Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Advice for watching for older books

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Advice for watching for older books
Date Posted: 1/10/2011 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
Back To Top

I want advice from some of the longer term members on how to watch for those titles that are either partially or only available in small-ISBN versions.  Primarily wanting advice based upon experience, but all good ideas are welcome.

Things I have learned so far:

Periodically do a search for anything I'm interested in, performing the search by title keywords, then search for author separately.

When I'm interested in something, WL the small ISBN entry if it says "Members Wishing: 0" for a few weeks to make sure that the entry isn't someone with their bookshelf on vacation hold periodically.  This only works with some wiggle room in the Wish List.

Watch the bazaar (this hasn't paid of yet but I it just feels right).



Last Edited on: 1/10/11 11:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/11/2011 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
Back To Top

Chris, advanced search lets you search by publication date, so search for pre-mid-60s (or whatever time period you're interested in).  Add in keywords and I've found some great old books that way. 

Diane

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/11/2011 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
Back To Top

You can use the Save Search feature so you don't have to reenter the parameters each time. You can also save bookmarks to the search results page. Each time you click on the bookmark, it re-runs the search and you get the new results.

I have a few books that I'm waiting for Amazon to add, and I have bookmarked the searches there. I put all of those bookmarks into their own folder, then I use Firefox's "Open All in Tabs" feature to run them all at once. Then I just quickly click through the tabs closing the ones that got no results and acting on the ones that were found. You could easily do the same with PBS searches.

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

When I'm interested in something, WL the small ISBN entry if it says "Members Wishing: 0" for a few weeks to make sure that the entry isn't someone with their bookshelf on vacation hold periodically.  This only works with some wiggle room in the Wish List.

I'm not sure if this is an effective strategy. Short ISBNs refer to one specific copy of the book, so you are essentially waiting for the (potentially very small) possibility that (a) someone posted that ISBN and sent it to a requesting member and (b) the requesting member decides to repost that same copy back into the system.  Seethe Help Doc pertaining to "short ISBNs" below.

How about being more proactive in the Bazaar? You can put an ISO post and list the titles you are looking for in your profile, signature, etc. provided there is no WL line for it.

Non-ISBN items are items Posted by a member onto his or her bookshelf using a customized (not pre-existing) listing.  This is necessary when:

  • The book being posted has no ISBN
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database is using that ISBN for another version (binding type or Large Print)  of the book
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database is using that ISBN for a completely different book (this is rare, but it does happen that publishers reuse ISBNs) 
  • The book does have an ISBN, but the PBS database does not include a listing for it.

A book that is posted using the Post Book Without an ISBN feature will be listed on PBS with a "short ISBN" (usually 5 or 6 digits).

The posting member created this listing using the Post Books Without an ISBN link on the Post Books page, entering the information manually that applies to his or her specific copy of the book (this information includes book dimensions and book description).  This means that:

  • Non-ISBN items (Items listed with "short" (5-digit) numbers in place of the ISBN) cannot be edited using the Edit Book Data link at the bottom of each page on the site.
    • This is because each "non-ISBN" item was posted into the system by the member who had that specific copy of the book, when her book did not match any pre-written listing in the system.
      • Thus, each "non-ISBN" item represents one copy of the book, and unless you have that exact copy that was posted using that listing by the original poster, the information (eg, book dimensions) about your copy of the book may not apply.
    • This also means that for a posting member  who posts a book without an ISBN and makes  a typo/mistake in doing so, this cannot be edited after submitting the listing: the listing will need to be removed from the bookshelf and reposted correctly.

Because the listing was created manually, the listing represents only one specific copy of the book, and the book is not linked to any other item in the database, even if the titles are the same.  This means that:

  • non-ISBN books on a Wish List
    • will not trigger "Similar-to-wished-for-item" alerts
    • will not trigger a Wish List offer unless that particular copy is reposted into the system by someone who received it through PBS (using the Repost Books area or TBR Pile)
    •  will not be removed automatically when another version of that title is received through the Wish List.
  • "Short ISBNs"
    • cannot be reused to post another copy of that book (the Post Books field will accept only 10 or 13 digit ISBNs)
      • this is because not all the information the first poster provided about the book may match another book of the same title that needs to be posted without an ISBN
    • cannot be added to a Book List (TBR Pile or Books I've Read) manually.
      • If that copy of the book is received through PBS, it can be added to TBR when it is received
      • If that copy of the book is received through PBS, it can be added to BIR when it is reposted from the TBR Pile or Books to Repost area
  • non-ISBN items on the Club Wish List if no ISBN version of the book is currently wished-for
    • Usually mean that the wishers already got an ISBN version and neglected to remove this non-ISBN version from their Wish Lists
      • this would not have been done automatically by the system when the ISBN version was received, since the items are not linked
    • If you see this, it is likely that no one is actually currently wishing for that title; these are "leftover" wishes

In other words, it is not very effective to put a non-ISBN item in the database onto a Wish List.

Date Posted: 1/11/2011 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
Back To Top

Oooooooooooooh, Hadn't seen the save search feature that will really help.

Thanks for the replys so far.

EDIT From Here down:  Not sure how mine is still at the end, when I posted and replied looked and Sophias wasn't there, O well.

To address your concern Sophia, that is why it only applies to short ISBN's that are "Member Wishing: 0" and is only valid for a few weeks.  In addition I have already had success on one count with this.

To understand why, I'll give you an example.  I am currently watching a few books on the reminder list that I'm interested in, but not more than those on my WL.  So I'm holding credits until there are either less than 5 available or I get more credits than books on my WL.

On a specific copy of "There Will Be Time" the book is regularly available on part of the week and not on another part of the week.  Given some things that have been posted here, and the response from a member that I have already received a short-ISBN book I had wishlisted, I am suspecting that the owner of said book for some reason or another has their bookshelf on "vacation hold" periodically.

In the case of the member I PM'd with they could only mail books near the end of every two weeks so their bookshelf would only be available during that second week.  If the book doesn't show up after a few weeks of WL'ing then I'm not saying it won't ever but it does decrease the chances.  In this same vein if you WL a book and it shows the last date it was posted on a short ISBN book then someone still has that book on their shelf and may repost it (perhaps after they have read it), haven't had any successes on this yet though.



Last Edited on: 1/11/11 5:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1