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Topic: How do I deal with a book in received in questionable condition?

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Subject: How do I deal with a book in received in questionable condition?
Date Posted: 1/8/2016 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2011
Posts: 200
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How do I address receiving a book in a condition that I would never post...but might seem within guidelines to someone else? The back cover of this paperback I just received is partially ripped from where it meets the top of the spine to the middle of the spine. I say partially, because while it LOOKS ripped all of the way through, it's only ripped through the top layer of the binding. Like the printed top is split and peeling off. There is another inch deep split/peel in the bottom back corner. The book also has a small tear in the front cover, is old, seriously BEAT to heck, dinged, creased, and yellowed. All of that other stuff is unfortunate, but acceptable.. 

My real problem is the tear. It is delicate, and will have to taped up before I could read it. It is part of a series, and I wanted it as a keeper. I will have to find a new copy. 

It doesn't say anything about PEELING covers in the PBS guidelines. How do I deal with this? I have to mark it received in good condition, right? Do I say anything to the person who posted it? They have been a PBS user for years. Do I just dump my frustration into this post and move on? Grump, grump, grump...

(Side note: They also did a terrible job wrapping the book. The one sheet PBS cover closed with just one piece of tape. No taping the corners, no waterproofing.)

Last Edited on: 1/8/16 11:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2016 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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There used to be a paragraph in the posting guidelines that basically said, at some point books being traded will reach the end of their trading life and we as members should realize that sooner or later we will receive a book that we will not be able to repost. They removed that statement several years ago, but it seems as tho this is one of those books. It sounds like the sending member should have retired it but if I were you I would just move on. I too have gotten books that I would have never sent out because, while falling within the posting guidelines, it was just battered, and I have felt the frustration you're feeling. It's a shame it was a book you wanted to keep.

As far as the poor wrapping, I agree, a single sheet of paper is insufficient as a wrapper and there is no harm in letting the member know. But keep in mind that members are not required to waterproof books and that has been a hotly contested issue in the forums in the past.

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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The swappability criteria says that the cover must not be "torn or chewed/gnawed."  It doesn't qualify it by saying "torn all the way through."  Personally, I think you'd be within your rights to RWAP it. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,278
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I vote for rwap.

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,087
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If it doesn't break a rule explicitely, I don't RWAP.

Peeling covers are not what we usually define as "torn" in general usage. Peeling covers are allowed, or at least, not disallowed.

I think you should just accept it as a book that has reached the end of it's life and retire it if you don't feel it can be mailed.

Although "readability" is NOT a criteria for PBS postability, most of the rules concern themselves with, ultimately, a book being readable (has all pages, no writing or highlighting, etc), not being gross (dirty, stained, liquid damaged), and not falling apart (binding intact, all pages in the binding, covers not torn too much, etc).

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1.5 inches) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.

If the tear in the cover is more than 1.5 inches it's a RWAP.  I understand the condition of the book is not what you want in your collection.  

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,087
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The cover on her book is not torn thru. (Or, at least, that's what I've gathered). The top of the cover is peeled.

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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The guidelines do address fraying of the spine. Is that what is happenin to the book? If so, then is it "a small amount" is what you have to determine.

If you believe the book looks like it would be determined to be postable by someone else and you just don't like the condition - then the book is postable. Most of us have gotten a book or two like that. But if we believe it would be postable by the guidelines, our own preferences for a hiher standard do not change that.


  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY
Date Posted: 1/8/2016 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I will let the rest of you decide the finer points of rips and tears and peeling. 



Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 1/8/2016 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Without seeing a picture of the current condition of the book, I would say that you should accept the book as is. You just happened to be the one who has received a book that has reached the end of its trading life.

Date Posted: 1/9/2016 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 889
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Last Edited on: 5/10/16 8:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1