June 9, 2012

Pajama Musings - The vault of lost books

We've all been through the waiting game aka stalking the mailman when we wait for books to arrive in the mail. Yet, sometimes they don't.

Have you ever lost "the other sock" in your washing machine? I thought so. It's one of life's mysteries and while I personally have't given up just yet (I'm the proud owner of several single socks, one white, one blue, and one brown, so in case you should have seen three like colored socks on the lam, please notify me where and when so I can finally track them down) I know one thing - they must be somewhere. I mean, things don't just disappear. You might not find them, you might not receive them, but they don't evaporate into thin air either.

Copyright by Try Austria

Just like luggage occasionally taking a detour via Timbuktu, sometimes the mail can be missent too. If you live in a country which, to some, sounds like an abbreviation of another country, you're practically bound to receive stuff in the mail with a flashy *Missent to Australia* print on it. While your package has been living the good life Down Under, you've been anxiously waiting for it to finally arrive. Which, more often than not, it actually does (with an obvious delay, of course).

And when you think all is good, it happens. Things get lost. Completely. Forever. Never to be seen again. At least not by yourself.

Like I said, things don't just go POOF. Unless someone decides that the content of your package contains something dangerous and throws it in the next best incinerator or scrap press ... better safe than sorry, right? Of course no one will ever confirm these things actually happen, but you know ... it sounds more likely than the alternative of your package being stolen by evil aliens on a field trip to planet Earth.

But seriously, while postal services are pretty reliable here, I had stuff getting lost too. On the bright side, luckily this happens rarely. On the not so bright side, it annoys me every time it does happen. For example books from TBD never arrived (luckily replacement copies were sent) and books for review never made it to my doorstep either (once again, new copies were sent - one arrived within days, the other one ... wait for it ... also disappeared *argh* which puts me in a rather awkward position as I can't bring myself to request yet another replacement for the replacement, and will just buy my own copy instead).

Now, the interesting question would be - where do those lost books end up? Did they get destroyed in transit and were secretly deposed of in the great cemetery of books? Or, much more likely, did someone get sticky fingers, thinking that heavy package must contain something valuable (which obviously it does - books are precious after all) and then spits in disgust when they find food for thought instead of valuables that spell KA-CHING, consequently, to get at least some use out of their loot, using the pages of the books to line the garbage bin, or worse, assigning it to the toilet for ... well, if someone steals to get money out of it, they probably cannot afford toilet paper either *shudders*.

In the end, we'll never know. All we can hope for is that where ever our lost books are, that they found a good home after all and/or did not suffer too much when the pickaxe hit them.

What are your pet theories on the whereabouts of lost books? Let me know.

18 comments:

  1. I hate it when books get lost, but that hasn't happened for two years or so... I am sure they "get lost" here because people are greedy and they expect to find something else, and when they see it's just books, they throw them away.

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    1. Fortunately it rarely happens here, though you can't rule out people getting sticky fingers in any country I guess.

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  2. When I have books go missing, I suspect that the mailman is jealous of how many books I get in the mail and steals them. :) But it is really irritating when books don't show up - I've had about a dozen packages never turn up in the past year and a half, and when most of them are wins from blog giveaways, it's really awkward to contact people and tell them about it.

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    1. Oh that stinks when something you've won doesn't show up. I always check back with winners whether they received their book from TBD and in my last giveaway I had to once again contact TBD to have a replacement copy sent. So I definitely prefer when people tell me they didn't receive something. After all I spent money and the winner deserves their price! Next time something like that happens, don't feel funny about it and contact the blogger - we usually try our best to find a solution!

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  3. i don't things they get lost, after some troubling experiences i'm sure they are stolen ( like my birthday present!!!!!!!)and the post doesn't want to do anything about it grrrrr

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    1. Oh, that's horrible, especially when the post won't do anything when you complain!

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  4. I know the single socks syndrome, too. :)
    But luckily no lost books (so far.) *knocking on wood 3 times*

    Have you read A Place Called Here
    by Cecelia Ahern? It features a 'between place' for all kind of missing stuffs.

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    1. I don't know the book, but will definitely check it out! Those socks and shoes are probably living the good life in their "between place" and we just wait and wait ...

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  5. At work we have 'return address requested' on all our mail. This means that if there is any change in the address than what is on the envelope, the entire envelope is supposed to be returned to us. Sometimes I am amazed at how long it takes things to come back (when we post it, it has the date on it, so we know when it was sent). Some have only had to go a couple of states away and take a couple of years to come back.

    Sometimes there's a news story about mail that took 40 or 50 years to get to it's destination. I always wonder about those- I mean, really, where does mail go when it wants to escape?

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    1. I think those letters that take decades to arrive must have been trapped somewhere in the Twilight Zone, I mean ... seriously?

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  6. Birgit, i can tell you why Austria and Australia get mixed up so often, I worked in data entry for the Royal Mail last Christmas, so I would know :) Each address that the system can't scan itself has to be input into it manually, and the input itself is target driven. We newbies were supposed to input 1200+ addresses per hour by the end of the first week. The countries all have abbreviations, for Australia you type AUS and you are not allowed to type more, Austria is typed in full. SO, at the speed people typing it's really easy to start typing austria and hit ENTER after the first 3 letters which allows australia to pop up. I've done it couple of times myself, unless the address is back for you to type the postcode for clarification, it's gone and there is nothing you can do to get rid of your mistake. So whoever sends the packages around the world, I suggest you print the address out, then it won't be processed manually, so there will be less room for error.
    Sorry for the long-winded post! ;)

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    1. I knew there had to be a logical reason. Good thing I don't miss any parcels from the UK because otherwise I would have suspected YOU to be responsible for it ending up in Australia! Just teasing! ;-)
      I do wonder though why they don't stick to the international country abbreviations? That would be AUT for Austria. That would keep a lot of mail from being missent, I think.

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  7. When packages don't arrive then I do suspect sticky fingers from the postal service. After all, how can they really lose a package? It's easy enough to lose a letter as that's small and thin, but a package?

    I've also had books arrive and found that the seal of the packaging has been opened just enough for somebody to see what's inside... Now that happens on a regular basis, which makes me think there really are sticky fingers in the postal servce!

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    1. That's awful! Makes you want to send a crocodile so that those with sticky fingers learn a lil' lesson!

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  8. I definitely know about those lost socks. When my kids were home I had a ton of singles.
    As for books, in the last 6 months I've had 3 books disappear. They are always books coming from blog wins from the Publisher. I suspect they either forget or the Post office has some serious problems.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Oh that sucks! Though generally I must say that compared to all the books I've won the two which I never received are barely worth mentioning (one was supposed to come from a publisher too).

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  9. I've also had packages go missing - and I am in Australia - maybe they are in Austria somewhere LOL!
    Ive had several international packages from wins never arrive - but cynically I think 3 of the 4 were never actually sent in the first place.
    Mostly the publishers request a signature on delivery now so that seems to have cut down on what I think was sticky fingers.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. Ha, that's the bookish version of exchange students, right? But joking aside, I think sometimes prizes really don't get sent, and I highly suspect the two (yes, "only" two) cases I never got the books this very thing happened.
      But you know what? In the meantime I kinda suspect that the book for review (plus the replacement of it) which I mentioned in my post above might not have been sent out either. Oh well.

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