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Topic: Book Smells Like Mildew - RWAP?

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Bast -
Subject: Book Smells Like Mildew - RWAP?
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 4:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Should books that smell of mildrew be marked as RWAP when received? I looked at the help section and it just said books should not smell of 'mold' as far as I could see. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 20,210
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I *THINK* if it's just a smell it's within the postable guidelines (not saying it should be sent that way). It may have been packed away in a basement somewhere. Is there any physical damage to the book?

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 8:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Smell is not  a condition for marking a book RWAP, unless you have a  RC (requestor condition) in place before you request the book.   Only if there are other problems with the book,  missing or loose pages, water damage, stains, writing/highlighting, rips and tears you would be able to mark this book RWAP. 

Some members do not have a sense of smell and others are not bothered by the smell, so the book is sent.  Personally, I feel smell is subjective. What you may think is smelly, I wouldn't or I might think the book smells and you won't.  Depends upon your sensitivity to smell. - I hope this helps.

See in the help docs:  Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS  (sorry, the links are not working, but if you copy and paste what is highlighted in red into the Help Doc search, the documents link will appear).


Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)

ETA - correct sentence and  add stains to being able to mark the book RWAP.  Smell only does not make it non-postable.

Last Edited on: 11/21/10 9:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Mildew is mold. 

Mo'debbly RWAP.

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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The smell of mildrew doesn't mean that there's actually mildew on the book. 

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 962
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You can't mark it RWAP unless you see mildew on the book itself.  Smell is not a condition of postability.  If you don't like the smell, then you might want to add a RC to your account.


Bast -
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Thanks everyone. I will be adding an RC forthwith - I never realised that anyone would send out something like this. The book is in the trash and has been marked as recieved (w/o a problem).
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2010
Posts: 188
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Was there anything wrong with the book other than the smell? It is possible it was stored with smelly things, picked up the scent, but is not damaged/mold infested itself. I'm not sure why you wouldn't give it a few days to air out before chucking it in the trash--unless you are allergic, then I'd understand that you'd want it gone ASAP.

Bast -
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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I have never had any luck with books that smell this way 'airing out'. YMMV, of course. It stunk so badly that even the wrapping and envelope stunk.
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Some people just don't smell this stuff.  My mom recently moved and the first time she met her new neighbors she almost fell over from the smell of mildew.  Even if they stop to visit on the street, the smell of mildew just rolls out of their car like smoke. Clearly it doesn't bother them, or they don't even smell it (both are elderly) and I'm sure anything that came out of their house would just reek.

If you add an RC to your account, be sure to review some of the threads where this is discussed. You need to make it clear, brief and unambiguous to have the best chance of not having your request turned down.

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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In general you do have to weigh the advantages of having an RC against the disadvantages.

An RC reduces the risk of getting a book like this again - but it doesn't eliminate that risk, because some people ignore RCs. An RC also annoys some people who may turn down your request even though your book is otherwise good. Or if someone isn't sure exactly what you mean, they may turn down your RC even though they think the book is fine. Smell conditions are especially liable to this, since some people smell better than others.

If you've been a member for a long time and haven't had this problem before, I would suggest that you continue to take the risk of receiving mildewy books, since it appears so small. My guess is that you'll be turned down for books that are fine more often than you'll avoid books as bad as the one that you received. It is frustrating to receive a book in that kind of condition, though.

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Yes, I may have a perfectly good book but, if I received a request with a "doesn't have mildew smell" RC I would turn it down.  I may not consider it to have a smell but, perhaps your nose is more sensitive and you say it does.  I wouldn't want to take that chance especially if it was a WL book and there were others behind you that I wouldn't have to take that risk with.

Subject: Mildew smell
Date Posted: 6/1/2012 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 3
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The book isn't damaged except the smell.  How do I get it out?

Date Posted: 6/1/2012 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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The problem with an RC for a smell is the people who are sending books like that probably didn't smell it in the first place so they are going to think their book meets the RC. Maybe a RWAP would have been the *bell* telling them something is up with their book storage and they should re-evaluate. There should be signs that anyone can pick up on for a book to be marked RWAP, but some people do believe that in order for a book to smell of mold there is mold and will mark them RWAP. I am one that is very sensitive to any odor so I know I will always smell things others don't so I would never consider RWAP a book based on a smell without visible confirmation.

Date Posted: 6/1/2012 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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I've had to turn down several WLed book requests recently due to RCs stating 'no smell of smoke'.  As I buy the books used, I don't know their history and can't really tell if they smell smoky or not.  I think one had a slight hint of smoke.  Therefore, I have to decline sending these books because of the way the RC is written.  I always tell them that if the RC was written in such a way that it indicated 'no smokers in home, or non-smoking home' I wouldn't have a problem, as we don't smoke. 

So in a lot of cases it depends on how you word your RC as to whether you'll miss out on books or not, and then some people just won't even read an RC or send out a book that has one.  Good luck.  Pat

Date Posted: 6/2/2012 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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There are a number of good ideas on removing smells from books in this thread