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Topic: A few questions about book conditions...

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Subject: A few questions about book conditions...
Date Posted: 4/25/2010 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2010
Posts: 9
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I'm baaack - with more questions!

I was going over some books to be sent out, and of course (being nitpicky myself) I found some things that people might have problems with, or could go against the rules. Honestly, why I didn't see these before is beyond me. I guess I'm starting to get paranoid! 

Book 1:

The pages at the very beginning and very end are "wavy" looking at the binding. It's not water damage, because it doesn't happen to any of the other pages in between, and the cover is fine. 


Book 2:

I'm having a hard time describing this, so I think I might just post the picture! Honestly, it doesn't look to me like it's broken per se (both the front and back covers are like this), and I feel like it might have been like this when I bought it. I don't quite remember though, and I doubt I would've paid much attention to it if it was. I wasn't exactly worried about selling it or anything when I read it! Then again, I'm never quite sure what constitutes a broken binding. I'm thinking that if I have to ask, though, it probably is. Who knows. Better safe than sorry!


Book 3:

I found a black "smudge" on the top of the book. No idea what it is. Is this considered a stain? I've only had the book for a week or two.

http://tinypic.com/r/33db800/5 (Sorry, it's a little hard to see! It was hard to take a good picture from that angle!) 


Date Posted: 4/25/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Sarah,

Book 1 looks like a glue/binding issue with older books. I would say postable.

Book 2 looks like the binding has punctate separations from the spine. I'd be weary of posting.

Book 3 might be salvagable. Have you taken an eraser and/or superfine grade sandpaper to it?

This is all just one person's opinion.

FYI: if you put your camera on "macro" setting -- sometimes depicted by a flower -- for closeup pictures, it can come out sharper.

Good luck!


Date Posted: 4/25/2010 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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All the pics are pretty hard to determine, but

(1) looks like binding issues and postable

(2)  looks like pin-hole cracks, which the Team has said are fine. If any pages look like they might be loose, I would hesitate to post.

(3) cannot tell anything from the pic, but staining and soiling are not allowed, so even if it isn't defined as a stain, something on the book would probably fall in the soiled category. I usually take a fine-grade sandpaper to the book while holding the pages together and that can get rid of soiling pretty easy.

Date Posted: 4/25/2010 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2010
Posts: 9
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Thanks you two! I apologize for the hard to decipher pictures!.

For book one, I suspected that! I guess you can never be too safe, though. 

As for book two, I'm still debating about what to do. There aren't any loose pages, but it still makes me a little nervous.

Book three, I took both sets of advice and tried an eraser first, then some fine sandpaper. It's as good as new!

Sophia - thanks for the camera help, too! It's a new camera and I haven't gotten much of a chance to play around with it much yet. The macro setting definitely made a difference!

Date Posted: 4/25/2010 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 694
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Most of the Magic Tree House books I pick up have that waviness at the binding. i haven't posted them here because I've been afraid people would mark them RWAP because they might mistake the waviness for water damage.  So this is common?


Date Posted: 4/25/2010 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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There has been a number of newer books that are all wavy.  In the last year, year and a half.  Don't know if they changed the paper, the binding, or just started boxing the books while still warm from the press.  But I've seen books where every new copy in the store is wavy.  Argh.  Makes me wonder how long the books will last.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2010
Posts: 9
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You know, it's funny you should mention that, Emily. I was reading a library book last night, and actually noticed that it, too, was wavy! It was printed, at the earliest, in 2007. 

It's a shame, really, because it makes books look more worn than they really are!

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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I've noticed that waviness with a lot of paperbacks printed in the last few years (Scholastic and Harper Collins are the worst culprits).  I think it might be the way the binding is glued?  I base that mostly on the fact that there seems to be differences in the quality of the paper, but they still have that waviness no matter what paper type. 

Annoying as a reader, but perfectly postable. 

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Some publishers have a way of binding books that creates a waviness that begins near the spine and works its way outward to the rest of each page.  I've got quite a few book club paperbacks like that.  Other publishers have apparently begun using paper that simply doesn't hold up to exposure to air, or light...not sure how they hold up to reading, I don't buy new books lol.  My ex used to work as a merchandiser for a book company, and her job was to remove and replace copies that had been sitting on shelves long enough to begin discoloring and waving; apparently there's something about the fluorescent lighting and its impact on the paper.  I think the newer paper also requires a consistently low humidity, adding significantly to the problem of universal waviness.  The books on the top shelves were always the worst.  It really is a shame to see publishing in general sort of steadily decline.  I've got antiquarian books that are more solidly bound than anything you could find in a Borders today, which is part of the reason I prefer vintage editions to more recent copies.  Even the old pulp novellas I have are superior to the modern paperback.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Regarding Magic Treehouse books, I am familiar with their waviness, and was reluctant to post them at first for fear a recipient would sayy wavy pages = RWAP.  The Magic Treehouse waviness is not water damage so it is postable.  Once I got over my initial hesitation, I have posted and sent a number of them.  With these books the waviness is near the binding.  It looks as if something is too tight in the binding causing a gathered effect near the binding (as if stitched too tightly).  There is no waviness on the outer edges.  They are postable.  It is just the way paperback Magic Treehouse books are.