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Topic: I admit it - I'm old

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Subject: I admit it - I'm old
Date Posted: 5/2/2010 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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Let's get it out of the way: I'm Old.  

Two things about that: I can talk about the "old days" and, to be polite you have to listen.
That's one of the few good things about getting old/better.

I remember (don't you hate it when they start that way) when a friend would walk up and say "wanna read this book".
I'd say, "is it good?". He would say, "Yes", I'd take it and it was usually good. I'd walk up to another friend and the same kind of conversation would take place, this time with the questions reversed.

Sometimes the book would be well travelled and rather sad looking, sometimes held together with a rubber band or string - but it was still a good book.

Once in a while there would be a page corner turned down and there would be on that page a particularly sage comment from Travis McGee about the glories of Florida past, or an interesting insight from Decartes or Emily. Sometimes, HORRORS, those passages would be marked with yellow highlighter.

Maybe it's because we were all poor then that the only thing that mattered was if it was a GOOD BOOK. Maybe that is why I sometimes get confused when people talk about "postable" and "readable" as if they were two different things. I understand the need for Rules - they are to keep the civilized civilized. But just how civilized is it to use the Rules as a hammer. Back then there was only one rule about books: "is it good?".

Now things are a little more complex:
     A good book now has cosmetic ramifications. The basic reasoning is sound; it isn't easy reading a book held together with a rubber band.

    Sometimes we are led by everyone else to talk about ME rather than us.

    We have lost that sense that there is an intrinsic value to a BOOK that makes it valuable in and of itself; whether it is held together with glue on the edge or a rubberband.

Perhaps it is senility - but I get confused.  In fact, I forgot the question....

wc
 

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm old, too, Wayne.  And sometimes the books aren't that good.  But when we are using a faceless service like PBS there have to be some basic, fundamental rules to prevent getting books that are gross with old food and mold or books that are missing covers and random pages.  Once standards are determined to be necessary then where do you draw the line?  PBS drew their lines to be as clear as possible and to ensure that books were whole and non-toxic or free from attracting insects or turning into a mildew/mold problem.  There has to be a level playing field so that we are all starting from the same place.  It's difficult to do that. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Maybe that is why I sometimes get confused when people talk about "postable" and "readable" as if they were two different things.

They are two dfferent things. One has nothing to do with the other.

This site is a business, Wayne. It may just make enough to survive, but people spend a lot of money on supplies and postage to get that credit they're spending on books they want. They have the right to expect it to at least meet the minimal standards the site requires.

If we could just trade books for free, not costs at all, totally free,  I'm sure many people would worry more about the 'readable part'. (Well, except for me and water damaged book. I don't allow them in my house. Period. I've seen mold spread from one book through a library. It's ugly. And expensive.)

But there's really no excuse to confuse the two here. Like anywhere else, people need to follow the rules or go someplace else.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I agree with Cindy.  "Postable" and "readable" are two different things.  All postable books are readable but not all readable books are postable.  Rather like geometry where all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.  Just as there is a very clear definition between a rectangle and a square, the differences between postable and readable are very clear as well. 

I find the PBS rules and guidelines to be very clear and precise.  NO staining of any kind. Both covers present and intact.  Spine unbroken and intact.  Easy schmeasy.  If you have a Cheetos-dust thumbprint on page 87, your book is unpostable.  Period.   If you set your book on a counter that had a small puddle of water that seeped into the pages of the book, your book is unpostable. Certainly I can read rippled pages and food stained pages.  Per PBS rules and guidelines, I just can't post the books.  For me, this is easy to understand.
 

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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So the question becomes:

If you receive an unnpostable (square) book that is readable (rectangle) would you (choose as many as you like)

a) Read it

b) Demand your credit back

c) Send it back

d) Throw it away

e) Give it to some unsuspecting college student with a rubber band around it

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If you receive an unnpostable (square) book that is readable (rectangle) would you (choose as many as you like)

I would ask for my credit back, first thing.

Then depending on if the sender wanted it back, I'd probably mail it right back to them if they wanted it badly enough to send me the postage money. But they'd have to give me my credit back as well as pay for the postage before I'd put it into the mail. I'm not spending my own hard earned money to get a book back to a person who can't follow simple rules.

Depending on the condition of the book, I'd probably toss it. I don't keep anything stained or liquid damaged in my house. As I've said, I've seen what happens when mold spores spread, and you don't have to see the mold for the spores to be lurking in liquid damage. I've passed up on taking my own WL'd books home from the UBS because they'd been liquid damaged. If it's torn up I'd probalby toss it. I don't donate garbage to charities. Too many people use them as a dumpster already.

I have never read a book I've gotten that was RWAP. I've got too many in my TBR pile to want to mess with a book I'm not going to keep.

I'd just order another, hopefully with the credit that's been returned to me, and hope the second sender actually follows the site rules.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
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So the question becomes:

If you receive an unnpostable (square) book that is readable (rectangle) would you (choose as many as you like)

a) Read it

b) Demand your credit back

c) Send it back

d) Throw it away

e) Give it to some unsuspecting college student with a rubber band around it

So the answer for me is that like so many things, it depends. If i was intending to keep the book for my own purposes and the unpostable flaw does not interfere with that purpose, then I just read it, keep it, whatever. I would let the other person know the thing wrong with the book that they sent, either thru a RWAP or just a note. I probably don't ask for my credit back, in the case that I am using the book anyway.

In fact, for a book that I intend to keep, I have ordered unpostables at some points ... because I don't care if it has some writing in it, or maybe a broken spine. But the point is ... I am accepting the book knowing that it has some damage. And, I am choosing the damage that doesn't bother me personally. Some people are really bothered by writing. I'm not. But, like some others, I don't have moldy books, and I would never accept one from someone else. Whether it was my neighbor lending it to me or PBS sending it to me. I also have a thing for food stained books. Personally, I don't want someone elses food stained book. I have gotten more than one cheeto / spaghetti sauce fingerprinted book and I think its gross. Those, I toss in the garbage and yes, I do request my credit back.

Just because someone else thinks their cheeto encrusted book is too good to toss .... doesn't mean I feel that way.

Wayne ... there are some things that are used that you just don't pass on to others. Like old ripped up clothes. I have some nice old ripped up really comfortable t-shirts. My favorites for years, and I wear them frequently. But if someone needed to borrow a t-shirt from me, I would give them a much newer nicer looking one. Right?

The words in books are precious. But ... not every copy of every book is. I may choose to have old beat up books ... but the point is, I choose them if I want them. I don't expect them to be foisted off on me unknowingly.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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I choose them if I want them. I don't expect them to be foisted off on me unknowingly.

 

Hmmm, I think I got it. That box of questionables I got in the garage had better stay there and not be posted. The reason being is that the rules that apply to others apply to me too! 

 

Certainly took a long time to get here.

 

wc

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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If I received a square book when the rules and guidelines indicate that rectangular books are the only books permitted for posting, you bet I'd ask for my credit back.  I am not one of these people, who seem to abound in society today, who subscribes to the notion that the fact that I can get away with something (breaking or bending a rule/law) means that I am right or that it is okay to do so. (I am not trying to insinuate that you (the OP) are either, I'm just making a point.)  If you don't like the rules, you don't have the option of breaking or disregarding the rules.  You have the option of walking away.

JMO, of course!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Ultimately, it comes down to we agreed to the Terms of Usage (including the rules for postable books) when we signed on as members.  Not all book swap sites have high quality standards.  If we don't observe the standards and accept any condition book that others send us then we are both breaking the rules we agreed to and lowering the standard of the books available.  It is a used book swap, but the used books need to be a certain condition in order to remain attractive to members.   I've gotten all manner of book condition in books.  I can't say that I've received my credit back from more than 3 people.  It may be the genre I'm in that attracts either more readers or readers that only care that the books are readable.  It's nice to hope that I can repost a book after I've gently read it.  That doesn't happen if I accept just any old book that's sent to me. 

And there are ways to get the unpostable but readable to other members if they don't mind the defect that makes them unpostable.  Do you expect and accept paying the bookstore (retail not used - and most UBS's I'm familiar with have the same standards as PBS for reselling used books ) for a damaged book they have on their shelves ?

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Wayne,  your box of questionables can be inspected. Some may be postable, some unpostable, some in a gray zone. The latter two groups can be traded "unofficially" on the PBS through the Book Bazaar, genre forums, etc.

Good luck.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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there are other websites that allow what PBS has as unpostable, but users there seem to be pretty adamant that you should list condition notes describing the condition. - PBS does not allow condition notes, but requires adherence to the standards.

If a book is wishlisted the BookBazarr is a good option for unpostables.  For lots of them you can still get the 1 credit.  but if it is not wishlisted, you probably won't have much luck with the book bazarr.

The website I use for unpostables or ones with too many copies on PBS is Bookmooch.  I have good luck getting rid of books on bookmooch, but not so much with finding books that I want.

And just another example, my sister read a ton, but does not join PBS because she cant see the book first. She won't buy a book at a used bookstore unless it looks really good. She buys most of her books new. Requirements for a 'readable' book are different for different people.

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Ronda, how lucky for you and for PBS and BM!!  You can get new books to put into the system without buying them.  Sorry your sister doesn't get into it, but at least she shares! ;D

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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Often what makes a book unpostable also makes it unreadable.  No matter how good the writting is, it's hard to read when it's covered in peanut butter and half the pages are missing. 

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'm really not very fussy about how my books look--have been a library user all my life--but I have received books so gross with stains or mold I literally did not want to touch them.