Dear Post Office,

Why-oh-why are you now, as of 2006, refusing to ship m-bags to Mauritania? This is so bizarre. Do you think Mauritanians don’t want to read? Or shouldn’t read? Do you want Oasis Books to not be successful? Are you being paid off by the other English centers in town, none of whom have libraries or bookstores? We’re the only option for English speakers in the country! The university students count on us! And why is it any of your business?

As you know, an m-bag is when you ship books for $1 per pound, or media rate. Until last year, we could ship ourselves boxes of books. It’s true that you would always tell us to expect them in 3-4 months, whereas we once had one come after 18 months, but that’s ok. It was better than this. Now, just when a troop of Girl Scouts collected 2000 books for our kids library, and a friend promised to send us several boxes, and someone gave us a huge stack of old Reader’s Digests which are WONDERFUL for ESL students because of shorter articles and simplified language, you up and decide to stop service. And frankly, it doesn’t make sense. Why would you care about the destination? Even if you charged more, say $1.25 pound, that would be ok. But instead you are insisting on us paying the normal (as in exorbitant) postage rates, which are not an affordable option.

Please respond.


Planet Nomad

Edited to Add: I wanted to clarify that the Post Office still ships m-bags to other African nations; for example, Senegal, our neighbor to the South. That’s why it’s just so weird that they’ve suddenly stopped shipping here! Any ideas? Why would they care where something ended up?