Wrapping books for mailing: an art? a drag? a science?

By the Book bythbook at nycap.rr.com
Fri Oct 5 17:37:41 EDT 2001

Art, science, drag  - yep!

We make that same effort to wrap books securely, and we don't cut corners on
wrapping inexpensive books because they are inexpensive. But don't worry
about the hourly rate for bookselling being dragged down by time taken to
wrap 'em... it takes a lot longer to FIND them!

(When we stopped scouting garage sales, our hourly income leaped from $.05
to $.25!!!!)

But the ugly truth is (for Kate and me, anyway) we'd be spending the hours
finding books even if we didn't sell them.

I think the time on wrapping well pays off in repeat customers and in
essentially ending returns due to damage in the mails.

C'mon- why wait till you retire? Join the fun NOW.


Jon and Kate Butler
By the Book
Fine modern first editions and more at

- Original Message -----
From: <GrmChiTown at aol.com>
To: <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 12:35 PM
Subject: Wrapping books for mailing: an art? a drag? a science?

> Hello, Modern Library collecting colleagues.
> I signed up for the list a few days ago and figured this would be a good
> to stop lurking and say something.
> Yesterday I received a book in the mail (not ML) for which I had
> bid on eBay.  After spending several minutes with scissors and vigorous
> fingers unwrapping the package, I mused for awhile on the extraordinary
> effort the sender had put into finding the wrapping materials (at least
> twelve pieces of cardboard, the type backing a writing tablet) and taping
> them together to form a multi-layered protection for this inexpensive
> $10) paperback book. The book was in excellent condition, having been
> slipped, in turn, into a well-fitting plastic cover.
> I could only assume that the sender is not a dealer, as surely it would
> be possible to make a profit spending (surely) fifteen minutes to bind and
> wrap an item which sold for less than $10.    This raised some other
> questions.   Given the low prices of most ML material, do we ever get
> the "labor of love" stage in selling them or exchanging them?  I am not
now a
> dealer, but have considered trying it when I go into semi-retirement.   I
> would be interested in your feedback on this.
> My name is Gordon R. McCoy and I live in the Hyde Park section of Chicago.
> Hello again, all.

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