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Help With Book Snakes/Potential Plea For Help From A Kind Soul In The UK

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
OK. I have an odd request. For years now, I've been looking for what the British Library calls "book snakes." They're basically lead weights inside a tube of fabric (about a meter long) and they're used to hold books open.

After much, much searching, I have discovered that they are, in fact, curtain weights, which are (shakes head) BANNED IN THE US because years ago kids would eat them and get lead poisoning. Or something.

Anyway. I have located a seller in the UK, but they don't ship outside the UK. Harumph. No doubt terrified of the wrath of America should it be learned that such contraband were being shipped across our borders.

So. Here's the thing. I'd like to buy 4 of these. 1-meter each. At £1.65, that's pretty cheap. Would anyone be willing to help me out here? I'd be happy to puchase them on my end and have them shipped somewhere in the UK and then pay to have them shipped to me or pay someone back for buying and shipping them to me.

That is, of course, if something just like this can't be found in the US (I know there are other ways of holding books open, but this is exactly what I want).

/me waits humbly for some kind soul to take pity and help a brother out.

Cheers
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #2 of 28
Er, why not just go get some weights (lead fishing weights, ceramic pie weights, etc) and make your own?? I mean, it's not like a needle and thread are hard to use...
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Er, why not just go get some weights (lead fishing weights, ceramic pie weights, etc) and make your own?? I mean, it's not like a needle and thread are hard to use...

I tried that. Let's just say that the results were less than ideal.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #4 of 28
Staples, my boy. Staples.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #5 of 28
Looks like you can get 'em in Oz.
http://www.lincraft.com.au/shop/categories.asp?cID=405

No pic but that'd have to be them. No OS orders but I'll send you some if you want. They have a store in Canberra. You'd probably save on postage tho' if you can find them closer to home.

This place
http://www.spotlight.com.au/about/

(also local) might have them too (probably cheaper than Lincraft) but they don't list all their products on line and don't say if they do OS orders.
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
Looks like you can get 'em in Oz.
http://www.lincraft.com.au/shop/categories.asp?cID=405

No pic but that'd have to be them. No OS orders but I'll send you some if you want. They have a store in Canberra. You'd probably save on postage tho' if you can find them closer to home.

This place
http://www.spotlight.com.au/about/

(also local) might have them too (probably cheaper than Lincraft) but they don't list all their products on line and don't say if they do OS orders.

CC: unless someone pipes up in the UK, I will take you up on your offer (I'm assuming postage from the UK to here would be cheaper than from Oz. And then, you know, there's the danger of the plane crashing and all the passangers being stranded on a mysterious island....)
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
CC: unless someone pipes up in the UK, I will take you up on your offer (I'm assuming postage from the UK to here would be cheaper than from Oz. And then, you know, there's the danger of the plane crashing and all the passangers being stranded on a mysterious island....)

Okie dokie, Skip. I'm going into Civic shortly. I'll check out the ones at Lincraft (I'll try and get some pics!) but I'll give Spotlight a buzz later to see if they've got them cheaper. No idea how postage compares but we should be able to figure it out (at least approximately) from Australia Post's site. I know they put the domestic parcel rates on there.

You sure you want the hundred gram ones? Given they're lead and looking at the length and size of them, surely that must refer to each individual weight and not the whole snake. You don't need a 2 or 3 kg snake to hold your books open do you? Anyway, check back later. Remember your dollar's worth more than ours so they (& the postage) will be cheaper in US dollars than the quoted price. I think the Aussie dollar is worth about $0.70US at the moment.

This is quite exciting. It's like having a mission. Operation Book Snake here we come........
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
Okie dokie, Skip. I'm going into Civic shortly. I'll check out the ones at Lincraft (I'll try and get some pics!) but I'll give Spotlight a buzz later to see if they've got them cheaper. No idea how postage compares but we should be able to figure it out (at least approximately) from Australia Post's site. I know they put the domestic parcel rates on there.

You sure you want the hundred gram ones? Given they're lead and looking at the length and size of them, surely that must refer to each individual weight and not the whole snake. You don't need a 2 or 3 kg snake to hold your books open do you? Anyway, check back later. Remember your dollar's worth more than ours so they (& the postage) will be cheaper in US dollars than the quoted price. I think the Aussie dollar is worth about $0.70US at the moment.

This is quite exciting. It's like having a mission. Operation Book Snake here we come........

Heh. You comfy using your best judgment when it comes to weight?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well CC? Any news? Or are you too wrapped up in the World Cup?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Well CC? Any news? Or are you too wrapped up in the World Cup?

Sorry. I did it on Tuesday but then the week got a little out of hand. I've was going to take a better pic because this one's out of focus (crappy camera). But there's no point as these aren't the book snakes you're looking for. At least I don't think they are. They're Lilliputian book snakes.

That Australian 5 cent piece is about 1.9 cm in diameter (roughly the same size as a US 1 cent?)

I realised when I got to the store that there was nothing in the photo from the UK site to show the relative size of the curtain weights. If the biggest ones are the 100g ones you're after they must be massive. I think they're curtain weights for stage curtains. Which prompts the question, why do you want to read a book the size of a house during a hurricane anyway?

Lincraft don't sell them any bigger. Haven't tried Spotlight. Can you clarify re: the size/weight of the individual weights?
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ack! Those are tiny!

I'm not sure if we're on the same page about this. I'm assuming that 100g is the total of the entire meter of weight (that's about right if my memory serves) and not EACH link in the sausage. So...I'm looking for about 300g?? weight for an entire meter of weights, total.

The weights in the last ones I used in the BL were about 3/4" long, and as I said, the whole one-meter thing weighed about 200g-400g total (not so used to metric...sorry). It was heavy enough to hold a hardback book open.

Does this help?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #12 of 28
I'm in the UK and I think the chances are that it would cost more to ship them from here than practically anywhere else (our couriers are extortionate!) ... however having spent a fair length of time in theatres I can't recall seeing anything like this attached to curtains....

Most curtains have a metal chain sown in along the bottom, and any other type of weights I can think of are stage weights (and you don't want to be putting them on top of books!)

The only thing I can think of (long cylindrical lead weight) is a sash window weight... maybe they would suit your purposes, and are definitely still available from specialist suppliers.
post #13 of 28
I'll do some research on your behalf. I use book snakes.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
I'll do some research on your behalf. I use book snakes.

Thanks Hassan. If you are famliar with the ones in the BL reading rooms, that's what I'm looking for.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
I'll do some research on your behalf. I use book snakes.

Could you add that to your sig? "I love Denmark" and "I use book snakes" strikes me as a formidable pairing.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #16 of 28
Am I the only one picturing Midwinter posting from a room filled with crudely hacked-up pillow cases and drifting piles of grape shot?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Am I the only one picturing Midwinter posting from a room filled with crudely hacked-up pillow cases and drifting piles of grape shot?

I wish I hadn't thrown away my first effort. My wife would walk by while I was making it and giggle and say "That's so sad!"
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Am I the only one picturing Midwinter posting from a room filled with crudely hacked-up pillow cases and drifting piles of grape shot?



I was going to suggest a combination of linked-chain and tubesocks until I found this place. It looks like it's only about half the weight you want...and a *bit* longer ...but it might fill the bill if all else fails.

Oh, and congrats on climbing the Google ranks so quickly.
It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
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It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
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post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by 709


I was going to suggest a combination of linked-chain and tubesocks until I found this place. It looks like it's only about half the weight you want...and a *bit* longer ...but it might fill the bill if all else fails.

Yeah. I found that in my searching. The problem is that it's not sausage link-y enough, which allows you to "hook" the snake on itself or on the edges of the book.

Quote:
Oh, and congrats on climbing the Google ranks so quickly.

Hah!
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally posted by 709

Oh, and congrats on climbing the Google ranks so quickly. [/B]

They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #21 of 28
Alleluia!

As another BL veteran, I've been searching for book snakes for years, and these are they. I ordered a metre or two of the 100g weight tape from Terry's Fabrics last week, and they're indistinguishable from the snakes the BL uses. Thanks so much for finding them.

If you're still after some, midwinter, I'd be more than happy to send them on to you.

And for anyone else who likes to read hands-free I'd recommend investing in a yard or two of what is guaranteed to be the best bang for buck Christmas present of the year.
post #22 of 28
I completely forgot. I have two book snakes. PM me your address if you still need.
post #23 of 28
I just stumbled across this message through google, as I have been looking for the handy book snakes that the British Library and other UK universities have.

Terry's Fabrics appears to still have this item - http://www.terrysfabrics.co.uk/prod/.../honesty-white. If it is still unavailable in U.S. stores and anyone would like to have this shipped to the U.S., I am studying abroad in the UK and would be happy to send it.

These book snakes are just the nicest things ever. As an English major, I wish I had had them years ago!

-Kara
post #24 of 28
book snakes on a mother fucking plane...

oh, um most participants in this thread are long gone...
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #25 of 28
I'm in the UK and I think the chances are that it would cost more to ship them from here than practically anywhere else (our couriers are extortionate!) ... however having spent a fair length of time in theatres I can't recall seeing anything like this attached to curtains....
Most curtains have a metal chain sown in along the bottom, and any other type of weights I can think of are stage weights (and you don't want to be putting them on top of books!)
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mugla View Post

Alleluia!

As another BL veteran, I've been searching for book snakes for years, and these are they. I ordered a metre or two of the 100g weight tape from Terry's Fabrics last week, and they're indistinguishable from the snakes the BL uses. Thanks so much for finding them.

If you're still after some, midwinter, I'd be more than happy to send them on to you.

And for anyone else who likes to read hands-free I'd recommend investing in a yard or two of what is guaranteed to be the best bang for buck Christmas present of the year.

I'm in touch with Midwinter, the thread starter all those years ago. I'll pass along your offer. If he hasn't come across them yet, I'm sure he'll be delighted.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #27 of 28
I orded 2 units from Terry's Fabrics a few weeks ago and am really glad to have these things in the midst of researching. Before it was always crushing one book underneath another to keep the pages open, but all but the most stubborn books can be handled by the book snake.

I divided the long strand I received into 3 sections for use by friends and multiple books. Here's a picture of one of the strands - just little pieces of lead squeezed into fabric.

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
swcool:

I managed to pick up 3 meters of them shortly after I started this thread. A kind woman in Oxford was so excited to see that I'd found book snakes at Terry's that she bought them for me and shipped them my way just to say thanks.

They really are wonderful little things.

Cheers


Quote:
Originally Posted by swcool86 View Post

I orded 2 units from Terry's Fabrics a few weeks ago and am really glad to have these things in the midst of researching. Before it was always crushing one book underneath another to keep the pages open, but all but the most stubborn books can be handled by the book snake.

I divided the long strand I received into 3 sections for use by friends and multiple books. Here's a picture of one of the strands - just little pieces of lead squeezed into fabric.

Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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