Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Book binding RWAP question

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Book binding RWAP question
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
Back To Top

I received a children's hardcover book today. When I opened it up, I heard a slight rip, and the last tiny bit of paper attaching the pages of the book to the cover to the spine detached. The pages are barely hanging in there to the back cover. 

When the sender sent the book, it was probably technically attached, but clearly quite damaged. The book was well packaged and no sign of damage during shipping.

Should I RWAP it? I don't think I'll ask for my point back, it's a very old book (1967) and still readable. 

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
Back To Top

To me it sounds like it was postable at the time of shipping...the weather fluctuations and especially cold weather are hard on books during shipping...since you "heard the rip" when you opened the book it sounds to me as if you are the end of the line for this book and I wouldn't mark it RWAPI mean the book didn't rip before you received it.


In my opinion either it was attached at shipping or it wasn't...since it ripped when you opened it I'm not sure how you are determining it was "quite damaged" before it was sent.

Last Edited on: 11/18/10 4:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

That is sort of a tough one in my book. As you said, it is an older, and therefore more fragile, book and even though you didn't see any visible damage on the packaging doesn't mean that it wasn't stressed along the way. The postal service can be tough on book bindings, especially older bindings.

If you do RWAP, I think I would err on the side of caution, and mark it damaged by USPS -- giving the sender the benefit of doubt. But having said all that, you really have to do what YOU are comfortable with. And if you don't want your credit back, be sure and say that.

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
Back To Top

I wouldn't RWAP it since the fatal damage happened at your house.


It's an unhappy fact that every book eventually hits the end of its PBS live.  PBS rules are that the book has to be postable when sent.  It sounds like this book was.

Date Posted: 11/19/2010 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
Back To Top

So if a book's binding is hanging by a thread, it's postable? I thought that if it was detached from the spine, even if not _completely_ detached, that it was not postable. 

This book was barely attached at the spine when they sent it. I've received hundreds of books between this site and bookmooch, and I've had plenty get damaged enroute and this isn't consistent with shipping damage. The exterior of the hardcover spine is in perfectly fine shape and it was well packed with no signs of damage. 

I'm probably not going to RWAP it or ask for a point back, but I am going to mention it in a note. 

Date Posted: 11/19/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
Back To Top

and I've had plenty get damaged enroute and this isn't consistent with shipping damage.

On old spines, sometimes nothing has to happen in order for it to break.

I've had older paperbacks (talking 30 or 40 years old here) (in otherwise what I would call "like-new" condition) literally crack  in half when I opened them to check the book before posting. I think some kinds of binding glue just gets really brittle as it ages. And, these were books that I bought brand new once upon a time and that have sat on my bookcase ever since. So, there was no damage to them ... just age and binding materials that didn't age well.

Although I have never received a RWAP for it, I am able to believe that older books that get banged around in the mail, may leave my house in a postable condition and arrive with a broken binding.

As far as your book, I think people are reacting to the fact that you say in your post that you heard it rip ... so whatever the extent of that damage was ... at least some of it happened after you got the book. None of us know what it sounded like, but I am sure some of us are imaging a loud ripping sound and some of us might be imagining a tiny ripping sound. But since it happened as you were opening the book (before it was fully opened) ... I am not sure how you can tell how much it might have been damaged "before".

Last Edited on: 11/19/10 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 11/19/2010 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
Back To Top

I also have had books that seemed in postable condition have the spine break just as I was giving it one last "once over" before sending it out.  There was no warning, book bindings weren't "hanging by a thread".  One second postable, the next, not.  I'd give the Sender the benefit of the doubt, especially since it was an older book.