I could bloody weep. Selling books online is a great step forward, I’ve made it my business but some days I feel like I’m the only person that knows how to put the damn things in the post. Today I received 9 books from various online sellers. One came in a proper cardboard book wrap, one came in a sticky corrugated wrap, protects the book but impossible to open. One was wrapped in a bag, then wrapped in bubble wrap, then wrapped in brown paper, each layer thoroughly bound in parcel tape. It was nigh on impossible to open and I had to resort to sissors, which I dread doing in case I slip and cut myself, or worse, the book. Four came in plastic bags! I love books so to see them chocked in plastic just offends me to the core. And of course offers no protection from the gentle ministration of a Royal Mail sorting office. From a financial point of view I can see the point of a skinny paperback being sent in a bag – although it makes me shudder, but a large hardback. Plebs! One came in an A4 envelope, not only offering no protection from knocks but also none from rain. Who are these idiots?
Yesterday Eleanor brought in some of her grandfather’s tools of the trade. He had a bookshop in Penzance which had in turn been trading back under Victoria’s reign. Then, books had to be sent wrapped in brown paper and no doubt tied up with string but they used clever little corner protectors. Made of metal and covered in paper they could be adjusted to the thickness of any book boards and help protect the books in the post.
Nowadays in our cost conscious postal service, these four metal collars would eat into our profit margins but at least they’d stop the trials and tribulations of the postal service eating into our books.