Winter Shipping Blues

So winter has truly set in for me now. We’ve had enough snow in the past week that the private lane I live on is covered with a compacted layer of icy white stuff. You don’t get to my place without four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive at this time of year. It’s great if you don’t like visitors! But at the same time, it can be more than a bit of a problem.

Sometimes I can get snowed in or snowed out. It’s about a quarter mile from the main road to my house, so too much snow can result in a lot of shoveling. (Thankfully, one neighbor does have a small snowplow for his tractor.)

One thing that’s easy to overlook regarding this snowy situation is that I can’t order anything online that will not fit in my mailbox. Delivery vehicles can’t get to my house to drop off over-sized packages when the lane is icy and snow-covered. With some things it’s easy to determine that they’ll be too big for the mailbox. But other things can be tricky…

Such as books! Most books are small enough to fit in a standard mailbox. However, the way a shipper packages a book for mailing can change this. Books in envelopes almost always fit. Those in shipping boxes can be hit or miss. (Usually it’s the corners not getting past the rounded top of the mailbox that cause most problems.) Inexperienced delivery persons will sometimes attempt to drive back to my house, but often cause more headaches for us and the tow-truck drivers than is worth it. But if they decide to leave a note about picking up the books at the post office, the weather and my work schedule may prevent me from picking up my package for several days.

Winter can be an excellent time to catch up on my reading when the weather prevents me from venturing out, but only if I already have the books on my to-be-read list. Unfortunately I missed my window for ordering those books this year. So I’ll either have to get them shipped to one of my local bookstores and find time to pick them up when they arrive. Or I’ll have to download them onto my Kindle and find physical copies later (at least with the non-fiction/reference books).


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