Contain Yourself

Why yes, yes, there are a few things I haven’t whined about yet. Here comes a whole NEW whine about the boxes you pakced donations in last week. I still think banana boxes are among the top ten worst things to haul books in, but there are other formats I have not blasted yet.

Supersized plastic storage bins. Yes, even if they have wheels. I covered part of the problem once before: if it’s too big for you to lift into the car without help, what do you expect me to do with it? (Hey, hey, hey: none of that language.) But there’s another thing about great big plastic bins that makes them more difficult than great big cardboard boxes.

I can’t throw them away.

Yes, physically, I can put them out next to the garbage, and they will disappear. It’s a mental thing. Especially if you included the lid: now I have a special container built for use. The fact that storing books is not a good use for them doesn’t mean I should just toss ‘em. This bin could lead a happy, productive life if it found a home without someone who could use it properly. And anyway, thsat’s my line of work: making the Newberry a bit of money on what other people are getting rid of. So I wind up trying to sell a big plastic bin, which means I have to find a place to keep it until somebody buys it. People who give me things to further occupy my limited storage space are not my notion of Do-Bees.

Xerox box lids. I know what this means, you know. You’re not fooling me. Rows of books set spine up in lids from photocopy paper? These are your garage sale leftovers, aren’t they? It isn’t so much that I MIND garage sale leftovers (though they very seldom yield first edition Faukners). But those box lids which are so stable on the card tables in the garage will bend and twist and dump their contents unless carried JUST SO. And there’s something about dumping books on your toes which is even worse when you know they’re garage sale rejects.

Vaccuum Cleaner Boxes: Somebody dropped off books in a box from a full-size upright vacuum cleaner last week. She said it was the only box she could find, and I accepted her apology, though I really was thinking “What’s the matter? Don’t they sell bananas in your neighborhood?” 

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