PaperBackSwap Blog


Dear Librarian: All Snowed In, Returned Book

Dear Librarian – We were hit by the big blizzard and we’re snowed in!  I promised to mail a book by tomorrow.  I don’t think we’ll have the car dug out by then.  What should I do?  Can I get an extension on the deadline?  – Buried in Boston

Dear BB,

Seems like everyone has been affected by snow storms this month.  We don’t want you to risk life and limb to mail the book of course!  There isn’t any way to extend the deadline in the system (the software isn’t designed for that) so in this situation, the best thing to do is to (1) not mail the book and let the transaction cancel (or cancel it yourself) – then repost the book when you are able to send it OR (2) read the Help doc “Can I send a book later?” in the Help Center and follow the instructions there.  They tell you how to contact the requestor and ask if it’s OK to mail later, and they remind you that if the requestor consents to the late mailing you have to mark the book mailed before the deadline (even if you haven’t mailed it yet!) so that the transaction doesn’t cancel.

Whichever way you go, stay safe at home!  We hope you have a lot of good books to read while you’re snowed in. 🙂

Dear Librarian – I sent a book but it came back to me!  What happened? What should I do –Boomerang in Belmont

Dear Bella,

A book can be returned for a number of reasons: if you forgot the postage, or the address was illegible, or if the requestor moved while the book was en route.  Since Media Mail is not typically forwarded, requestors are responsible for ensuring that a current, dependable mailing address is on every request.

What you should do now is contact the requestor, to check the address, and read the Help doc “A book I sent was returned to me!” in the Help Center.  This explains all of the common reasons a book gets returned, and has information about what to do in each case.  As the Help doc explains, if the requestor doesn’t respond to your Personal Message within 5 days, you should send in feedback from the Contact Us page on the site, and we’ll look into the situation.

One timely tip for this wet and snowy season – remember that a layer of plastic inside the package will protect your book against moisture damage, and a single layer of clear shipping tape over the TO: address on the package can keep the ink from running, and help your package get to its destination!

  • As always, don’t forget to start your Amazon shopping from the link at the top of the PBS site – when you do this, a small percentage of your purchase amount comes to us.  Please note that if you are an e-book reader, it used to be that e-book purchases at Amazon did not count to support the PBS site, but now they do! So whenever you plan to purchase on Amazon, start from the Amazon link at the top of the PBS site. It’s an easy, free way to support the club!

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