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Topic: I should cancel, right?

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Subject: I should cancel, right?
Date Posted: 7/7/2010 7:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 214
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I had a book requested off my shelf and when I was getting ready to wrap it I discovered that it is unpostable. I sent the other member a PM letting her know I discovered the damage to the book (and apologizing) and that it was a mistake. I want to make sure that I should be the one to cancel the transaction because I don't want her to lose her place if she wants to order the same book from someone else.

It seems as though when I first started here, even though I did read all the documents, I didn't realize how strict the PBS guidelines really are. I went through all the books on my shelf and had to remove 3 more books that were unpostable for different reasons. At least now I know this situation won't happen again. I do have two questions that need clarifying though: 1. I know yellowing of the pages is ok with older books, but what about yellow spots on the pages? I don't think it is mold. 2. Are any/all kinds of marks, smudges on the edges of pages prohibited? I know people have mentioned using emery boards or fine sandpaper to correct that but I don't want to ruin my books.

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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You should cancel but since it's a bookshelf book, she wouldn't lose her place in line. You were actually the one in line. When she placed her order, her order went to the person first in line with the book which was you. When you cancel, she'll be able to re-order with no problem at all (as long as there are other copies in the system). If it's a wishlist book, and you would be canceling, she would also retain her spot in line. All you need to do in this case is mark the "I cannot mail this book" and it will take it off your bookshelf. I think it'll ask you for a reason why when you click the "I cannot mail this book" and you can just put in the box that you discovered the book was unpostable when you went to mail it.


The yellow spots you are seeing may be foxing which PBS deems is acceptable.


Remainder marks on the edges of pages are allowed. When I say edges of pages, what I mean is if you have the book closed you can see the mark on the edges of the pages. A remaider mark might be a stamp or sometimes it might be a line drawn with a marker.  I've had smudges (probably due to a dirty finger or something) that I've successfully removed with fine grade sandpaper and with emery boards  with no damage to the book at all. Just hold the book tightly together and rub lightly. My first attempt though I did damage the book (it was a keeper for me so no harm, no foul) because I rubbed just a bit too vigourously!

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 214
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Thank you!

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you offer someone a deal on bookshelf books and it needs to be cancelled it should be the requestor who cancels so the it doesn't get passed on to someone else. 

If it's not a deal then it should be the sender who cancels in either case (bookshelf or WL) book.  Although on a bookshelf book it doesn't really matter-if the requestor cancels then you just have to remove the book from your shelf and they have to rerequest the book afterwards. It's just easier if the sender cancels. 

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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1. I know yellowing of the pages is ok with older books, but what about yellow spots on the pages? I don't think it is mold. 2. Are any/all kinds of marks, smudges on the edges of pages prohibited?

If the yellow spots on the pages are due to the natural aging of the paper it is OK (that is foxing). Foxing can look different on different books but on the ones that I have it usually looks like multiple small spots. If it looks like a stain that someone deposited on the pages, then it is not postable.

Regarding the edge of pages, if the marks are ink or marker, that is OK.

If the marks on the page edges are dirt or stains, that is not postable. But these types of marks can often be removed with sandpaper, as long as the dirt is only on the page edge and has not soaked into the paper.

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've found using very fine sandpaper does wonders for books that have dirty edges (from lots of hands holding it).  If you use very fine sandpaper and hold the inside pages tightly together (not including the covers of the book) they clean up easily and quickly.  I don't think it is a method to be used on books with colored edges. 


Last Edited on: 7/7/10 2:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/7/2010 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'm very familiar with those yellow spots, which are not foxing, asuming we're talking about the same kind. (On the page ends, rather than the pages themselves.) I have found they disappear except in natural light, which may well be how you missed them in the first place. I wound up taking about half my bookshelf off when I realized that. 

I have yet to get official word on whether they're postable or not. Some people say they're just from oils from the hands and should be considered normal wear and tear. 

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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If those spots are like the below picture, then it's foxing and that is allowed per PBS guidelines.



Date Posted: 7/7/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Great pics of foxing, Brook!

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Yellowing can also be due to the acid content of the paper.  The acid (which is higher in cheap wood pulp based paper and lower in cotton based paper) will stain the book with age and exposure to light.  This is why trade paperbacks often mention being printed on acid free paper on the copyright page.  The yellowing due to acid is often more even, less spotty.  Some of my old SF paperbacks have more acid in the pulp of the covers than in the pages. 

I recommend taking a book you do not care about to practice using sandpaper.   You really need to hold the book tightly while sanding it. 

Finger and hand prints affect the acid, changing the yellowing.

ETA   Wait.  Would that be effect?

Last Edited on: 7/7/10 9:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/7/2010 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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affect is mostly used as a verb.

effect is mostly used as a noun.

"Finger and hand prints affect the acid, making the yellowing effect on the pages"