Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: a book that smells bad

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: a book that smells bad
Date Posted: 11/27/2011 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2011
Posts: 29
Back To Top

I got my first unsatisfactory book today---it smells like cat pee  a lot (and not just to me: I asked 3 other people).   I don't have any Rcs in place because I had never had a problem with book smells (and cigarette smoke is no biggie for me).   I told the sender about the problem and offered to return the book at my expense if they will reissue the credit.   I can't read the book and I won't pass it on to anyone else---too bad because I had waited months for it on the WL. 

I know how subjective smells can be and how much complaining there is about RCs that ask for a subjective judgment call, so I'd appreciate any advice.   Thanks

 

 



Last Edited on: 11/28/11 6:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/27/2011 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
Back To Top

Hi Sarah, I would just toss the book instead of sending the book back.  By paying for the postage to return the book it is equal to a credit, so you are breaking even. 

I have problems with cigarette smoke, asthma, but I do not have a RC.  I have received near 300 books and I haven't had any issues with smell except for one book that had a strong smoke odor.  I ended up putting it in a box of dryer sheets wrapped in plastic and placed it in the freezer for a couple of weeks.  IMO, smell is too subjective, but cat urine is strong even if you have cats and a poor sense of smell. 

 

Date Posted: 11/27/2011 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
Back To Top

By chance do any of the pages have a rigid texture (liquid damage)?  That would justify RWAP, but unfortunately, smell alone can not.  I also would not send the book back because realistically, the person will probably just repost it and send it to another member.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
Back To Top

Cat urine is insidious.   I've had stray cats spray in my pole barn, and the smell lasts a long time.

I would note it on the sender's record when marking received, and just ask for the credit back.  If you don't get it, then that person goes on your list of bad traders, and move on.

At the very least, another person receives a book that smells like feline urine, then it will be a matter of record.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
Back To Top

Unless you have an RC, smells (even strong and foul ones) don't qualify the book to be marked as a RWAP. If there's any other damage to it, then you can mark it as such but smell alone is not 'unpostable'.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
Back To Top

I think a book that smelled of cat urine would be unpostable.  It would not be in "good condition".  There's no specific prohibition against book that smell of cat urine, but I think that there would be a general consenus among members that they wouldn't that book.  It's a common sense thing.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
Back To Top

What Patty said.  yes

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
Back To Top

The problem is that the smell of cat urine will be the same as the smell of smoke, often the person living in the smell is not going to notice it. Any strong bad smells are not really desired, yet it is pretty hard for the rules to address something so subjective as *bad* and *strong* smells. You can mark it RWAP. They can say that the book didn't smell to them. You can end up at an impass. The site understands that sometimes the sender and the receiver will not agree.

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
Back To Top

What Melanie said yes

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

I agree with Melanie. A smell of cat pee is really weird if there is no actual water (er...urine) damage.

However, I will say this: there are other substances in nature that smell similar to cat pee. For example, I make handmade soaps, and I cannot use any fragrance in my soap that has Jasmine as an ingredient in it, because to my nose Jasmine smells just like cat pee! It's apparently some weird smell gene thing, because I have come across a few other people who smell it the same as I do, although *most* people find Jasmine a very pleasant, floral odor. I have had to totally throw out a couple of batches of soap because I could not even stand to have it around long enough to cure.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
Back To Top

I am that way too Cheryl. There is an evergreen bough that a certain wreath maker uses for the wreaths Sam's Club sells. I can't walk within 50 feet of that display. The first year I really thought that they were just selling wreaths that someone's cat had peed on! But when they smell the same day after day, year after year it has to be something used to make them. They are made of a variety of boughs so I've never identified the offender, but I always found it funny that people would hang a wreath in their house that, to me, smells like a tom cat used as an outhouse for about a month.

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
Back To Top

Oh my gosh!   You would NOT like the tea I'm sipping on right now! 

Do jasmine flowers smell bad to you, or is it just the fragrance/oil?  That's fascinating!

 

My brother thought he couldn't smell skunk for years.  Then he finally figured out that he does smell it, but it has a mild, not unpleasant odor for him.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

I once received a bubblebag of two books and the moment I opened it it was like a cloud of cat pee smell came out of the bag...yuck! But within a few minutes, it disappated and the books were fine -- it was obviously the air in the bag! I did put the books on our enclosed 3-season porch for a day, just to be sure, but I probably didn't have to. I had never experienced that before and hopefully I will not experience it again because it was intense (when you are not used to it!). Obviously the sender had multiple cats and are probably oblivious of what the air in their home smells like!

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
Back To Top

I agree with Melanie. A smell of cat pee is really weird if there is no actual water (er...urine) damage.

 

but if the cat sprayed it may not leave as much water damage but would still have the smell, cats like to mark their space.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

paper can also absorb smells, so if the book was sat next to the cat litter box that was not cleaned regulary it can smell like cat pee.

Subject: a happy ending
Date Posted: 12/4/2011 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2011
Posts: 29
Back To Top

The sender graciously refunded my credit and I junked the book.   Thanks to all who commented.

Date Posted: 12/5/2011 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
Back To Top

Glad it worked out for you Sarah.