weird! 

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2007
Posts: 510
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Cozi, I agree with you even though I use the poly mailers. Yesterday I received books mailed in the poly mailer and the mailer looked as if huge gigantic rats had a hay day with it. But I have also received the printing paper which barely made it due to scotch tape. My best experience has been with the Tyvek envelopes.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 17
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Oh no, I just sent something that wasn't tight in an envelope. :(  I didn't know about these things.  I have some questions:  What is a poly mailer and what is a Tyvek envelope?  Where can you buy some of that brown wrapping paper?

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I think poly mailers and Tyvek mailers are the same.    Brown wrapping paper?  Office Depot - Staplesm anywhere you buy tape or mailing supplies  or just a plain old brown paper bag from the grocery store will work.        For some reason - no matter how you send the book, it needs to be TIGHT in the package.   IF I'm using an envelope of any kind I run tape around it both directions so there isn't loose envelope to catch in the machines. 

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,231
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I think the only damaged books I've received were a hard cover in a basic manila mailing envelope with the corners beat to death and a bunch mailed in a cardboard box that got wet.