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

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
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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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    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...
  • Reply 2 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Staples, my boy. Staples.
  • Reply 4 of 28
    crazychestercrazychester Posts: 1,339member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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....)
  • Reply 6 of 28
    crazychestercrazychester Posts: 1,339member
    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........
  • Reply 7 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Well CC? Any news? Or are you too wrapped up in the World Cup?
  • Reply 9 of 28
    crazychestercrazychester Posts: 1,339member
    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?
  • Reply 10 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 28
    irossiross Posts: 2member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    I'll do some research on your behalf. I use book snakes.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Am I the only one picturing Midwinter posting from a room filled with crudely hacked-up pillow cases and drifting piles of grape shot?
  • Reply 16 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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!"
  • Reply 17 of 28
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 28
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by 709



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



  • Reply 20 of 28
    muglamugla Posts: 1member
    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.
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