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Topic: Hemming and Hawing About If a Problem Reaches "Issue" Level

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Subject: Hemming and Hawing About If a Problem Reaches "Issue" Level
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 10
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I received a paperback and when I opened it, the binding cracked and several of the pages became loose and fell out. It's not a huge issue, and I realize this is a site for used books, but it's pretty annoying. Is the level of damage that prompts a "yes, but with an issue" as subjective as it seems or are there true triggers?
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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I believe that you should mark this as Received With a Problem.  You can ask for your credit back, but the sender may not have opened this book far enough to realize the problem.  Marking RWAP will let the sender know to look at books more closely before sending them out. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Cracked binding. Loose pages. It's definitely a received with a problem. The actual rules are:


  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book


  • No loose or missing text pages
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 10
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Great idea, Mary - if nothing else it may help the next person that orders from her and I'll about problem solving! Cheers, Jeffrey
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
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It's definitely a received with a problem.

Actually, it sounds like it wasn't received with a problem, exactly.  Jeffrey said "when I opened it, the binding cracked", not that it was cracked, but that it cracked when HE opened it.  I'd be more on the side of PMing the person, but not marking it RWP, if only because I don't read ANY of the books I list and although I'm fairly good at spotting them, I know how easy it is to miss things.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,051
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I have to agree with Anna.  Just recently I received books from 2 different senders.  I flipped through them upon arrival, and they were fine.  But the 2nd time I opened them, pages loosened and/or fell out.  I obviously received them on thier last read. :-(  but not because the sender sent them that way.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 10
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Heh, a tough call, as I figured. I did exactly what Anna said - took it out of the package and flipped through it, which caused that tell-tale sound we all hate and causing the pages to fall out. I'm one of those types who errs on the side of "no biggie" - as long as I don't lose the pages in the interim it'll be fine, but I do think it's important to let the sender know. Only disappointment is that it's a fairly new book and I won't be able to share it with anyone for credit.
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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The russian roulette of used books... the moment of truth when it becomes unpostable can occur at any time. 

It sounds like the book was intact when received... but that the first thumb through is what caused the actual unpostability.  Kinda like the hot potato game.

I don't think there is really any way to tell before hand which books are are "that point" until something actually happens. 

If the pages were already "loose" I would mark it RWP, but if they loosened under my usage of the book.. I would mark received normally.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,311
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It sounds like you got a book on its "last read".

I know how you feel, though.  I started reading a HB I'd just received, and opened the back cover to look for the map.  The binding went CRAAAAAACK as the flyleaf seperated from the binding.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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Jeffrey - how new is "fairly new?" If it was published in 2007 or 2008 you might be able to complain to the publisher about the poor quality of the book and get a replacement or at least a coupon for another of their books for free...

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 10
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It's actually trade paper of Anne Applebaum's "Gulag," which won the Pulitzer in 2004, so it's not as new as I thought... Coulda sworn I added it to my own personal TBR list just yesterday! When are they going to stop writing them so I can catch up? I think the issue is, though, in the binding. The split is nearly in thirds, with one bad one at page 188 (of 567) and one smack in the middle where the photos/maps are. Last third is OK. Michelle hit it on the head - book was on the last read. It's a tough one (topic and size) so it probably was picked up, put down, taken on trips, etc. and the glue just started giving away. The sender had to know it was probably questionable - but I gave the credit and wrote a gentle PM. Thanks all!
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2008
Posts: 649
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This is a good thread..... Most people who posted (maybe all people) seem very giving and forgiving. Now, on some of the "popular" threads here, people complain if the book looks as tho it's been read or OPENED! I mean, HELLO?!!  They can buy a NEW book if they want it like new, right??  I just joined 4 days ago and it's clear to me that the GOOD outweigh the BAD (so to speak).  I truly do like it here!!

Anyways, thank you for the great thread.  Jeffrey, thank you for starting this thread!

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Sounds like crappy cheap glue. I dunno why publishers do that but an easy way to fix it (not to make it postable but to make it readable) is to lay clear packing tape across the page where it would meet the binding but only halfway then tape the half that is hanging off to the page still in the book and do that with each page that fell out.  (hopefully that makes sense) You can also get a few reads out of a book with crappy glue  but not to that point yet by setting an iron on low against the spine for a few seconds. It melts the glue enough that the pages get a little more grab and will stay in for a bit longer.