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Topic: How ratty is acceptable?

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Subject: How ratty is acceptable?
Date Posted: 2/21/2010 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I just joined recently, and this has been nagging at me.

I have a huge collection of paperback books. Some newer, most older and well-traveled. Since I've started here, I have only posted my nicest, newest, super-shiniest books. The older ones that I'm holding in reserve are in one piece: pages attached to the spine, no stains, tears, water damage etc. They are typically ugly though, with several vertical creases in the spine, yellowed pages, and assorted dings and scratches on the covers. You know, think of your average paperback that's been read 6 or 7 times and is more than ten years old.

So then... are these books considered typical of what is usually offered on the site? If I post them, am I going to catch grief from dozens of nitpicky people that wanted something nicer? Yes, I know that they're acceptable according to the site rules. I wouldn't mind receiving them myself as I only want to read the thing and pass it on but, people can and will complain about things. I just don't want to post them if I'm going to have to deal with a lot of angry messages and returns. Should I bother?

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 1,705
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If they are acceptable under the PBS guidelines, then you should post them.  Some people are picky, however unless they have a RC that your book specifically does not meet you may post and send away. 

BTW- welcome to PBS

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I have gladly accepted many books like you describe. I've even designated some as keepers! I guess I'm just on the non-picky end of the spectrum.

I would still post the books you describe since they are well within the postability guidelines. If you receive a nasty message or RWAP, I would just respond kindly and remind them that the book is postable and maybe mention that they could use RCs in the future. This is how I think I would handle it if I knew I sent out a book that in no way could be considered unpostable but still encountered a problem.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Thanks for the replies. I went ahead and posted a few. :)

I've just been wondering if complaints are common with older books.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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Your books sound like they are postable.  As long as a book meets the condition guidelines, you're good to go.



Date Posted: 2/21/2010 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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The odd Swapper here and there might turn their nose up at such well-loved books, but most are more than happy to receive anything within the guidelines.  I've a thing for vintage sci-fi, and it's nearly impossible to find books that don't fit your description.  I can honestly say I'm unsure about how I receive them: on one hand, I do enjoy a surprisingly crisp old copy, but at the same time, there's nothing quite like a book that's been thoroughly enjoyed, as if there's some risidual energy stored within those yellowing pages.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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I have two categories myself for my own posting standards.  If there are a lot of copies in the system (check by putting book on your reminder list) then I set high standards for myself.  If the book is old, rare or out of print, then I'm much more loose in my posting standards.  Sort of along the line of how much would I want this copy of the book. 

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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The odd Swapper here and there might turn their nose up at such well-loved books, but most are more than happy to receive anything within the guidelines.

Well-loved is exactly how I see them. :)

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I do what Emily does: if it's a common book that's easy to find and postable but a little beat up-I either post it on another site where I can put the condition notes in or I donate it.  Simply because it's not worth the possible hassle if someone complains about a book that took 2yrs to work it's way up FIFO Because it's yellowing a little.  If it's a rarer book than I go ahead and post and don't worry about it.   And I don't PM to explain that it has some yellowing or some spine creases either.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Before I post a book I always ask myself if the book that I am holding is one that I would be pleased to get.  For me, that means a book that is without staining, water or otherwise, and one that has all of the pages securely intact.  I understand that a book that is more than a year or so old is going to have some typical wear, creases, discolored pages etc. but it is readable.  That's what I care about.  The thing that sends me through the roof is WATER DAMAGE.  Grrrr!  Typical wear and tear is fine!

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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My "rule of thumb" is that if I would be disappointed receiving a book in that condition, I don't post it, I donate it to the Senior Center. 

BTW, I know that many of you donate unpostable books to the Friends of the Library or Goodwill.  Next time consider donating the book to your local Senior Center.  Many seniors live on very small SS checks and don't have the money to be able to buy books to read. 

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Our FOL has an outreach program that brings the common books (like those older best sellers) to places like the prison and the senior homes. 

Senior homes especially like Large Print.  Those are so much harder to find.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,382
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The main thing to remember from the posting guidelines is: 

"in good condition, and not excessively worn"

If you consider a book "ratty" I would not think that it would qualify as good condition.  My rule of thumb has generally been that it be close to used book store quality when it comes to wear.  Cover creases, spine slants and creases are totally fine.  If it looks like it was run over by a bus or left outside for decades, then not so much.