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Topic: Question about covers on paperbacks

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Subject: Question about covers on paperbacks
Date Posted: 7/20/2016 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2014
Posts: 396
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I know that all paperbacks must have both covers, but is it okay to post a paperback in which the front cover has been taped on?  I have two paperbacks that the covers are taped on.  One is taped very well over the entire spine.  I suspect the person who taped it was just trying to reinforce it due to use.  The other book is very evident that the front cover had come off and someone just casually taped it back on.  It is relatively secure.  Other than the taping on the covers the books are in good shape, and entirely readable.  Is it ok to post these two books for credit?

Date Posted: 7/20/2016 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,222
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No. Tape does not make unpostable damage postable again. You can reinforce a cover so it doesn't tear, but not cover up damage with tape. A books cover being torn off makes it unpostable.

From the Help Center *Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS*


  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not significantly torn, or chewed/gnawed at all
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1.5 inches) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY


  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY
Date Posted: 7/20/2016 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2014
Posts: 396
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Thanks Melanie, I had read that but it wasn't clear until you highlighted it. I'm sure the one cover never came off at all, but it's very clear on the other book I have.  I'll list it in book bazaar as a freebie. thanks, again.

Date Posted: 7/21/2016 2:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,130
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If the cover is attached, and just has tape on it, that's OK.

If the cover is held on by tape,  that's unpostable. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2016 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Melanie said...imagine the book without tape, is it postable?  Tape cannot return an unpostable book to postable status.