Military Report on the Sinai Peninsula
Towards 'An English Fourth'
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, The Complete 1922 Text
'The Mint' and Later Writings About Service Life
Boats for the R.A.F. 1929-1935
reports and correspondence
The Forest Giant
Correspondence with Bernard and Charlotte Shaw
Correspondence with E. M. Forster and F.L. Lucas
More Correspondence with Writers
Correspondence with Edward and David Garnett
Correspondence with Henry Williamson
Translating the Bruce Rogers 'Odyssey'
Correspondence with the Political Elite 1922-1935
Check for programme updates on our News page
How can we pack books safely for shipment to addresses in the UK and overseas? We have tried various solutions.
In our experience it is rare for damage to occur to the flat sides of books during transit. More commonly, parcels are dropped causing damage to the edges, and especially the corners. If a package weighs around 2kg, even a thick box will dent when that happens. So there needs to be a "crumple zone" between the corner of the package and the corner of the book. That is what we aim to achieve.
The first stage in our box packing is an inner layer, usually consisting of a paper wrapping and sealed bubble-wrap. The paper protects the book-cover from marks, while the bubble-wrap should keep out a reasonable amount of damp if the parcel is left on someone's doorstep in the rain. For paperbacks, the bubble-wrap layer is replaced by plastic shrink-wrap or a plastic bag.
This inner package is put inside an outer package. For single books sent to addresses in UK, as well as some lighter books sent overseas, the outer package may be a heavy-duty book-mailer. This has a crumple zone all round. It can look a bit battered by the time it has been through the post, but it generally works well. Thus far, we have had very few reports of damage to books sent in these mailers.
When using a mailer for a heavier book, we reinforce it with sheets of carton. We also add protective cardboard if the book is in a thin card slipcase.
We pack heavier books (and sometimes even lighter books sent overseas) inside a conventional double-wall cardboard box, big enough to leave crumple-zone around the book's inner wrapping. We fill this space with large bubble-wrap or polystyrene chips. Although the outer box is often dented in transit, the crumple zone usually protects the book.
Sometimes we add an inner layer of carton around the book, inside the outer carton.
Almost all our shipments get through unscathed. On the rare occasions when damage does occur, it is usually because the package has encountered something very sharp or heavy. In one case, some kind of blade punched dagger-like into one end a parcel. It left a small slit in the outer packaging, but penetrated a slipcase and the book inside, starting at the bottom, until it was more than half way up. The force required to do that must have been very large indeed. On another occasion, something went through the side of a box like an ice-cream scoop. It gouged a hole in the side of the book nearly 2cm deep and 3cm across. In another case, tyre-tread marks on the box showed that it had been under the wheel of a van or fork-lift truck.
Thankfully, such incidents are rare. The only way we could protect against them would be encasing our shipments in heavy-gauge steel. As it is, we spend more on packaging than many mail-order companies.
There comes a point where the cost of further protection is more than most customers would be willing to pay. All our shipments are insured, and when damage does occur, we replace the book. But we do everything reasonably possible to ensure that there is no damage.
Some customers have noted that the paper of our inner wrappings has been re-used. We receive sheets of good-quality paper from printers and binders. Although most of the sheets have been folded, they are clean and perfectly usable as inside wrapping. It is hard to justify throwing away usable good-quality paper, so we re-use these sheets when possible.
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Some opinions of our work:
Considering the tastefulness of the physical design of the Castle Hill volumes - which undoubtedly would have pleased Lawrence, who was a devotee of William Morris's idea of 'the book beautiful' - and the spare tastefulness of their editing, and especially their making available important but otherwise hard-to-access texts, this is a project for which Lawrence scholars will indeed be grateful now and in years to come. [Professor Stephen E. Tabachnick, reviewing Castle Hill Press books in English Literature in Transition]
. . . I couldn't be more pleased. The attention to detail, and conception of this edition, are wonderful . . .
I cannot praise too highly the quality of the production, with exceptional clarity and beauty of print, the erudition of editing, and the excellent on-line service. Important correspondence in beautiful books - the perfect combination.
. . .Excellence in research and editing, and magnificently produced books in superb bindings. Last but not least, efficient and friendly service, with books posted in rock solid packaging.
. . . These books are a pleasure to own and read . . .. . . a quite invaluable job in publishing (very beautifully . . .) many of the writings of TEL which hitherto have been available only in manuscript form in museums, libraries or private collections, or in out-of-print books which are very hard to obtain.
An excellent set of publications that are beautifully edited and produced. A wonderful addition to my library and to any library.