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Topic: Novels used as textbooks

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Subject: Novels used as textbooks
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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I'm a college student and this is the 1st place i go when i need novels or paperbacks for a course. Most are plays, nonfiction works, almost anything you can find on sparknotes.

so my problem is i just got what may be my 3rd or 4th paperback with highlighting or writing in it. This one i not too bad. the book is a play. it looks like the person highlighted the name of the character they had to read in class. It's only 2 pages.

i know (or at least pretty sure) that pbs allows writing and highlighting in textbooks. so i am not sure if i should receive this book with a problem. the sender most likely read the book in a class so it could be a "textbook".

Has anyone else had this problem?

I don't really think the small amount of highlighting is a problem. But i would have liked to re post the book when i was done. but i know i probably should not .

let me know if the question is not clear

Date Posted: 3/31/2008 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,367
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If textbooks have writing you are supposed to PM the person and make sure it's OK. It's allowed to be posted, but the requestor has to have the option to decline.  So they shoudln't have been sent to you w/o your approval.

From the help center:

Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing

  • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
  • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO before the book is sent


Date Posted: 3/31/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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But this isn't a text book.  It's not postable even if that's what it was used for by the sender.  Only actual text books and cookbooks are allowed some writing. Like the previous poster said-they are supposed to PM you w/the condition before they send it out.  Although I think most people expect some writing on a text book or cookbook.  But this was a regular book and should not have been posted. It's possible that when flipping through it, the poster didn't notice. They may have gotten it from someone else and didn't read it themselves or forgot about the highlighting. 

I would mark it RWP but I'm not sure I would ask for my credit back.  I probably would because I like to repost my books here. But it could be read and then sold to a UBS.    Don't be afraid to mark books RWP.  It's how PBS keeps track of bad transactions.  It won't harm someone who made a mistake and has no or very few RWPs against them.  But it could help get rid of someone who habitually sends out bad books. 

Date Posted: 3/31/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Per Merriam-Webster:


text·book :
a book used in the study of a subject: as a: one containing a presentation of the principles of a subject b: a literary work relevant to the study of a subject [emphasis mine]
Since PBS doesn't define textbook for their own context, plays, novels and other items can be textbooks, and are often used as such.  However, they do require members to provide information on highlighting, underlining, etc before the book can be swapped.
You should mark the book as RWP, since it should not have been sent without your consent, so the sender will be able to become familiar with the rules if they don't already know them.  Asking for your credit back is up to you; if it is in otherwise good condition, the book can be reposted as a textbook, but whomever you send it to will have to agree to the underlining/highlighting/markings within before you can send it. 


Last Edited on: 3/31/08 8:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 201
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I'm a college student too, a Senior, with a History major and Anthro minor. I know with certain colleges, some do not use the 'normal" textbooks. Kayote if perfectly right. I posted some of my old Anthro books, (apparently Anhtro is notorious for not using a "normal" textbook) There was highlighting in every book, not a lot but some. I PMed the requesters letting them know that the books were used as  textbooks for classes and had highlighting, before I mailed them. I gave them the option to decline the books. Every one of them said that it was fine. However, I saved all of the PMs in case they turned around and marked them RWP.

I think the reason that some colleges and/or professors chose the non-textbook books is the save the students money on books. I know the cost of textbooks can reach up to $500 per quarter or semester, and so do the professors.


To the other posters: Not to start an argument or to sound snarky, but If ANY book is required or suggested by a professor for a class, it is considered a textbook. Sorry, but that is the way academia works.

Last Edited on: 3/31/08 8:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I have some books that were used as a textbook in classes and you might consider them regular books (computer programming books).  However, if anyone requests them I will let them know it was used as a textbook and there may be some writing and highlighting in them.

nowadays it isn't always your typical textbook that is used as a textbook.  They probably should have let you know beforehand before sending, you could always PM them and let them know of that rule.  very possible they weren't aware

Date Posted: 3/31/2008 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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If the person didn't PM you to ask if it was okay that it had highlighting, then mark it RWAP. 

Last Edited on: 3/31/08 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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ok i was looking for advice on the subject and i got it. i'll mark it rwap but i am not worried about the credit. maybe if i was low on them i would worry about them. i have more credits then i know what to do with it seems.

i work at a college bookstore, if we are buying that book back maybe i could get enough to buy a candy bar lol