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Topic: Non-smoking/Scent-free Demands

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Subject: Non-smoking/Scent-free Demands
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 4
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It seems that lately I am getting an inordinate amount of demands for non-smoking or scent-free books.  I certainly sympathize with people with allergies, but I am not sure how to respond to these requests.  Most of the books I trade came from PBS or thrift shops or are otherwise used books.  While no one in my home smokes, I don't know the provenance of most of my books.  I do not have a great sense of smell, so am hesitant to use the "sniff test".  I tend to err on the side of caution, and turn down most of these requests, but the whole process is quite frustrating.  What do others do?

Date Posted: 10/14/2016 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,203
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I reject all smell requests. It does seem that I don't get any and then I'll get several in a row.

Last Edited on: 10/14/16 6:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I have been lucky to have members who were willing give the book the sniff test for me.  I just do not enjoy reading a book that smells like  cigarette smoke with every page turn.  

 I buy my books used from thriftshops so I don't know the history of the books I buy.  I open the book and smell the paper.  If the book does not smell like smoke it's fine.  I think as long as you have a sense of smell it should be possible to detect certain strong smells.  

I have not bought a new book in years.  The only new books I bought were for my daughter in high school.  

Last Edited on: 10/14/16 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,088
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My RC is as follows:

Please, no books from homes with a smoker currently in residence. I realize the books are used, I don't expect you to know where they've been or who's read them before they came to your smoke-free home.Thank you.


It seems clear to to me that I don't expect anyone to know a books provinence but still some reject the RC for that very reason and the one stated in the OP---because they can't guess where the book has been.  I have no qualms about accepting former library books, have no RC against them, and as library books they could have been read or handled by anyone.

Last Edited on: 10/15/16 8:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,037
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Nobody smokes in my house, but I do get tons of used books, in the mail and at the store. I sniff the book and if it smells fine, I mail it. Never had a single issue doing this.

If for some reason, I did have a problem, I would just politely decline to refund the credit.

The sender always controls every transaction.

Last Edited on: 10/14/16 12:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,693
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Last Edited on: 3/18/17 11:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Larkspur Jane,  I'm sorry to hear of your sinus troubles.  Are you able to smell if something is burning?  The other day I was in another part of house and I could smell something burning in the oven.  I quickly dashed to the kitchen and turned off the oven.  It still had 10 more minutes to bake so that cook time was just wrong.  I cannot imagine how bad it would have been if it went a for another 10 minutes.  

Last Edited on: 10/14/16 1:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Like Jane, I do not have a very keen sense of smell for the same reason -- chronic sinus issues...so I am one of those people who turn down all requests asking me to sniff the book. It is not worth the hassle of a RWAP in case they can smell something I can't. Now, when people ask for a book currently in a non-smoking home, I will send it without hesitation.

My response to smell RCs is Due to the fact that I don't have a very keen sense of smell, I regretfully decline your RC...I do not want to take the chance that you might be able to smell something that I can't, and risk the loss of a credit.

Date Posted: 10/14/2016 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,327
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For me, it depends on how the RC is worded. If it is as Marya stated above, I will send the book, as we don't smoke, but some RCs on smell are so vague that I decline. Pat

Date Posted: 10/14/2016 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,784
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Usually these kinds of conversations drift away from cigarette / cigar / pipe smoke smells and into fireplace / woodburning stove smells.


Date Posted: 10/14/2016 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,629
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I would accept an RC like Marya's since no one in my house smokes. 

I'd reject anything about sniffing books or anything vague about smell since I don't think I have an overly keen sense of smell.

Date Posted: 10/14/2016 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2014
Posts: 2,958
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I don't like a strong smoky smell, but I was afraid someone would not send me a book I wanted if I put that on an RC, so I am instead sitting with some books that absolutely reek. I really want to read them but I can't because of the foulness. I just put them right back in the box they came in and added a box of baking soda and put the box away for a month. They were much better, and two of them I could read. I put the others back in the box with a fresh box of baking soda (the other box now stunk.) Eventually I will get to read the books!

Date Posted: 10/14/2016 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,693
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Last Edited on: 3/18/17 11:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2016 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 625
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I don't send to scent RCs since I was burned on one.  A woman told me the book I seent REEKED of smoke (it didn't come from a smoking environment).  Since then I decided life's too short to get my knickers in a twist over an unjust RWAP, so I reject the all.

I think you may be getting an inordinate number of RCs like that because they tend to stack up at the top of the queue if people reject them. 

Date Posted: 10/16/2016 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,871
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I  received several books in a 6 month period that reeked of smoke--could even smell it while still in wrapping.  I complained since I do have a 'no smoky smell' RC due to allergies.......they all claimed to not be a smoking family.  I investigated and discovered that the packages at our PO sat in rolling bin in open doorway where the PO workers took their smoking breaks----so pretty sure the PO smokers caused the packages to smell. I guess the brown paper and manilla envelopes are made of fibers that easily absorb the smoke smell.  I aired out the books using several of the suggested fixes from PBS members and all but one got cleared of the smoky smell.

Date Posted: 10/23/2016 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,814
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I reject all rc's having to do with odor because I have a terrible sense of smell and many of my books come from the fol.  (and that's what I say on the form,   I have a lousy sense of smell)

Date Posted: 10/24/2016 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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I know smell RCs are hard. That said, I give credits for the smoke smelling books. I might label them as problems, but always give a credit.

You can get glasses to help with your eyesight. Nothing will help with a lost sense of smell.

And yes, one of my postal workers takes smoking breaks in the truck. Right in front of my house. Yuck.

Date Posted: 10/24/2016 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,381
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I always simply decline with an "I'm sorry, I have a poor sense of smell so can not accept scent related RCs". I tend to put that when I offer WL multiples also so people turn off their RC if it involves scent. I know it's frustrating, so hopefully your next few requests are ones that can be completed successfully.

Date Posted: 10/26/2016 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 1,816
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I don't smoke but I reject all smell requests.  My sense of smell is not good.