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Topic: Badly produced new books

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Subject: Badly produced new books
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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I was in a Barnes & Noble yesterday, and a friend and I were looking at a brand-new copy of a recently published Elizabeth Moon book. The first page and the sheet glued inside the cover were so wavy that if I'd received it as a swap, I would have marked it as water-damaged. And it's a new, full-priced publisher's edition, not used or a book club printing, so there's really no excuse for it. I guess the days of picking a new book off a bookstore shelf and assuming it'll at least start out in good shape are gone for good, alas.
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 619
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I just received Tony Blair's autobiography in a swap yesterday and thought there were loose pages. Nope.... Pages tightly bound, but the pages were so unevenly cut that it looked like it had been done by hand. Unbelievable. And at those prices. Sheesh.
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Maybe the publishers would claim they're reproducing that old-old-fashioned handcrafted look, and that's why they have such high prices for shoddy work?
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I don't think deckle edges are an attempt to pass off shoddy work, but rather a deliberate aesthetic choice.  Interestingly, Amzaon has a special alert about them on product pages.

http://www.mywingsbooks.com/coll-terms/edg02_.shtml

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,271
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This is why it is so frustrating why when you send out a new book and the receiving member marks it RWAP because they perceive it as water damage when it is just cheap paper! We hear about it all the time in the forums...and that is not to say that anyone is doing anything wrong but when I have paid full price at a bookstore for a new book, read it gently, post it and send it on then the receiving member marks it RWAP, what can you do!?! Both members feel taken advantage of! sigh....just venting, I guess.

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I received a book the other day that as I was turning pages they were just "snapping" out .....I felt horrible rwap ing the book but there was no way to read it as a whole. The sender says it was a brand new book she had never even read......and in this case I truly believed her.
Date Posted: 3/23/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I just received Tony Blair's autobiography in a swap yesterday and thought there were loose pages. Nope.... Pages tightly bound, but the pages were so unevenly cut that it looked like it had been done by hand. Unbelievable. And at those prices. Sheesh.

I have a feeling this is likely a book with deckle edge pages.  It's a design feature, and intentional.   And - yup. I just looked on amazon. It is. 

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 619
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I have a feeling this is likely a book with deckle edge pages.  It's a design feature, and intentional. 

I've never seen ANYTHING like this.  I've had deckle-edged books before and they look nothing like this...... 20 pages one width, 10 pages another width -- the photo pages are a different width altogether.  It's back and forth like that all the way through the book.  Bizarre.  It almost looks as if they simply didn't put it through the final cutting process. 

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2010
Posts: 47
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I have been noticing this myself. I was reading a brand new copy of a Kresely Cole book and I felt like at any second the spine was going to snap.

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I also agree.  Quality control in the publishing business is not what it used to be.

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,454
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These are some of the reasons I am converting more and more of my print books to ebooks (although the main one is still space). But I want to be able to read my books several times over without them falling apart on me.

Date Posted: 3/23/2011 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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I just bought a heavily WL book and it has the "trimmed" edges that are almost deckle.  I'm genuinly scared to post it.  A trip to a bookstore will show that ALL the books are that way...but still. 

Date Posted: 3/24/2011 1:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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And if someone contacted publishers and asked why they're turning out such sloppy productions, would we hear the one about 'Oh. we just can't get good help these days...' ?
Date Posted: 3/25/2011 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 516
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The first page and the sheet glued inside the cover were so wavy that if I'd received it as a swap, I would have marked it as water-damaged.

I had that recently with a book I bought used at Goodwill.  It was just the first couple of pages that were wavy.  The rest of the book was in perfect condition.  I didn't think it was water damage but I can't be sure.  I am donating it back to Goodwill instead of posting it here.

Date Posted: 3/25/2011 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,408
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I just went into Borders yesterday. I picked up a book and the middle pages were stiff, the rest of the book was fine. Needless to say, I didn't buy the book. Who knows if someone was reading the book in the store and spilt something on the pages.

Date Posted: 3/25/2011 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,717
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I work in a bookstore and you would be AMAZED how many BRAND NEW books come out of the shipping cartons that are in such bad shape that we have to simply destroy them because we can't sell them.

Date Posted: 3/25/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I received a book the other day that as I was turning pages they were just "snapping" out ..... 

I received a book in a trade where the spine broke and a big section of pages separated from the spine when I opened it. Even though I didn't handle it roughly, I didn't see how that would have been a RWAP because it was apparently fine when it was sent and seemed fine when it arrived, until I opened it. 

Date Posted: 3/25/2011 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 619
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I work in a bookstore and you would be AMAZED how many BRAND NEW books come out of the shipping cartons that are in such bad shape that we have to simply destroy them because we can't sell them. 

Oh lawsy, as a booklover that must KILL you.  Simply heartbreaking.

Date Posted: 3/26/2011 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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(Laughs maniacally at the ceiling while clasping his hands together),

My love of older books pays off.

Date Posted: 3/26/2011 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2010
Posts: 148
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The paperback version of The Hunger Games has a front cover that rolls up and will not lay flat - even in the display in the store.  Also, I was afraid to open the book too widely because the pages looked like they would fall out. Paid 5.98 for it at Costco.  Guess I got what I paid for? 

Date Posted: 3/26/2011 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 180
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I guess it's the cost of doing business these days.  I'm re-reading an older book that I've had for a while and the pages are so thick

I keep thinking I've skipped a page.  The paper in newer books is definetly lower grade. The lower grade paper will also get wavy

just by reading the book. What a pain!

Date Posted: 3/27/2011 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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Has anyone tried to bring a new book back to a bookstore? Even if you got it in trade, they might be able to send it back to the publisher or something. I got a book in a swap that had a publisher's defect (mistyped pages) and they were able to do a book swap with me.

Worth a try :)