I received a package today that consisted of one of the large Ready Post mailers that can be purchased at the post office. Likely, the seller shoved the books in the mailer while standing at the counter inside the post office.
This is what the package looked like from the outside.
With the books stuffed inside, the mailer was five inches thick. The dimensions of the mailer while flat were 12 1/2 inches by 17 inches. I wasn't that concerned, since I hadn't received damaged books in quite some time. Now that I think about it, I should have been concerned, since my luck was bound to run out.
I opened the package and got a good whiff of cigarette smoke. Of course, the seller didn't mention the odor. While annoying, this is a minor problem that will be fully solved once the books have enough time to air out. No big deal.
This is what I saw inside the package after I ripped open one end.
I wasn't even concerned at this point, although I went ahead and snapped the above photo just so that I could post a comment on Facebook about how old books deserve better than this. Then I pulled the books out of the package and discovered the damage from the books shifting back and forth during their journey.
One book was inside another book positioned like this.
This was the result.
The Electronic Mind Reader was not in good shape before it was mailed. The book already had a split hinge with old tape on it and had heavy wear. You can see all the additional damage caused by the other book sliding inside. The pages are now creased and folded. While annoying, this wasn't enough to upset me. I didn't buy the books for this one and don't care about it.
What does upset me is that I bought the lot to get two of the books with dust jackets, and both jackets were damaged by the careless packaging.
This jacket was torn in the upper left corner.
And this jacket was torn in the lower right corner.
The seller's photo shows both jackets as undamaged.
I decided earlier this year that I liked the Rick Brant books enough that I wanted a set with jackets. I didn't want to pay high prices, so I have been waiting for bulk lots. I bought a bulk lot last month that got me most of them. The Pirates of Shan and The Blue Ghost Mystery are two of the books that were not part of that bulk lot. That's why I bought this small bulk lot.
It is the bulk lots where I do have most of my problems with damaged books. The sellers don't understand that they can't just throw the books in a box or large envelope and ship them off.
It should be noted that the books from this transaction would have been fine if the seller had just wrapped some plastic wrap around the books before placing them inside the mailer. Just anything to secure the books shut and in two small stacks so that they wouldn't shift around each other and cause damage.