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Cereal Box Mailers | by Earthworm
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Cereal Box Mailers

Bubble wrap envelopes are not recyclable plus they are manufactured and you have to buy them, so I have created a template with which to make mailers from cereal boxes. I have tested it by sending a book to myself and then to others who reported back. The secret is in the way I do the corners. Corners are very vulnerable with books. This way the corner of the mailer takes the brunt of it. My shipment from Singapore contained a number of damaged books though carefully packed 50 to a box.


I am confident enough to use my mailer to send the first copy of DIMP (as the book team calls it) to Amazon. Amazon is very picky about book condition and will mail it back if not in perfect condition at your expense. I'm glad they keep their standards high and this will be a good test of the mailer. They only wanted one to start with. I have been raiding my neighbors' recycling bins for the boxes. This is apparently a crime with fines from $20 to $500, but that may just be in Oakland where the poor are trying to make a living.


It takes five minutes a piece to cut and score each mailer. Then there's the packing. I staple the ends together and tape them. This takes time, but not as much as the time it takes to think about each person I send it to and the past that comes with them, some from childhood, high school, some from another country. Then there's the inscription if they ask for one. I try to distill an entire relationship into one line. Some of the recipients I visit in person, spend a couple of hours with. Thus the whole book distribution process slows time way down as though I am moving through another gravity, another dimension altogether. Have sold 40 books this way so far.

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Taken on July 7, 2008