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Topic: older books and condition

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Subject: older books and condition
Date Posted: 3/22/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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I have a couple of books that were printed in the 60s and 70s with significant aging/yellowing.  No broken spines or bad smell, just old and a little tattered around the edges.  They are the same condition as I have seen older books in used bookstores, but I don't think they technically meet our guidelines of no staining.  I actually got these books from PBS, but I read on this site that people seem pretty picky about condition of books.  Do you think they are postable?

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,471
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They sound perfectly postable to me.  From my experience, older books are expected to have some discoloration from the aging and that is acceptable by PBS guidelines.

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Yellowing/aging and foxing are not the same as stains.  They sound perfectly postable to me.

Date Posted: 3/22/2009 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,471
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On my older books, I'll select the mail later date and PM the person to make sure that they are aware that the books are older.  Some of my older books were out of print, and folks were thrilled to get the frail yellowed books.  I also wrap them really well as the old glue can be brittle.

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Actually, regarding the glue being old - I've found that the older books hold together better than new ones do!  We just had a thread on it.  I've asked for books that are 30 years old (paperbacks) and since they are OOP - I'm always glad to get them.  Everything ages (we won't go there!! ;D) and books are no different.  PM if you want - but as long as they fit the posting guidelines you agree to when you post them then they should be good to go.

Ruth

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 3:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Since it doesn't cost to post them and if you have the room, like Emily said, I'd PM the person and gently remind them that the book was printed back in the '60s or '70s and the pages are yellowed. I'd ask them if they still want the book in that condition.

People always complain on Dust Jacket threads about how if something is within the guidelines, there's no need for a PM. A need, maybe not, but a courtesy PM explaining a detail that the Requestor can't see before receiving the book?  I don't see the harm in this case. Courtesy saves disappointment later.  

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Older books with yellowed pages and normal wear are fine, as long as the stains are not food or beverage or other stains and they meet other requirements.

Anyone who orders a book published 30-40 years ago should expect that it's not going to look like a new book with a gleaming, glossy cover and white pages. And I agree, the older books DO hold up much better than some of the newer ones, which use not only cheaper glue, but cheaper paper, too, and often seem to fall apart after just a few readings.

I would post them and personally would NOT pm whoever requests them, but that's up to you....I personally think people PMing about every little thing on a perfectly postable book is one of the things that fosters "pickiness" in some people. People have a right to be picky, sure, but they also need to make Requestor Conditions and not expect PMs about a book that meets PBS guidelines.

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
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I just received an older book, printed in the 60's. I had been looking for it for a while. When I got it, it literally was falling apart. The spine was broken in the middle, and the first 10-15 pages were half falling out. I did not however complain or mark it RWAP. It is an old book, I really wanted to read it, and it only cost me $2.23, so it wasn't worth it to me to complain. I am working on letting things go and hoping the universe will pay me back in kind.

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Well, I wouldn't have let THAT go, Rebecca...a book can be old but still postable by PBS standards. I know--I have sent and received many of them! The only thing you do by NOT marking it RWAP is send a message to the sender that the book was okay to post, and it was NOT. So they are going to think it's fine to send MORE books in that condition. Hopefully it won't be another one sent to you! :)

Just because you mark a book RWAP doesn't mean you can't still read it and enjoy it! It does mean, however, that you can't re-post it and recoup your credit. Yes, it's "only" one credit, but people not marking books RWAP that should be marked as such just fosters the continued posting of such books. This is why people who DO mark books RWAP get snotty notes like, "I've sent other books in this kind of shape and no one ELSE complained! You're just picky!"

Now if the book was okay when you got it--simply old and on its last legs, and it started to fall apart while you read it, then yes--eat the cost and simply retire the book. I've had that happen occasionally too. Every book has a "last reader" and sometimes you're it. But sending a book on to someone else in that condition is not acceptable.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
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OK, I have been informed that I should not let go the books I have received that are truly unpostable. I have tried to err on the senders side, but I see your point about everyone else. I guess I was just tired that day and had about 4 RWAP's in a row.