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Topic: Pet Peeve: People posting books with writing in them . . .

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Subject: Pet Peeve: People posting books with writing in them . . .
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 88
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and then characterizing me as a "demanding requestor" because I don't want them.

My requestor conditions say that I do not want to accept books that don't comply with the PBS rules for posting.  I don't want books with writing in them, water damage, etc.

Recently two of my requests have been cancelled by the sender, because the books had writing in them.  In both cases he/she wrote that I was a "demanding requestor."  Here's the latest message:

There is a bit of writing in the margins and I don't want to take any chances with such a demanding requestor.

Here's an idea: How about following the rules, and then you don't have to worry about taking "chances."

Sheesh!

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
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You are right, they should be following the rules, but at least you know your conditions are working!

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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There are cases where a small amount of writing is acceptable in a postable book.  You can have a name or inscription on the inside cover/page, and that's fine to post.  Also, textbooks and workbooks are allowed to have writing.  Otherwise there should be no writing on the text pages.

 

It depends on the type of book you are requesting, I guess.  Of course, there are some people who deny all RC books regardless of the requestor condition.   I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
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Books with writing are acceptable to post under the textbook rule (and paperbackswap has basically said any book can be considered a textbook). The sender is then required to PM and get the requestor's acceptance before sending. While that particular response doesn't sound like the member had any intention of PMing you before sending, the transaction never got that far, so in this case no rules were broken by posting the book.

My thoughts are that anyone who thinks wanting a book with no writing is being demanding, you may be better off waiting for the next offer.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
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Also, textbooks and workbooks are allowed to have writing 

Only if the receiver is made aware that there is writing and agrees to accept the book anyway. In fact, any book can be posted under this exception, but you must always get permission first or risk a RWAP.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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Sorry, thought that last comment was responding to me. My mistakeblush



Last Edited on: 11/9/10 9:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
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View from a newb.

First off:

Guidelines
...
Pages:
...

No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages

  • a signature or not on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
  • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
  • writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages is NOT OKAY
  • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing

...

  • Exception: if it is a travel guide (not a picture book but a guide, such as Fodor's or Lonely Planet), some writing on text pages could be expected.  All maps must be present and included with the book - if detachable it is OK if they are detached, but they must not be missing.

 

So just to note, if your RC (which you didn't post so I'm shooting blind here) specifically said no writing, I wouldn't have even sent an author autographed copy to you as it wouldn't have fit your RC, but very distinctly fits the posting guidelines.

Secondly, by posting an RC you have stated that you have wishes above and beyond the general posting guidelines of PBS (this is how PBS defines an RC) so I would automatically assume that you are more picky than defined by their rules (some of which are vague, such as the extreme wear).  I would look at whatever book I was sending and assess it.  Several of my books are 30-40 years old and I would decline you in most of those cases (page tanning).  Several of my books have the original owners names written on the inside cover, I would decline you in these cases with a note similar to that from the book poster.  Note that all of these cases are actually postable by PBS rules, but if you haven't been specific on how you differ from PBS (which is OK, I have considered adding the dustjacket RC to myself) then I have to assume the worst.

If there were actually writing in the margin then the book poster was in the wrong (without a prior PM as has already been mentioned, which given the way that RC's work we won't know, it's kind of like asking what had happened if Bob Dole beat Clinton or Kerry beat Bush?)  As for all the other times you mention each instance is separate.

These are all just possibilities, without a very specific wording in your RC, its all that can be had

EDIT: note the starting line.  This is a view from someone who only has the PBS documents to work from, who hasn't been around to observe the culture which must arrise in a laissez-faire enviromnent such as the trading is.  I am posting to give the original poster that view for information purposes.  This is what I would do and see.  I should note that much of this view is also based upon several years of retail experience.



Last Edited on: 11/9/10 11:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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 then I have to assume the worst

No, you really don't. 

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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Chris,

Welcome to PBS! After you have been here a while, you will probably notice that people's RCs are very specific. If they say that they don't want writing, then it just means no writing, not that they don't want page tanning, too. You really do not need to read more into the RC than is stated.

People who have RCs are almost always very familiar with the site rules already, and have carefully crafted their RC to exclude only what they want to exclude. No need to try to guess what else they want but are not stating.

Of course, you may come across a requestor who is unreasonable, but that is pretty rare, for example, I accept almost all RCs regardless of what they say (as long as my book meets the RC, of course), and I have never had any issues with someone complaining about the book received. And, my books are in postable condition, but most of them are not "like new" or in perfect condition.

To the OP ... people act weird when they have to decline a RC. I have the dustjacket RC, and I once I received a long rejection of my book request along the lines of "this is a wonderful copy of a wonderful book, and it is in perfect readable condition, and the sender has just read it and really enjoyed it, and she was glad that her book was going to go to someone who wanted to enjoy the story, and on and on ..." and I was thinking to myself, that might all be true, but I still want my copy with a dustjacket!

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think its the rudeness of the reply more than anything. 

I have no issues with a "no writing " RC. If it has writing then I decline, easy as that and I would state "name inside cover" or signed by author. *shrugs*

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 88
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My RC is basically a reiteration of the PBS posting rules.  I did that because I was getting a lot of books where the sender obviously did not read or did not think that he/she had to follow the posting guidelines.

I also added to my RC that I would not accept any textbooks with writing in them, because I found that people would send a book with writing, highlighting, and underlining in it, and then claim that it was OK because the book was a "textbook."  They would consider any book a textbook if it could conceivably be used by a student.  They did not follow the rule of writing to me first to ask if it was OK.

I got really tired of reporting books with problems, and asking for credits to be returned.  I also got tired of having to ship books back to senders because of their lack of awareness of the posting guidelines, or because they thought the rules didn't matter.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I agree Linda, at least your RC appears to be working. 

IIRC TPTB have defined 'textbook' as any book that has been used as a text.  DD just finished college, and between there and high school she has several boxes of texbooks that will need sorted soon.  In addition to traditional 'textbooks' she has used other non-fiction, fiction, and classics as textbooks.  They were required for class, and are therefore textbooks. 

Like you Linda, I've been frustrated to receive books (mostly biography) that have been used as textbooks, contain writing/highlighting on text pages, and have not been posted per Textbook Waiver.   It's getting to the point that I almost cringe when receiving one in the mail...will I have to RWAP or is it postable???  If a sender involkes the textbook clause (as required), it's then up to me to decide yes or no . . . but just appearing in the mailbox is not a happy surprise.



Last Edited on: 11/9/10 10:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I am so frustrated with people thinking that the textbook waiver means that any writing is okay! I order lots of textbooks, and honestly, some writing is okay with me. But I want to be able to decide for myself ahead of time. At least half of my textbooks - possibly more - have unannounced writing in them. I'm jealous of the people who say they've gotten dozens of books without a single RWAP! I haven't been RWAPing them because I didn't want to make a stink, but I'm done with that - although it bothers me that if I'm RWAPing lots of books my account might get flagged. Still, I will be polite and I won't even ask for my credit back in the large majority of cases, so hopefully the situation will be clear.

I think that lots of people see the "textbook exception" on the popup window, don't bother to read the link there, and just assume that any writing is okay. It might be time to consider re-wording that pop-up.

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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For me Elizabeth, the biggest factor appears to be genre (and whether it's popular classroom fodder).  A series titled Weekend Biographies (short books on influentual Americans) are apparently in frequent use in schools/colleges, and over half I order arrive with writing/highlighting.  And as you stated, all too often are unfortunately 'unannounced'.

Although I don't mind having them offered to me under the Textbook Clause, they are technically unpostable except under very specific conditions.



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 12:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 4:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
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What is the definition of a textbook?

Actually, the way the system and rules are designed, it does not matter what the "objective definition" of a textbook is.  The club members decide this - as long as the rules in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS are followed.  See the explanation and examples below.

If a member considers her book a textbook she may Post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages, according to the "textbook exception" in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS; BUT since the textbook exception in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS require her to contact the requestor and obtain PM consent to the book's condition, she won't be in the position of sending a "stealth textbook" to someone who doesn't expect to receive one.

Examples/further explanation:

  • Member A posts an Economics 101 textbook - something that most people would clearly consider a textbook.   
  • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
  • Chances are good that she will get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc. 
  • Member B posts a novel (fiction) that she used in a class - something that most people would NOT consider a textbook.
    • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
    • Chances are good that she will NOT get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc.
    • If the requestor declines the book in its condition, Member B will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  It will go to the 'back of the line' for requests.  (If it is a Wish Listed book, it will be offered to the same wisher and the sender will again have to cancel.  She will have to wait for the wishing member to get a copy of this book from someone else before Member B can post her copy again.)

So, the farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  Members in Member B's situation may encounter several declines, and will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition.  Member B will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook"  and will consider it instead an unpostable/damaged book.

In this way, the club defines "textbook" on a case-by-case basis, and no one who is following the rules will be able to "surprise" another person with a highlighted/written-in/underlined book.

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 88
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I think that the PBS policy on posting textbooks is well thought-out, and is a good attempt at sorting out the textbook confusion. Unfortunately, many people are either not reading it or choosing not to follow it.

My personal perception of what constitutes a textbook is influenced by the fact that I have been working in the textbook publishing industry for the past 15 years.

To me, a book is not a textbook unless it includes an "end of chapter" section that includes one or more of these: a chapter summary, multiple-choice or fill-in questions, suggested essay topics, questions for discussion, resources for further reading, etc.

Any fiction or non-fiction that does not include this material, to me, is not a textbook.  Novels are not textbooks. George W. Bush's new memoir of his presidency is not a textbook.  A book in library binding is not necessarily a textbook.

But that's just my two cents, being an "insider" in the textbook industry.

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Linda, while novels may not be "textbooks" persay, I have had them as required reading for classes countless times. Using any text for class might result in the book being written in, that's why the rule doesn't only apply to books that are actually text books, but to all books. 

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
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Yes. There are all kinds of books which, though not strictly textbooks by the industry definition, have the same function and call for writing in. Examples are music instruction books and foreign-language books of all types. Novels are not textbooks, I agree, but it is reasonable to treat them that way when you're studying them, whether in a formal class or not. Honestly, it is difficult for me to imagine using some of these books to their fullest without some amount of writing - and yet that writing might well not be a problem to the recipient. At times this writing can even be helpful. I'm glad that PBS doesn't define the term strictly, because otherwise I'd have trouble getting - and sending - just the kinds of book that I often favor: music books, foreign language books, and novels often used in the classroom.

I've been looking through my books to see how many people ignore the PM requirement for textbooks. It's actually substantially less than I thought: 8 out of the 35 I checked had writing in them without my approval, so less than a quarter. Only one was unusable. Three additional books had writing, but the sender checked with me before sending.

One sender was very clever - there was lots of writing, but all of it was on Post-Its. The sender had left the Post-Its in the book, which I thought was nice, since I could leave her little summaries there or take them out as I preferred. That was a surprise, but not an unpleasant one.

(Edited to correct typos, and to clarify)



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 9:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 11/11/2010 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
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This topic is reminding me of something that I saw recently while riding on a bus:

A young woman sitting next to me, bright pink highlighter in hand, highlighting line after line after line in her textbook.  She turned the page and continued to highlight nearly every line on the next page.

I couldn't stand it! I felt like saying to her "Why don't you just READ THE BOOK and concentrate on what you are reading instead of marking everything that you think will be important later!"

angry

Date Posted: 11/11/2010 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
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Linda, that is precicely why I don't highlight. When tasked to highlight the "important parts" I freak out a little and end up highlighting everything. You should see the first textbook I owned, oof.

I've found it works much better if I summerize important points, but I don't write in the margins because I resell my textbooks.

Date Posted: 11/12/2010 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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Several of the ladies in my bookclub use tiny sticky notes in place of highlighting.  It's a riot to see them walk in the room with their books -- their books look furry. 

Date Posted: 11/12/2010 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
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My RC is basically a reiteration of the PBS posting rules.  I did that because I was getting a lot of books where the sender obviously did not read or did not think that he/she had to follow the posting guidelines.

It is a sad but true fact that most people who join here don't bother reading the guidelines.  I almost wish that this site required the new member take a short quiz that has the important items from their guidelines on it, before they can officially become a member.  I know that would be very irritating, but it is also very irritating to receive books that are obviously not postable and then have to go through the RWAP process hoping you get your credit back.

BTW, what really irritates me is those who feel they need to "edit" a book while they read it.  I frequently check out books from the Library that have publishing errors (mistakes in their editing process) highlighted or circled with a red pen or the offending text crossed out with the correct text entered in pen or pencil.  I always think that the people reading the book was an English teacher and they just can't help themselves.

Several of the ladies in my bookclub use tiny sticky notes in place of highlighting.  It's a riot to see them walk in the room with their books -- their books look furry.

That''s what I do with cookbooks.  I mark the pages of the recipes I want to try with the "page marker" sticky notes.  Recently I posted a lot of cookbooks and found it was really a pain to remove those sticky notes.  I was tempted to send the book with the sticky notes attached but feared that would prompt a negative response from the recipient.  I suspect they aren't interested in my taste in food as indicated by the recipes I had marked.



Last Edited on: 11/12/10 10:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/12/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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The only books I highlight are travel books. I highlight the hours attractions are open, or if there is a special entrance to use, or the subway stop that is closest, or whatever so I can find the info that I know I will want to check again, without needing to read the whole entry all over again.

I was glad when PBS added the highlighting exception to travel books (I always PM first, anyway) but at least people ordering them know that they are a type of book more likely to be highlighted.

I use stickies, too, to find pages in the book (even different colors for different things I want to see (blue for sightseeing, pink for shopping, green for restaurants, etc) ... but still, I find a highlighter to be invaluable for travel books.

In cookbooks, I just write directly on the recipe page. I am not afraid to improve recipes, so I will make notes as I change them ... and then I always write how they turned out ... and I make notes about if they are "good for company" or "just average", or "great the second day" or whatever else might be noteworthy. I also note if following the instructions results in something not being quite right ... sometimes the recipe needs more liquid (or whatever the problem might be) and I note that as well.



Last Edited on: 11/12/10 1:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2010 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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A young woman sitting next to me, bright pink highlighter in hand, highlighting line after line after line in her textbook.  She turned the page and continued to highlight nearly every line on the next page.

Perhaps it was an important passage.

I highlight my textbooks all the time. Sometimes every line needs to be highlighted if it's an important part that will be valuable.

I'm glad that PBS has the exception. I've never had someone say no to highlighting in my textbooks. Or margin writing, which I once got approval for as well.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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The most recent WL book (not a text book) I received had highlighting, underlining and notes/scribbles in the margin. Still waiting to see how the sender resolves it.