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Topic: Yet another Dust Jacket question - your opinion, please!

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Subject: Yet another Dust Jacket question - your opinion, please!
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
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I know that dust jackets are not required unless they are part of a RC.  However, I try to include them when possible, because they make the book look nicer.  As a sender, if you had a book that was in great condition, but the dust jacket was not (ripped, stained, etc.), would you include it anyway, or remove it before sending?  If you were receiving such a book, would you rather get a damaged dust jacket or no jacket at all?  (I realize that if you were the receiver, you wouldn't know if the sender had the jacket or not).  Does your answer change depending on whether the "real cover" looks just like the dust jacket, or is just a plain color with the title on it?  I realize that most of this is personal preference, but I'm curious to see what others think.  Thanks!

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
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If the DJ is just tattered and torn, I would always want it.

 If there were liquid stains on it, I would hesitate to send it with the book because it could prompt  a messy RWAP argument if the person assumes that because the DJ has liquid damage the book must too. 

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
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And that's really the issue that was underlying my question.  I have a book that is in great condition, but the dust jacket is all wrinkled and it looks like water damage.  The book has no damage whatsoever, so I'm considering removing the dj before sending so the receiver doesn't automatically assume the book is damaged, too.  Thanks for your feedback, Melanie!

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:17 AM ET
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i would not send it! just to be on the safe side

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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The PBS rules state that unless the requestor has an RC specifically saying they want hardcovers with dust jackets, that the dust jackets DO NOT COUNT towards book condition at all. If they do have an RC,  than the dust jackets must follow the rules for condition of paperback covers.

Absolutely send it. (unless they have an RC). If they complain, send them a polite response pointing them to the rules and just letting them know that if they feel the DJ is unpostable, they can fix the issue by removing the dust jacket and tossing it in the trash. Voila, book is now postable.

If it was me, I would always want the DJ, and if I think its nasty, I can throw it away myself. I would rather have a DJ in any condition, than have a book without it.

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 5/23/09 11:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
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If the dust jacket is truly nasty and water-stained, etc, I wouldn't send it, I'd discard it.  If it was just torn and tattered and beaten up, I'd send it.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2009
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I do prefer dust jackets, but if the book's underlying cover has the same printing/images, I would never realize the dust jacket was missing. It's the easy-to read cover and images I like about the dust jacket, primarily.

That said, I'd just remove a really stained, yukky dust jacket. I think you'd be avoiding potential problems by getting rid of it. As others have said, if it's just folded, torn or worn, you could include it.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
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I was going to post a reply but Sara P. said exactly what I was going to say.  So rather than being redundant, just go read her post.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
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I've thrown away dj's before sending a book, because I didn't want someone to have a fit over the condition of the dj. If they want it THAT bad, it will be included as an RC :-)

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
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I threw away a dust jacket once because it was ripped more than an inch but the book was in good condition. I didn't want someone who didn't understand the rules to mark it RWAP and then unresolved if I didn't give the credit back. I still feel a bit bad about it though since there's no way of knowing whether they would have done that or not. Maybe you could send a pm...but I can see where that might get messy too.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
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Derrick says, "I've thrown away dj's before sending a book, because I didn't want someone to have a fit over the condition of the dj." And Juniper says something similar.

I'm sorry to respond with knee-jerk wails over this, but why oh why? When you could just write to the requester, tell them the state of the DJ, and ask them whether or not they wanted it? If I were the requester, I'd want at least the *chance* to get it! The presence or absence of a DJ is the single most important variable in assessing the value of a book. Even a damaged DJ--a single tear is no big deal--is much better than none at all, when 40 years hence, you're down on your luck, & you need to take a stack of hardcovers into a dealer, in the hope of getting a 100 bucks of desperately-needed cash from them. =sniff= Don't laugh *too* hard: The way things are, I had a bit of a scare covering my mortgage last month.

The upshot being: I write to requesters whenever I'm sending out HC's w/ damaged DJ's, or HC's w/ little flaws, or pb's w/ little flaws--all within postable guidelines. Recently I mailed out a 21-yr-old pb that was in great condition for its advanced age, but had an acceptable tear, repaired, of the back cover, and considerable browning of the front and back inside covers (not the text pages, which were hardly yellowed). I figure: better to forewarn, then let the person be unpleasantly surprised. I have yet to have a requester tell me they didn't want the book after all. But if they did turn down the book, that's way preferable to a RWAP--to me, at least. (I certainly expect to get a RWAP some day, but so far, none.)

But Juniper says, "Maybe you could send a pm...but I can see where that might get messy too."

I know what you mean about "messy," so when I write to the person, I'm nice, but super clear, making 4 simple points: (1) describe condition of DJ; (2) remind them DJs aren't required, w/ URL pointer to passage in Help Docs; (3) sending DJ anyway, since they may want it; (4) they can just throw it away if they don't want it. I don't say, "You can write back if you want me to do something different," because I think I've covered the bases.
.
That letter is the 1st part of my answer to the question at hand.

Here's the 2nd part, both actions, & added words to the letter:
---badly stained DJ's: amend letter to say I tossed the DJ (but still include point #2) & why I tossed it (& that someone *else* made that yukky stain =laugh=)
---torn/tattered DJ's: I repair them w/ tape, taking care to keep the tape *only* on the inside (back side) of the paper, & include fact of repair in point #1. (In case anyone's reading this who's seen one of my repairs, I only recently started observing the inside-only rule. =heh heh=)
--creased (truly awful & numerous) or wrinkled (water-damaged) DJ's: I try (*try*) to iron out at least some of the mess--turn off the steam on iron, lay cloth (e.g., old tee, doubled to get 4 thicknesses), start at very low heat, slowly working up 'til something is happening OR  heat is up to medium-high & still nothing's happening, let iron cool, unfold tee to 2 thicknesses, & start over--sounds complicated but it's not, just go slow & at as low a heat as possible. You've got nothing to lose by trying this (you were gonna toss this DJ) & everything to gain, experience-wise re. ironing paper.

Ironing may not work. If the creases/water-damage are still hideous after ironing OR if ironing made it worse, I amend letter to say (in point #1) that not only is it [describe condition] but I made all these noble efforts at cosmetic surgery, & sadly, they fell apart on the operating table. I don't tell them I made it worse, if that happened--unless I scorched it or set it on fire--in which cases, of course, I have to toss it. If so, I change the operation scenario to my noble efforts to save its life, and how, sadly, it died on the operating table. (You probably think I'm kidding.) =laugh=

CAVEAT re. tape:  See P.S.

I wouldn't blame you if you think I'm weird. I do find it entertaining, plus usually when I attempt the repairs is not as I described, but *before* I put the book on my Bookshelf. If it works to prevent throwing away the DJ, I can meet requesters' conditions for DJs-required. I just write them about the DJ's condition & get their decision about whether they want the book or not.

 
--as always, until the end of time,
    way too long-winded,

          Fiona

P. S.  Caveat re. use of tape on DJ: putting anything other than archival-quality tape on a DJ, even on the side opposite the writing, will most likely reduce its value. Non-archival tape oxidizes, yellows, stains, gets yukky, etc.--often decades before the book appreciates enough to be worth selling. The best way to *preserve* (as opposed to repair) a DJ--when you're not a librarian--is to leave it untouched & put one of those plastic (e.g., Mylar) covers on it. Blah blah blah. You'll be able to tell whether the book is "collectible" enough to care about the DJ's value--as opposed to its simple presence. (The putative books that I was talking about trading in for $10 apiece, 40 years hence, wouldn't be collectibles, just long out of print.)



Last Edited on: 5/23/09 10:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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I understand about people not wanting someone to mark an RWAP against them because the receiver didn't understand the rules. But still, the PMs back and forth will be saved and if PBS ever decided to review your account, they would be able to tell that the person who gave you the RWAP was mistaken.

I personally wouldn't worry much about it if I got an RWAP for this (mistaken) reason. I would simply refer the people to the rules, remind them that they can institute a RC if they fell strongly about receiving DJs in a particular condition,  and ask them to mark the transaction "Marked RWAP by Mistake". If they didn't do that for some reason, I honestly wouldn't be too disturbed, because I'm pretty sure that if PBS were to review the history of the RWAP, they would not count it as being against you.

I only turn on my dustjacket RC for some hardcover books, not all; but I am still really disappointed when I get a book without one. (I know, its my own fault for not always turning on my RCs, but still, that's how I feel.) After all, you might feel that a really tattered DJ should be discarded, wheras, I would be happy to receive it, and since sending the tattered DJ is not against the PBS rules, why not send it, and let the receiver decide?

You could even include a note with the book, if you felt like it warranted it, that said something like, "I hope you enjoy this book. I realize the dustjacket is (damaged in some way), but since PBS rules state that dustjackets are optional for hardocver books, and you do not have a RC regarding receiving a dustjacket, this book is postable with the dustjacket in this condition. Instead of throwing it away before I mailed the book to you, I am sending the dustjacket along to you, so that you can decide if you wish to discard it. Thanks"

Of course, If the dustjacket is disgusting in some way, like a cat peed on it or something, or it has blood on it, that's another story. But I would send DJs with any kind of folding, rips, wrinkles, missing pieces, taped repairs, worn spots, etc without worrying about it in the slightest.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
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That's a good idea Fiona, to say that if you don't receive a response you'll go ahead and send it. The only other problem I can see arising is if they pm you back saying they don't want the book for some reason. Trying to figure out who should cancel is a pain, especially if the person has been waiting in a wish list line for a long time.

I think that I'll try your note idea next time I have this problem Sara. That seems like a really polite way to head off any problems that might occur from sending a damaged dust jacket.

 

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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I would just throw the DJ away, probably before I even read the book myself. I've done so before for my own books. My books are for reading, not for looking at, so I don't care about DJ's. If the person requesting from me has an RC wanting DJ's, it's a simple thing to decline and let someone else have a go at it. I don't have time to fiddly-fart around with....ye gods...ironing?? the DJ. (Oh yeah...I don't own an iron, so that's a moot point anyway. LOL)

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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I would just throw the DJ away, probably before I even read the book myself. I've done so before for my own books.

I know ... there are people out there who don't care about the dustjackets. Hard for me to believe. :)

But think about it this way ... receiving a hardcover without a dustjacket is like receiving a paperback with both covers ripped off.  (I'm only talking aesthetically here, I know that my comparison is not exact when you factor in things like protecting pages, etc)

Or, what if they printed all paperbacks with solid black covers front and back ... and there is no story description anywhere on the book ... no printing at all except the title and author on the spine. Sure, the inside is still readable... 

For me, being able to browse books (from my own bookcase, or from my friends bookcases)  is part of the pleasure of reading. I browse my own books all the time .... and if the book has no dustjacket, can't do it. Or, horror of horrors, if I went to my friends house and all they had was shelves and shelves of hardcovers with no dustjackets ... its like my worst nightmare. All those yummy books and no way to tell if I would like to read them....

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
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I rarely request or buy HC's.  But when I do get a HC with a DJ (starting to look I'm texting here!), I remove the DJ while I read the book.  They are so annoying to me on top of being on a book that I have a hard time handling.  But I do keep them.  I just got a book as stated before that is 25 yr. old and the DL is not what I'd consider postable since it is torn in several places (at least one is about 3" long) and has stains on it.  But it came with the book.  It is a cookbook, though.  If I ever trade it, I'll ask whoever wants it if they want the DJ.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
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Ruth says, "I rarely request or buy HC's.  But when I do get a HC with a DJ (starting to look I'm texting here!), I remove the DJ while I read the book.  They are so annoying to me on top of being on a book that I have a hard time handling."

I entirely agree! They drive me to distraction, slip-sliding around and being altogether too attention-grabbing, when I'm just trying to hold the book already, dive into the words, and completely forget the book exists. I was taking them off and setting them aside for decades before I learned that in order to "preserve the value" (inane phrase) of a book, you should be doing just that--protecting the precious DJ from the damage it incurs if left on while reading. (Even a gentle reader will cause the DJ to curl around the edges of the book in a way that it didn't before: change=bad in the used-book business.) Always nice to find out you're doing the "right thing" for quirky reasons of your own, isn't it?

So now that I'm older and wiser =sigh= I always tuck the DJ safely away, taking care that it doesn't get crushed, and that's it's not in a place where it will get water dripped on it, kittens biting it, or other ills that may befall a vulnerable DJ. (Don't worry, potential requesters of my books: the kittens are now well-behaved, non-book-biting cats. =grin=) I will tend to lose it, though, so I try to tuck it in--sideways & across the books--at the rough alpha location in the shelves where the book will theoretically end up, if I decide to keep it. (Compulsive, I know--but sometimes the forgetful turn compulsive, just to cope.)

I do see people reading HC's with the DJ's on all the time, though. I admire their ability to eschew distraction.

--Fiona



Last Edited on: 5/24/09 12:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I once received a book with a nice dust jacket and a crummy book underneath. Top that! LOL

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 7:31 PM ET
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You could just put a note in the package saying sorry DJ not so hot, but book is in good condition. I wasn't sure if you would want the DJ or not, so I just sent it along.

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
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Wow!  Thanks for all the varied opinions - I learned alot of interesting stuff from this thread.  As it turns out, I decided to keep the book in question, lol, but will keep all of this in mind in case it comes up again.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 4:34 PM ET
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Sara wrote: Or, what if they printed all paperbacks with solid black covers front and back ... and there is no story description anywhere on the book ... no printing at all except the title and author on the spine. Sure, the inside is still readable...

This wouldn't bother me, either. I almost never read the blurbs on the books, praise from other authors or reviewers, etc. Why? Because they often lie! LOL It's *advertising*....it's put there by the publisher to entice you into buying the book. They will praise the book to high heaven even if it's utter crap! And how often have you read a book where the cover had *absolutely nothing* to do with the content of the book? Lots of times. That old saying "you can't judge a book by its cover" is so true.

Normally when I'm buying a book in a bookstore or ordering a book on PBS, it's a book recommended by friends, people with similar reading tastes to mine, or authors I've already read and liked, part of a series, etc. I don't care what the cover looks like or if I can read the blurbs or not. *I want the book so I can read it.*  Period.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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Normally when I'm buying a book in a bookstore or ordering a book on PBS, it's a book recommended by friends, people with similar reading tastes to mine, or authors I've already read and liked, part of a series, etc.

Well, I know what you mean. I read a lot more than most of the people I know, though, and I find that I am often the discoverer of new books for my friends and family to read. I'm the one who discovers new authors, etc .... my DH, for example, reads alot less than I do, and when he does read something, its almost always something I've set aside for him. And my Mom, will only purchase for herself  authors she knows already, but she is constantly asking me if I have new books to give to her .... and I usually do, because I like to spend my some of my  free time browsing books in the bookstore ... I go quite often.

So for me, being able to browse by looking is irreplacable! Because everyone I know is already reading books that I've given them  :)

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
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To me it wouldn't really matter one way or another.  If the book arrived with a DJ that I didn't want (for whatever reason) I could just throw it away.  If it didn't have a DJ at all it wouldn't bother me at all because I don't expect to get one on a HC from here.  Some of the books on my shelves (real shelves not my PBS shelves) have them, some don't, and I'm fine with that since the sole reason I buy or request a book is for what's between the covers, not what's on them.

But that's just me...

 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
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I have a dust jacket RC, but its only for a certain set of fantasy books I am collecting.  They are turned off the rest of the time.  I do prefer a book to have one, especially since a lot of the books I choose to read have nice cover art (fantasy mostly), but I don't worry about it except for the one set.