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Topic: RC I just got

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Subject: RC I just got
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,627
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Here it is: Thank you for offering your books up for swap; I am not able to receive books that smell like smoke. This includes any kind of smoke, (tobacco, cloves, marijuana, etc...) If you aren't sure it smells like smoke, it's probably fine, as long it is coming from a non-smoking environment most recently. Thank you again!

My home is a non-smoking environment, but this is a used book and of course I can't speak for any previous owners. I have an erratic sense of smell and often don't smell odors that other people find really pungent. What do people think? Would anyone here accept this?

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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I'd accept it just fine if I didn't smell anything on the book.

The person just really negated their RC with the last line because they pretty much made it so the sender can say "well I didn't smell anything" and the requester has no argument against  that since they SAID that would be fine. 

If you don't think you can trust your sense of smell just decline the RC and say so.

Last Edited on: 9/12/12 12:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,764
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no , I wouldnt accept because I do have a smoker    in my home.   But , if I didnt I wouldnt accept smell RC's. you just dont know.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I no longer accept any "odor" RCs because they're just too subjective. Nobody smokes in my home, but I've gotten dinged for smoke odor anyway. The books just smelled like books to me, the receiver said they "reeked" of cigarettes. I didn't believe they were lying, but I wasn't either and the whole situation would have been totally bypassed if I had just turned down their RC in the first place.

This just comes down to whether you're comfortable with accepting the RC or not. There's nothing wrong with turning the person down with a polite response. They'll get their book from someone else.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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I'd accept it.  There are no smokers in our house, and I'd feel comfortable sending it along.  The only RC's I've ever turned down was one for no books from cat homes, and one that was asking for a certain cover.  I've accepted all other RCs and so far have never had a RWAP in over 1000 books mailed.

Smell is subjective, sure, but there's subjective and there's SUBJECTIVE.   If you have a reasonable sense of smell and you don't smell anything, Send. The. Book.  Some people here agonize way too much over this decision.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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As someone with a smoke RC I would send it. If the average person with an average sense of smell doesn't smell smoke on it and they know they haven't exposed it to smoke then it's fine. I don't think anyone expects them to be put through a spectrometer to make sure there aren't any smell particles on it, we just don't want it to stink in a way that most people would be able to tell it stinks. That's what their clarification is saying, and I have a similar clarification on mine. Mine doesn't say smell though, it says 'no books from a currently smoking household', nothing about smell.

I have gotten an envelope from someone that was one of those 'hit you in the face the smoke is so strong' situations when I opened it, I had to take the books out of the house and throw them away they were so bad. The sender claimed they don't smoke and didn't smell any smoke when they sent them. I have no idea what happens in a case like that, I'm not even overly sensitive and this was BAD. You would have had to have no sense of smell at all to not notice it. I don't see how an envelope could pick up smoke inside when traveling but I don't think they lied either, they didn't smell it for some reason. I did not ask for my credits back, in fact I specified it wasn't necessary when I messaged them - I just wanted them to be aware of it - but they sent them back anyway. I do think people who don't smoke themselves but are around it a lot stop smelling it just like people who smoke do, maybe that's it. 

Last Edited on: 9/11/12 9:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,005
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I never accept "smell" issued RCs, way too subjective.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I would send to this person. We don't smoke and I have a good nose. They also sound very reasonable.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,039
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Yup, I would accept it, no problem.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
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I tend to shy away from scent related RCs because I have a horrid sense of smell and 90% of my books are second hand so may have some lingering smoke that I can't detect.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...it's probably fine..."  ?  That sounds more vague than reasonable to me.  Unless I was very sure of the book I'd decline.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 3:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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I don't see how an envelope could pick up smoke inside when traveling but I don't think they lied either, they didn't smell it for some reason.

Years ago I had a mailman who smoked so much that every piece of mail just reeked!  It was awful.  When I get a smoke RC, I hope that by wrapping the books in plastic it would not only keep away water damage but also protect against a smokey mailman.

Last Edited on: 9/12/12 3:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 4:57 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,864
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What I do is smell the book deeply then fan the pages and breath in naturally to detect any orders. Next I have Hubby take a few sniffs to see if he smells anything. If it has no smoke smell, then I send it. I only had one book that smelled of smoke which I got here in a swap. I aired the book out really well and sprayed it with Lysol and it was fine. The requester had no RC so it was no problem. I rarely turn down RCs. But I do PM requestors if I have doubts.
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,452
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I'd accept as I am a nonsmoking home so if the book didn't reek of a smoke smell then it'd be ok to send.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I think she put the "it's probably fine" in there to discourage people saying, "I can't swear where the book has been before, and I don't know whether I smell well enough to tell, so I won't send it." I agree with someone above - by saying that, she's close to giving up the right to RWAP for her RC since she's saying she'll trust the judgement of the sender. That is fine - she's just trusting that people will do the right thing and not send her an obviously smoky book, while trying to avoid the problem that people say "smell RCs are too subjective." (She could still RWAP, but not reasonably; and anyone can give an unreasonable RWAP, even without an RC.)

I'm not scared of smell RCs in general, because I have an excellent sense of smell.  But in this case, I'd send (if I couldn't smell smoke) even if I didn't have a great sense of smell.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I would like to caution anyone against spraying a book with anything, especially if it's for someone with any kind of smoke or smell RC. ESPECIALLY Lysol. I have a smoke RC because I have lung problems and anything sprayed on a book is even worse than smoke, it's just not a common enough occurrence to make an RC about it (and long RCs turn people off). Nothing, and I mean nothing, aggravates my breathing worse than Lysol, it's awful. Fabric softener sheets are bad too. Piling smells up does not work, it just makes it worse. 

Elizabeth is exactly right, I got a lot of those responses before I changed the wording of my RC. It doesn't matter if you know the history of a book or not, it just matters what it smells like right now. I don't care if someone who smokes read it in 1982, what does it smell like now. 

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2009
Posts: 7,897
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I almost wish PBS would put something in the directions for packaging books:  "do NOT spray your book with any substance of any kind".

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2009
Posts: 296
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I'd decline even though I don't smoke because I can't speak for the previous owners, and nearly all my books are used. While I believe my sense of smell to be just fine, I wouldn't want to get an RC from someone with a super sensitive nose and...well....you never know with situations like this. So I usually decline smell RCs.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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No smokers in the house, all but a few books on my Shelf were bought new by me and are unread, but I decline smoke RCs because I melt a lot of wax tarts and occasionally burn candles and I never know if a scent will trigger a reaction on the other end.

If I received a book that smelled of honeydew melon I'd have a bad reaction so I don't want anyone to get a book that would give them the dry heaves like I'd have with melon. 

The techs at my vet always comment on how good my cats smell when I bring them in, and the guy at the local PC repair place opened my laptop last month and said "candles!", even my computer stunk pretty, so I'm sure a requester could find one of my books objectionable - what's yummy to me could be stinky to them.


Date Posted: 9/15/2012 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2009
Posts: 1,684
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I'd accept it....

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/15/2012 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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Gail, you're partially right. A lot of people who react to smoke react to things like candles. I do, in fact the first time I ended up in the ER was over a Yankee candle. But not everyone does. My mom and sister don't have lung problems but are allergic to cigarette smoke. They love candles and that kind of thing.