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Topic: yet another Q of postability

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Subject: yet another Q of postability
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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I had no qualms about this book's being postable when I put it on my Bookshelf;  but now that it's been requested and I'm on the verge of mailing it, I'm getting weak in the knees.

It's a trade paperback that I got new as a remainder. I read it once gently. Except for the little problems described below, it's in "like new" condition, including smooth unblemished pages, cover corners intact & uncreased and spine uncreased.

In the area of the ISBN code on the back cover, and nowhere else, there are three minor flaws in the book's condition. These are due to my having removed an ISBN sticker and its residue. It was an unusually large and unsightly sticker to begin with, dark grey and smudged---that's why I got aggressive toward it---and it left an unusually dark, large, sticky, tenacious mess behind when I tried to peel it off. ("I'm tellin' you sir, it was this great big green thing.")

The sticker and its residue are now completely gone. The cover is not in the least bit sticky.

Three flaws in that area:
small gap:  a triangular notch (where cover is missing) at bottom edge of cover: 3/8" on each of the 3 sides
tiny stains:  thin dark grey stain on pages next to ISBN code--1 1/2" long & at most a millimeter wide--plus two light gray stains, size of half a grain of rice
tiny spot of water damage to cover only:  one indentation, like an inverse bubble, size of a raisin (no damage to underlying pages, or any in whole book)

I don't know about a small notch like that: I've received 2 paperbacks from Swap that have such notches, and they seem just fine to me. The Condition Guidelines do say "No stains" and "No water damage"---with no room to move. But I've never seen a small faint stain as a problem, nor a slight warping that might be water damage. I think the notch is what's making me most hesitant.

I bow to your greater wisdom, o swappers. What say you? <smile>

                                                                        ---Fiona

P.S. If you say it's postable, would it be OK if I fixed up the notch with a bit of clear packing tape, just to keep it from tearing? It's what I would do if I were keeping the book, a nearly invisible fix that would make it much more durable.



Last Edited on: 3/8/09 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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WEll, that's painful!  But the rules of postability say NO water damage.  No stains.  They don't say no stains you can't identify.  I know how painful it is to have a book fall just shy of the postability line.  It's happened to me.  But that's the breaks - as they say!  Sorry!

Ruth

ETA - I hear you on the problem of being homesick for TX - me, too.  I'm just off 95 in VA!!



Last Edited on: 3/8/09 8:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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small notch sounds fine- as long as it is less than 1 inch a piece of the cover can be cut out and that is what it sounds like you are describing.

Any staining or liquid damage make a book unpostable. So to me the last two, no matter how minor, make the book unpostable. The staining described sounds like it could be a printing flaw, which wouldn't be a stain to me, but if it is a stain=not postable.

Date Posted: 3/8/2009 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Hi,

it would have been postable with the sticker. just leave them on unless you are keeping the book. I also like to peel off stickers from my books, (I really don't like them) and I've found the best thing for getting rid of the residue is Goo Gone. (well, on new books anyway with shiny covers/dustjackets. wouldn't try it on books with cover damage or any cover that looks like more absorbant paper). Works great and the cover doesn't get damaged by rubbing/scrubbing at all.

To be perectly honest, your book still sounds postable to me.

Date Posted: 3/8/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Thank you, Ruth, Melanie & Sara (so far),

I now feel much better about the little triangular notch. Your comments sent me back to the official guidelines, which say:

---some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 inch, this is OKAY
---a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY

So now we're down to the tiny stain and the one little bubble of water damage.

I do get the point about stains or water damage: if it's there, it's there, no way around it. That's part of what gave me pause in the first place. But is there a vanishing point---a qualitative level, rather than a precise measurement---at which negligible amounts are acceptable?

The reason I'm pursuing this, is not for this book alone---it's just one credit, it doesn't matter that much---but to learn how to make these calls in the future. I want to learn the preponderance of opinion on little flaws in condition.

Another example (a flaw this book doesn't have) might be a pen mark made accidentally in the margin of a page of text. Would that, too, make a book instantly unpostable? If so, I'm going to have to be more careful while I'm reading, 'cause I often have a pen in hand for taking notes.

I could, of course, write to the would-be recipient with the detailed description of the book's condition, and let them decide if they want the book and will give a credit for it. However, this has happened to me before: the person in question said she'd be more than happy with the book herself, but she wouldn't be able to re-post it, so she had to turn it down.

So I'm looking for more discussion of genuine postability---such that the book could be posted again, after I've sent it on. 

                          --I'm listening, and thanks for your time,

                                                 Fiona

Date Posted: 3/8/2009 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Last Edited on: 7/11/11 5:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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PBS is quite clear that any water damage or staining makes a book unpostable. It's not always fun to not be able to post a book but if you start allowing a small 1/3" spot then why couldn't you post one with a 1/2" spot and it could get out of control. What one person would see as an Ok size spot would be unacceptable to another member. So no water and no stains.

Sorry that it not what you wanted to hear but you can always offer it as a free bonus with the order of another book on your shelf in the Book Bazaar.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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For me, I go by the fact that I know the rules and I know the book doesn't meet them so I won't post it. If someone sends a book that has damage that a receiver can clearly quote the Help Center as making a book not postable, then I would say they need to be fully willing to give back the credit without fuss if the receiver calls them on it. IMO, It is not fair to expect the person who follows the posting requirements after you to eat the credit on a book you know doesn't meet posting standards just because it only misses by a little.

As far as a pen mark in the margins, that has been brought up before and since a library stamp in the margin is ok as long as it doesn't obscure text, a pen mark was considered ok. It was a while ago so finding the post is close to impossible. I think the big difference between wayward ink marks not on the text and water/ stain damage is the nature of the damage - liquid and stains can lead to nasty things growing on the book.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 1:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I guess - then that the removal of the sticker is probably not a good idea in the long run.  I tend to remove them if they will come off easily.  If not, I leave them alone.  Better safe than sorry.  I also agree about the pen mark if it isn't in the text. I have found some printing ink dots from the printing of the book within the text before and it worried me - but it was obviously (to me) the printer's ink.

Ruth

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 1:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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A word of caution to those of you using things like Goo-Gone to remove sticker residue.  Yes, it will work, but the product itself can leave behind an oily residue, and a smell that is difficult to eliminate.  Also, Goo-Gone is flammable, and I'd be pretty leary about using it on anything that could absorb it and support spontaneous combustion.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 329
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Instead of Goo-Gone I use simple vinegar.  It works just as well without the oily residue. 

 

Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
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To remove sticky residue or a price actually in marker on a cover , that's what my favorite thrift store does to their books, I barely dampen a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and rub gently. Everything comes right off.

As to the teeny tiny water damaged area, I probably wouldn't post it, but then again I probably wouldn't RWAP if I received it either. It's hard to say without pictures of it.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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To me it's a karma thing- don't pass on the problem to someone else.  You know there's a small water spot there, the rules say no water damage, don't pass it on to someone else.  True, maybe they'll miss it in their initial inspection and you'll get away with it.  But then, you've now put them into a quandry with reposting it.  It bites when something barely misses the mark, but the rules are the rules.  It's when people start making individual judgements of what would and wouldn't be ok to them personally that the whole thing starts going off the rails.  I feel your pain- got a water spot on a wl book this weekend!!!!!   Argh!!!

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 4:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Thanks so much for all your thoughtful--and sympathetic--replies. I'm cool about it: the book's not postable.

Comment to Sara N: you speak my language, girl. What you said about its being a karma thing---you don't pass the problem on to another person---is right on target.

I have a much better sense now, for what sort of things on the borderline (e.g., stray pen mark in margin) don't affect postability, and what sort of things (e.g., slight water damage) do affect postability. That's exactly the knowledge I hoped to gain in this thread. So again: thanks!

---Fiona

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 4:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Thanks so much for all your thoughtful--and sympathetic--replies. I'm cool about it: the book's not postable.

Comment to Sara N: you speak my language, girl. What you said about its being a karma thing---you don't pass the problem on to another person---is right on target.

I have a much better sense now, for what sort of things on the borderline (e.g., stray pen mark in margin) don't affect postability, and what sort of things (e.g., slight water damage) do affect postability. That's exactly the knowledge I hoped to gain in this thread. So again: thanks!

---Fiona

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/4/10 8:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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my first thought on the stain is that it might have been a printing glitch and isn't anything other than ink.  I have read a few books that there was grey on the edges that looked like a printing error.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Mold can begin in wet pages, and you can't see it when it starts. Then when the book dries, it can go dormant. When humidity picks up again, it can start to grow and spread to other books, and make people sick.

I agree about the pages. The OP is talking about a very small spot on the cover, which is water resistant in the first place.

 

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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That's like someone tapeing up the book to it's cover with packing tape and then claiming the book's okay because it's no longer seperated from it's cover.

Cindy N., I promise I'm not picking on you. I just have some questions about what you said. I have concluded that tape is OK on covers. I base this on the fact that ex-library books are OK (as long as they meet other postability conditions) and since I quite honestly have never seen a library paperback without tape, then tape must be OK.  

I'm not advocating sending out damaged books. Or taping on covers that have been ripped off. Or, breaking PBS rules. Remember these are hypothetical questions for all of us except the OP.

I think it comes down to common sense, like I said above. If you have a brand newish book where the cover might have been ripped say, 1 and 1/4  inches, and you can fix it seamlessly with tape, in an area that would be taped if it was an ex-library book, is it really unpostable?

 

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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1 and 1/4  inches, and you can fix it seamlessly with tape, in an area that would be taped if it was an ex-library book, is it really unpostable? - I would say yes, this is unpostable. The rules say no rip more than 1 inch. Taping it doesn't remove the rip. Otherwise what's the point of the rule? Tap on an undamaged book would be fine. I would mark a book RWP if it had taped up tears exceeding postable size.