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Topic: Question on Water Damage

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Subject: Question on Water Damage
Date Posted: 6/18/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,198
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I know that water damage is a hot topic, but for the life of me I can't understand how books can get excessive water damage unless they're put in water, or someone reads in their bath and turns the pages with wet fingers.  So my question is:  How are books so excessively water damaged?   Pat

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Poor packaging in rainy weather, and then the book is reposted with no regard to the condition it is in.

Spilling water or any other liquid beverage on a book.

Those are two ways I can think of.

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 16
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Using a book as a coaster, stored in a cardboard box which gets wet...
Date Posted: 6/18/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I've gotten a handful of water damaged books and I've gotta say that I've never gotten one in a water damaged package.  Some seemed to have been either involved in a flood or flat out dropped in water completely.  Most water damage is from beverages, and some seems to be from wet fingers flipping pages or holding the book (reading in the bathtub?)

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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Having a two year old...

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Due to the stormy weather recently I have gotten rain-soaked books because there was no plastic inner wrapper.  I don't put RC on them because I'm willing to take the chance and try to make suggestions to the sender as I receive them.  I haven't asked for a credit back yet since I'm sure that it's been mostly the fault of my mail person not closing up our rural mailbox.  However, I did get one questionable one last week that looks like it did have some minimal water damage that was tried to be "fixed" somehow.  It's not completely wrinkled or stained - but the back cover and the last 20 or so pages look strange like they had once been wet and then ironed. Or something.  I didn't mention it since it wasn't a clear case.  But it won't be going back in to the PBS system.  I'm not a goody-two-shoes or anything...I could have my books delivered to our PO Box like our bills and such are - but we only go to the PO every so often and they'd only make us come back during business hours to pick up the books so it would take forever for some people to get credit.   Most people that I make the suggestion to are nice about it, and I try not to sound rude or angry...it's just a suggestion.  I have received books that the plastic saved the books from all kinds of damage that the PBS cover didn't escape!  I also thank everyone who sends a book with a plastic wrapper.  There's all kinds of plastic that's free to use so it can't be a matter of cost.  The ones that are water damaged and don't have co-responding PBS cover or other package water damage wiill be reported as RCWP because I will know that situation could be helped.

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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Tear-stained... does that count as water damage? No Nicholas Sparks for me! *smiles*

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,198
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Loved some of your answers.  My books always go out either in a bubble envelope, or are bubble wrapped inside an envelope, but I have had the book delivered without the protective plastic inside on a rainy day, fortunately, the book wasn't water damaged though. 

All I could think of besides being used as a coaster (shame) is the bathtub as I used to read in the tub, but I never noticed any water damage to the books I read.

Loved the 2 year old!!!!!

Thanks for posting.  Pat

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I have no 2 year olds - but one might think so.  My 19 year old son had been using a very expensive book of mine (Unbeknownst to me) as a coaster.  I was really steamed.  I opened the back cover to find an alien invasion or a chemistry experiment gone wild.  I bagged that up quickly and pitched it out.  So sad.   The age old parent sentence came to me..."This is why we never have anything nice!".   ;D

Date Posted: 6/18/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I managed to water damage several by leaving them stacked near a window which developed a leak during a major thunderstorm. 

My cat water damaged two in one fell swoop by dumping over a glass of water onto them.  Fortunately she missed the laptop. 

It's possible that I might have dropped one in the bathtub once...

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 4,731
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Reading in the bath tub or pool side might cause wavy pages (which I understand to be postable) but I can't imagine it would cause 'water' damage. 

My daughter too has a way of always spilling on my books when she decides to knock over  a drink.  And then of course I dropped a book in a puddle once!  So I have some experience with water damage too!

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2008
Posts: 44
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We have a large table and one part of it is where we put books we are currently reading along with the day's mail and school papers I need to look at/sign etc.  So if a glass gets knocked over at dinner, that's the first place the liquid heads to of course!

Date Posted: 6/19/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I've knocked bottled water over onto a book - twice!  Once you've seen something with true water damage, you won't mistake wavy "humidity" pages for it again.  It's pretty distinctive.

Date Posted: 6/20/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2008
Posts: 79
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I live in the woods.  I literally stay in a semi-permanent tent and have to brave the elements 4 days a week.  I always keep a book in my backpack, and lend them out to the kids I take care of, about 1/3 of the books I have end up unpostable.  At one point my tent leaked onto my bed and into the drawer below.  I have to check every one of my books for water damage, and excessive wear.  However I am moving soon, so I'll have less water damaged books soon.

Date Posted: 6/20/2008 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Why wouldn't wavy pages caused by reading while in the tub or pool constitute "water damage"?  The rules say "No damage at all from water or other liquid".

I had somebody send me a book that was completely warped.  When I marked it RWP the sender responded that since the ink hadn't gone blurry they didn't consider it "water damage".  I think that's why the rule sounds sort of concrete on the matter, because interpretation can be flagrantly variable.

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I was just wondering about this.  I just received a book that the first 1/3 of the pages are deeply rippled like that ribbon candy and has the crispy texture that book pages get when they dry out.   I would never have posted it to my shelf in that condition.   I could understand light rippling from high humidity but this is from water. 

I didn't ask for my credit back but I did PM the sender and suggested that perhaps she hadn't noticed the damage (although the book won't close properly) and I thought that most requestors would consider this book unpostable and that I wouldn't be posting it due to the condition.   She hasn't responded as yet.

I was reading in another forum that wavy pages were indeed considered postable.   I haven't marked it as received yet because I'm not clear on if it is or isn't a postable or unpostable book.   Don't know what to mark it...rcvd or rcvd w/ problem.   

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I once messed up a book by sitting it right next to a glass of iced water.  The condensation was absorbed by the edges of the book, which then spread a bit, and voila!  Water damage, though it was only minor, but still...

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I've done it too--I just saw some double walled glasses on HSN or QVC that are supposed to not get condensation on the outside of the glasses, sort of want some now:lol: 

It was just explained to me (keep it simple, stupid:lol:) that light evenly distributed rippling from high humidity conditions are postable but the water damage that swells pages, caused deep waves and the crispy dry texture of dried out paper that had been wet, are not postable.   

I've only gotten two books that were what I considered water damaged.  The first was shipped fine so the sender wasn't at fault at all, but the book was not wrapped in plastic inside the wrapper so during a hard storm it got soaked in my mailbox.   Then the one I just received.   Not bad considering how long and how many books I've received. 

This has been a helpful thread for me to clarify the water damage issue.   Great input from everyone.

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 5/17/10 9:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/21/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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My five year old was sitting next to me while I was in the middle of reading Jonathan Kellerman's Obsession.  She had cup of hot chocolate (which I hadn't caught or I would have sent her to the table to drink it) and apparently it was very hot.  She took a drink and it came right back out...right smack in the middle of the page I was reading.  So the book ended up with a 50 cent sized spot of water damage that went through for about 10-15 pages.  Needless-to-say, the book became quite unpostable.  Yuck!  I wasn't laughing at the time but I'm chuckling as I remember it now.

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 4,731
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James says......

Why wouldn't wavy pages caused by reading while in the tub or pool constitute "water damage"?  The rules say "No damage at all from water or other liquid".

Because PBS guidelines says wavy pages caused by humidity and not direct liquid contact are okay!  If you ever read a pb outside by the beach most of them will get wavy pages. 

I have 2 graduation parties I need to get my butt too or I'd try to find the info for you...maybe someone else has the time! :)

Date Posted: 6/21/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 5/17/10 9:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2008 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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Husband threw the dog toy while playing with Brandi and knocked over a full glass of tea, all over a WL. I could have strangled him. 

It's amazing how one splatter from taking a bath will spread on the book. I only read books I can't list in the tub now.

And I have two cats who seem to think they have to put their scent on my glass and knock over my glass. I make sure I don't put my book near my glass anymore. And when the cats chase each other across the table and knock the glass over.

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 1:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Nor have I ever seen a statement that excluded humidity induced wavy pages.  As much as humidity induced warping is less drastic I fail to see how the H20 in the air isn't counted as "water damage".  I mean, if you steamed a book it wouldn't technically be from liquid water but I'm pretty sure it'd be less than nice to send to someone.  It's true that modern publishing for some reason creates a waviness.  I've especially noted this closer to the spine than the outside edges of the pages.  However, I still think that if you must draw a line that it must be between irreparable and reparable waviness.  If that's the case then I believe the responsibility for fixing the distortion should be on the sender.  I've "fixed" books of a somewhat similarly damaged nature by placing them under a stack of about 7 or 8 hardcovers and waiting a day or two.  Every time I've done it the book has come out like new (in terms of it's flatness).  I really don't understand the need for an excuse to send a warped book regardless of how it got that way.  I think that if the credit is that important one should consider the importance of the credit belonging to the requester and whether or not they deserve a book that hasn't been to the spa. 

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 4,731
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Short verison of the story.......I sent out a book w/ wavy pages after checking here is it was okay.  The person complained and then I rec'd PM clarification that wavy pages were okay.  So maybe I just assumed since I got a PM thru CS that it was okay.  But as usual I deleted the PM so I can't even share it! 

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