How to Ship Books When Moving, or alternately, The Case of the Missing Books. A Beth Remington Mystery, Vol. 1.

Or, How Not to Ship Books. Or, One Person’s Experience With Shipping Books. Whatever. I’m flexible.

When we moved I mentioned shipping books instead of hauling them, and just shipping things in general instead of renting a big moving truck. I still stand by this method. It worked out well and I would do it again without hesitation. Out of 15 boxes of household items shipped, only one little cup got broken. Not bad, and again, cheaper than renting a huge truck.

But. BUT. B-U-T.

I would not ship books again. Shipping via the Postal Service’s Media Mail is slow but inexpensive. There are restrictions as to what can be shipped, but it’s an inexpensive way to move a lot of books. I even shipped one box of old records, and that heavy-ass box cost less than $9.00 to ship over 1,000 miles.

I shipped 9 boxes of books. (The rest, the ones I feel an absurd attachment to, were hauled in the U-Haul trailer.) One box arrived half-empty. I thought everything but the cookbooks were removed, but now I think the box blew open and all that remained were the heavy cookbooks.

The rest of the boxes arrived damaged but intact. All except 2. Somewhere between Iowa and Wyoming, they blew apart. (I think. Either that or the label became unreadable.) They were sent to a Dead Mail facility in Denver.

When mail goes missing you can file a report with the Postal Service. That’s what I did. It took hours to list all the missing books, but I filed the reports and sat back and waited. They will search for your missing items for about 60 days. After that, they’re gone for good.

They found one book out of 32 and mailed it back to me.

Now, because I didn’t insure the packages, I can’t get a refund. And yes, it is annoying that I paid for someone to lose my stuff, but hey. That’s life.

I’m not typing this up in order to shit on the USPS. Two boxes out of 24 is not bad, and I accept some of the responsibility. In hindsight, I wouldn’t ship such heavy boxes. I believe the heaviest 3 boxes were the ones I had trouble with.

Now that’s it’s all said and done, what’s the final verdict on shipping?

  • Ship things. It’s all good.
  • But don’t ship heavy boxes of books.
  • I will probably never use Media Mail again. I will either haul my books or pay through the nose for Priority Mail.
  • But this is just my experience. Many people use Media Mail with zero problems.

31 missing books, at an average cost of $10 per book, is $310. Mamacita will be hitting up thrift stores for the next year to replace everything. Yikes.

See you later!