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Topic: Confused about writing in books..

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Subject: Confused about writing in books..
Date Posted: 12/6/2007 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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For some reason I thought no writing was allowed anywhere on the book. But I guess it's ok if it's someone's name or an autograph correct? What if it's just random scribble marks with pen  on the inside cover and first page. Is it still considered postable? I'm not talking about the whole page scribbled. It looks like someone was testing to see if a pen worked or maybe a child got a hold of a pen. BTW, this is not a book I received but one that I would like to post.


Date Posted: 12/7/2007 5:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,374
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  If it's on a text page,  it's not postable.    Signatures and notes on the flyleaf or covers are okay.  The guidelines don't talk about small scribbles on the flyleaf or covers.  That sounds like a grey area to me.  If you wouldn't mind receiving it, then you could post it, and then pm the requestor to let them know.  Maybe it's a physician's signature :-)

From the Help  Center:


  • No torn or chewed/gnawed pages
  • No loose or missing pages
  • No writing or highlighting on text pages
    • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
    • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
    • writing or highlighting on the text pages is NOT OKAY
      • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/writing
        • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY two cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent(the other is for cookbooks--see below).
Date Posted: 12/7/2007 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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Here's a personal opinion, not an official one....

There are pages in the book between the cover and the table of contents or first chapter.  If someone is writing on this pages, whether to test a pen, mark the name of the book store it came from, as a gift note or merely to mark the book as theirs, I don't care about the writing.  Any of this stuff is writing that I would mail a book out with.  Once you hit the table of contents or the first chapter, all bets are off.  Anything more than one sentence underlined or highlighted is too much and the book should not be posted.

Quick however...if the book has library, bookstore or bookcrossing markings through out the book, the book is still postable AS LONG AS the markings remain in the margins of those pages and are not on the text.


Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 12/7/2007 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 12,579
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I know what the "rules" say, but I wish we had a way to put "condition notes" that a person could view before deciding whether to order the book or not.  Personally, I have a lot of WL books that I want bad enough to not care if there is a little bit of writing or underlining in it.  If you decide to post it though, I'd be sure to PM the requester about the markings because some people wouldn't want it with any writing at all.

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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that is one feature I like about 2 other swap sites I'm on, you can put conditions of the book.  However, those sites don't utilize the FIFO system so it would be hard to incorporate her I would think.

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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I had looked up the guidelines and found nothing about scribble marks. To play it safe, I'm definitely going to PM the requester first to let them know.  Personally, I wouldn't mind receiving this book. Even one line through the text pages doesn't bother me. But that's just me.

I really appreciate your responses. :-)

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Maybe you could say the scribbles are the "signature" of a child? *grin*

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it would depend on how big the mark is and what page it's on.  If someone took a pen and scribbled up and down the whole page trying to get a pen to work I don't think I'd post the book. Even if it was an unimportant page of the book.  If it was just a little squiggle then ok. I had a book where one of my kids put a small crayon swipe on the inside flap page.  It was a romance book and the swip was over the picture of the couple on the inside flap. I offered it as a freebie because it was crayon.  If it had just been a small penmark I would have posted it onto my shelf.

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,462
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If the scribble is in pencil, maybe it can be erased??

Date Posted: 12/11/2007 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 65
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I always thought mild writing and signature in the cover gives a used book character. Usually I only put bookplates in my keepers, but sometimes I decide to give them up. I believe I mention that beforehand though.

Date Posted: 12/11/2007 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 240
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I've been sending out books with writing and underlining in them without knowing that this was a rule (bad me, I know).  And I haven't had anyone complain.  From now on I will make sure it's ok with the receiver before I send the book, but in my opinion, writing and notes give the book character.  I think it's interesting to see what another person thought of the book.

Date Posted: 12/11/2007 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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"From now on I will make sure it's ok with the receiver before I send the book, but in my opinion, writing and notes give the book character."

Sorry - that doesn't follow the rules of the site.  The rule is NO writing or notes except on the fly leaf.   It's not ok to post books that don't meet the standards and then PM the requestor.   The exception of course are text books and cookbooks.

Date Posted: 12/11/2007 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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I can understand the idea of writing and notes giving a book character, and I have sometimes purchased books at fairs and enjoyed the comments in them.

However, not everyone appreciates this, which is why we have this rule, which we have to follow to be a member. I have had and still do have fabulous condition books in my free list, just because they have a couple of underlinings.

However, once I noticed that someone had on their wishlist a book  that I  had not posted, but that was in awesome condition with a few pages underlined. I PM'd her and described it exactly and she wanted very badly,  in  spite of the underlining.  So we were both happy.

Last Edited on: 12/11/07 8:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2007 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't want a book with underlining and notes in it personally.  And I'm not that picky about my books.  But the writing would annoy me.