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Topic: Am I just crazy?

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Subject: Am I just crazy?
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 617
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Ok, I haven't been on here long, but it seems that there are requesters on here that want nothing but books that are brand new.  Um I thought this was a swap site ya know?  If you want it new, then buy it new.  I don't normally buy my books brand new.  Now sometimes you can get ones that are like new but really, does it affect the book content if the spine has creases, it's a little musty and so on?    I love books, no matter if they have war wounds, because that just shows that it was a good book, right?  Now I understand allergies but what about just spraying with some lysol or something?  I don't know, it just seems as though beggers can't be choosers.  If you want to send me a book I want, I am going to be happy!  I don't care if you have written your name on the inside, or if someone gave it to you for your birthday and they wrote in it.  Granted you should never send out books that have been wet, they tend to fall apart too easily.  So what do the rest of you think?  I would love to get other opinions on this!

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Welcome, Krystal!  People run the gamut on what they want, which is why the requestor conditions are allowed.  And, of course, the requestor conditions we wind up hearing about regularly in these forums are the ones requesting "like new" books.  Most people on the site are not looking for "like new" books and if someone is, you'll know through the requestor conditions and you can decide if your book matches.

Happy swapping!

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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Hi, Krystal --


I would only take exception this this part of your post --


I don't know, it just seems as though beggers can't be choosers.


There's sometimes a conception that swapping books is free -- it isn't.  Postage adds up and credits have value. 


But I understand your frustration with some of the RCs.  Just refuse the request and move on.  Another requestor will be along sooner or later.  :-) 


Just today I have received four wonderful books.  They are in like new condition and if they've ever been read, I'd be hard pressed to prove it!  I've received some crappy books, too, but most of them -- so far -- have been like new or gently used.  And they are greatly appreciated.  I don't have any RCs and just consider myself very lucky to have received such beautiful books. 

Last Edited on: 3/3/08 12:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm not a picky person.  I like to repost my books, so I have marked a couple RWP that were obviously unpostable. But for the most part, I expect UBS stamps, names on the book, some dog eared pages etc...,  I turn down the requests that are too picky, asking for "like-new" books even if the book is in excellent condition.  I'll accept the "non-smoking" only ones, because we don't smoke. But I will turn down those if a PM is requested w/a detailed report on the books history and such.   I turn down anything with excessive packing instructions as well. I wrap my books up carefully but I'm not going to risk getting an RWP against me because I didn't wrap it up like a piece of crystal. If it just asks for a little plastic to protect from rain-I'm ok with that. I had one request ask for the corners of the book to be cushioned and a bunch of other stuff. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 76
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I had the same thoughts when I joined in the Fall and wandered over to the forums. All of a sudden I was completely paranoid that my books weren't good enough! I never even thought about those pool or beach fingered pages as "water damaged". It definitely opened up my eyes!

But it does seem like a mainly friendly bunch :-)

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<Now I understand allergies but what about just spraying with some lysol or something? >>

Two issues with this:

  1. Lysol kills germs, does nothing for allergens
  2. Lysol itself can trigger allergic/asthmatic reactions in people (it does in me)

So, please don't use Lysol to get around health-related RCs. 

As others have noted, we're not "beggars" being choosers.  I've spent at least $750 on postage since I joined last July -- that certainly isn't "free", and I do feel that (mostly) I'm getting my money's worth. 

As for folks requesting brand new books, some are trying to build collections.  A lot of my books (I'm a librarian) are in like-new condition, and I'm happy to share them.  But, you are correct that most of the books here should be expected to have reasonable (within PBS guidelines) signs of wear.  Stick around for a little while, fellow Kansan, before deciding that everyone's values should match your own :-)



Date Posted: 3/3/2008 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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RCs really are far and few between for most of the time. But, just like everything else in life, you will run into a streak of bad luck, where it seems you are getting a lot of RCs.

Don't worry about them, if they are willing to wait for someone to agree to send them a like new copy of the book, it is their loss that they don't get to read the book sooner because they didn't accept yours. Just realize that once you've rejected their request because of conditions, the next copy of that book to be requested will come to you!

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I want to stick up for my conditions. My son is only two years old and has been to the ER twice because his face swells up to twice it's normal size when he's around dogs. He doesn't understand allergies and when his face swells up, he can't see so he's temporarily blind, confused, and hurting. So he screams for hours (usually 2 or 3) until the swelling goes down. Then he sleeps for days because he's on three perscription medicines at high doses and someone has to take off work for at least the next day to make sure the medicine is working and that he doesn't have another flair up. So I do not think I am unreasonable to say please inspect your books for dog hair. And Lysol is for germs, not dog hair or dander. That's like telling someone who allergic to peanuts to spray their sandwich with Lysol before they eat it. It won't help.

My second condition is that the books not have ex-library barcodes or due date card pockets in them. This is a recent addition because I am a middle school teacher and the kids love to pull these off of the books. I have had books lose covers because the kids want to "help" me by ripping the due date card pocket off. If it's a book I am reading, I don't care. But some of the books I request are abused by kids who otherwise wouldn't read. (I teach intensive reading...meaning they are all very low level kids who don't have many books at home.) I don't buy these books new because, like I said, the kids read them to death. I do not get a stipend for books. I search for them on my own time, plan lessons around them on my own time, and buy them with my own money. So if I can save time and money by trading them, I will.

I'm sorry if I seem rude but people have very valid reasons for their conditions.


Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I'm sorry if I seem rude but people have very valid reasons for their conditions.


I don't think you sound rude at all.  I think you sound a little defensive, but I guess that's understandable considering what you've been reading. 


I just hope you don't consider the people who decline due to your conditions to be rude.  Personally, I would not accept them.  Even if I didn't have dogs or cats -- which I do -- I wouldn't go through a book page by page looking for a dog or cat hair.  Since this is such a serious problem for your son, I wouldn't want to be responsible in a case like that. 


I fully support the right of anyone to have an RC they want or need, just as I fully support the right of anyone to decline in those circumstances.  Another book/requestor/sender will be along later. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I will have to admit, I am slightly obsessive about my son and dogs at the moment...but I'm sure you can imagine why. He very rarely gets into my books but it seems like all it takes it one hair. The second time he was in the ER, he was only around a person who had been near dogs. I'm sure as the memory fades and as he gets older, I will calm down but it's scary to see your baby freaking out and looking like a swollen alien!

I do not have a problem WHATSOEVER with people declining my request due to my conditions. I would much rather they be honest. If I want a book that bad, I will buy it or go to the library. I am grateful for people who are helpful or ask first.

Last Edited on: 3/3/08 9:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,669
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You have to remember too that only a small fraction of PBS members use the forums.  And some that are here do more lurking than posting.  Plus, you tend to see a lot of complaints or rants on the forums.  Just the nature of them and I see it on every forum on every website I visit.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2006
Posts: 563
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We don't have dogs (we have birds) but I don't think I'd want to take a chance of sending a book to you.  I have gotten books at flea markets and garage sales and have seen pet hair on them.  (can't tell if it's cat or dog hair)   I'm sure that the pet hair has transferred to some of my other books.  It sounds like a risky proposition to get used books since your son is that allergic.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 2
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I don't care about the condition of the book.  Just so I can read it, I'm happy.  Like a library book.  Gently worn.  I've been lucky that the books I've posted have only been read by me and are next to new.  I'm still waiting to get a book from this site.  I had to cancel an order because it took too long for the member to respond.  EX:  The member never responded.  I respond right away.  I get very excited when someone wants one of my books.  I feel it is an honor.

Happy reading


Date Posted: 3/4/2008 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 96
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Vanessa, When my son was your son's age, he had seizures whenever he had a temperature spike. I joked that I should move next door to the hospital because we took him to the emergency room so many times. It's very hard on everyone, and you have my empathy as well as my sympathy. In one of your posts, though, you indicate that if you want a book badly enough youll go to the library? Don't you run the same risk regarding your son's allergies? Or are you able to do an end run around the allergies because you can physically inspect the book before checking it out? I'm wondering, because cat allergies are often based on saliva, so if there was EVER a cat hair in the book it could still trigger the hyper-allergic.
Date Posted: 3/4/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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Well, if I do get the books from the library, I check them first and stick to new books. Also, like I said, my son doesn't get into my books very often. I just want to make sure the books do not have obvious hair. The library is a rate event anyway because the local branch is open weird hours so I can't usually get there in time to actually go in.

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm now inspired to somehow mark my books as having been in a dog owner's home.  My mother is as deathly allergic to cats as vanessa's son is to dogs. If she's even NEAR someone who has been where there are cats, she goes into respiratory distress.  So I can identify.  Where is the best place to let people who are looking at my books know that I have dogs?  I'm so new to this that I'm still getting my bearings.  I appreciate any help.


Date Posted: 3/5/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Ruth, that is the one thing that we can't do outside of putting it in your signature line so it shows up under posts in the forum and also in your profile.  all of this can be done in the settings tab.

If someone has an allergy they should have RC set so you will know if you need to turn down a request because of that.

Also, if you do any specials in the bazaar, it is always nice to say that the books come from a smoking or non-smoking household and if you have pets. 

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I have it in my signature that I have a dog.  I've seen people put that they smoke too. Of course this doesn't stop the FIFO requests. Anyone with a issue w/pets or smoke should have an RC asking for pet and/or smoke free books. If there's no RC then don't worry about sending the book.  It's not your responsibility to make sure every requestor knows you have a dog.  I don't.  I just decline if it says no pets. 

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2005
Posts: 159
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I'm sorry if I seem rude but people have very valid reasons for their conditions.

I do not think conditions are rude at all. In fact, I am a great advocate of them. I would much rather get a book with a conditon than have the person unhappy with what was sent. Hey, if you don't want a book that's been sent to outer space...then I need to know that!  lol.   Seriously, I have pets....lots of them. If you are allergic, I don't want to send them to you. If you want new books, I may have them, and I may not.  But I'll never know that a certain type of book should not be sent unless I'm told. And my position is....if you havn't said anything....then don't complain when that's what you get  =O.

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Luckily I have no allergies, so that is a problem that I am not able to relate to, and if the allergic reaction is bad enought for a visit to the ER then I do sympathize.

I, too, am in the "books are the sum total of their contents" camp. Creases, dog-eared pages, names inside, or outside do not affect my enjoyment of a book. I alway refuse an RC for "like new" even if I am the one who bought the book and the only one to have read it. Sorry, just do not want to open that can of worms about "this book does not meet my conditions, give back my credit".

Also, I am a smoker, have pets and have used books.  I also have to cancel those RCs. So beware if you order from me I have read and loved, slept with, eaten lunch around, toted to and from work most every book on my shelf.

I am also in agreement that I am happy to receive a book, any book. Send it. A book is the what it brings to me when I read it, not an object to look pretty on the shelf. The pretty stuff on my shelves are a few crystal peices and the wooden boxes I collect.

I saw a woman on the bus today trying to read a book and not open it up enough to be able to see anywhere near the inside margin. She about broke her neck. Not sure if she was gonna give the book as a gift or if she worked in a bookstore and had borrowed it off the shelf, but I assure you, she didnt look like she was enjoying it at all.

I enjoy my books. Beware!!

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm not very computer savvy.  I don't know that I could put anything on my signature. I may play around with that.  I'm trying to decide what to use as my avatar.  If I ever find it I will have to learn how to upload it.  Life is a learning experience, for sure.

Thank you for all the responses.


Ruth F

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 2:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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If you are putting a reminder in your signature that you smoke or have pets PLEASE remember, if someone orders a book from you, they do NOT see your signature.    It is up to the requestor not the sender to make sure they have conditions. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Ruth just go under Settings and you can put in your signature a profile and such.  It's very easy.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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First of all, welcome to PBS!

Secondly, if you are getting a lot of RCs that don't pertain to allergies and such but to the quality of the book, suffice it to say that once you have received several obviously UNpostable books here, and you will, you'll have a better understanding as to why so many members have RCs that pertain to the quality of the books they'll accept.  If everyone followed the rules, I think a lot of members wouldn't have felt it necessary to add RCs to their accounts.  For me, I have allergies, but I also want to receive books that I can either keep, repost or swap when I'm finished with them, and sadly, I've received many books here that don't lend themselves to allowing any of that.

Subject: Yay for conditions!
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 66
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I'm all for condition requests.   I am careful with my books and purchase either new books or used books in super good condition.     The books I offer on PBS are in very good condition, clean, from a nonsmoking home ... I would like to receive the same in return.

My 2 cents of course!  :-)