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Topic: RWAP Excuse? - 50 Year Old Book

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Subject: RWAP Excuse? - 50 Year Old Book
Date Posted: 9/7/2010 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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I requested a copy of Pride and Prejudice for class. It arrived in a condition I would deem unswappable, as the binding was showing and several of the first pages of the book were loose at the bound corner. I marked it RWAP and sent this PM to the sender:

"The copy of 'Pride and Prejudice' you sent to me is not in swappable condition. The binding is showing and, upon opening to the first chapter, I could see that the bottom corners of the pages bound into the book were hanging free.

With the first few pages of the book clinging very delicately to the binding, it makes the book very difficult to read for class. I would like you request that you return my credit so that I could select another copy of 'Pride and Prejudice' to read for my class."

I received a PM today:

"I received your request for a credit return.
The book was in good condition when I mailed it, and you are not alleging damage during mailing. The only conclusion I can come to is that you didn't realize the book is 50 years old and treated it as if it were only a few years old when you opened it.
At this time, I'm not inclined to return your credit. I hope that this can be a lesson to both of us (it will be to me) to be careful when ordering and sending books. I will make sure, when sending older books, to PM the requestor first to make sure they understand the book's condition and age.
I sincerely hope you are able to use the book for your class. As a side note, the copyright on this book has expired and you can download a free copy online at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page."

Trust me when I say I am very careful with my books, especially when first opening a PBS book fresh from the Post, and I know that I did not damage the book. The package of the book was intact so it was not the Post Office as the sender mentions. Also, I don't think the age of the printing should matter. The publisher has released a reprint and that is the copy all of my classmates purchased. True, I did not use an RC to request that specific reprint of the book, but it doesn't matter to me which printing I got; I just wanted a printing that was readable and swapable.  

Should I press further with PMs? Or simply mark it as unresolved? Offer up pictures? Is the sender in the right or am I? It's my first time getting an uncooperative RWAP so I'm not sure how far I should pursue the return of my credit.



Last Edited on: 9/7/10 10:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/7/2010 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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The posting requirements are the same for a book 100 years ago as it is for a book published this week.  Age has nothing to do with posting guidelines.

Personally - it wouldn't be worth my time to argue further with her.  I MIGHT send a short PM to say if the credit is not returned by a certain date, I will mark it unresolved.

Then I'd forget about it!  You simply can't win by trying to teach some people the rules.

Date Posted: 9/7/2010 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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She's wrong, imo.

 I would do what Cozi said and send a short PM that being a 50 year old copy doesn't change the fact that it is unpostable and you will mark it unresolved if you don't have a credit refund by XX date.

Date Posted: 9/7/2010 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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She seems pretty firm that she will not be returning your credit to you, although I feel that she should take you at your word and give it back. Personally I wouldn't post a book of that age because over time books deteriorate, and no matter how well the wrapping job, the trip in the mail might just do it in. Newer books that have only been read a time or two can come unglued at the seams with some rough handling in the PO system.

If you want to give her a day or two to cool off and maybe re-think it, you could. If you decide to send a follow-up as Cozi suggested with a "please refund the credit by XXX; if not, I'll have no other choice but to mark this as unresolved", you might also want to mention that having an unresolved swap on her record will give her a double black mark. It might seem like bullying, but that might be enough to get her to reconsider.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 1:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I'm agreeing with the above comments. 

The only time age is a consideration, is if the book is OOP.  Members have been known to treat vintage OOP similar to 'textbook waiver'  whereby the sender would pm and declare the exact condition of the book and ask if it meets the needs of the requester (but don't mail without permission).  If there's newer and/or current editions, this should never be attempted...members will only get cranky, where they might be thankful to receive a readable copy of a book no longer available through other sources.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2009
Posts: 47
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Were you supposed to put on gloves before opening it?...lol  I do not think you need to treat a book as if it has a bomb inside of it, like the sender suggested.  The book may have been old, but that is wrong to suggest that YOU were the one who ruined it because she feels you were too rough in opening it.  Please!  If the book is an antique and is so special, then she should have sold to the book to an antique store, not placed it on PBS because it did not meet posting guidelines whether it was 50 years old or 50 days old.  I definitely would contact TPTB and send one of the help centers all the PM's shared back and forth and definitely mark this as unresolved.  Pictures of the book may be helpful as well.  I hope it all works out.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
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I definitely would contact TPTB and send one of the help centers all the PM's shared back and forth and definitely mark this as unresolved.

Well, I don't think there is anything here to contact PBS about. The sender and the OP have a disagreement about the postability of the book. Sometimes that happens, with the best of intentions on both sides.

It is possible for 2 people to look at the same book and not agree as to whether or not it is postable.

PBS will not get involved, as the sender of this book responded to the RWAP, and was polite about it.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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My interpretation of the senders comment, "...The only conclusion I can come to is that you didn't realize the book is 50 years old and treated it as if it were only a few years old when you opened it . . . I will make sure, when sending older books, to PM the requestor first to make sure they understand the book's condition and age..."  

I get the impression the sender was aware the book may have been unpostable, but willing to make allowances due to its age.  Since the book is still in print (under this same ISBN?), the receiver was not willing to make special allowances for age.  Or is it just me, and the comment really doesn't mean that to anyone else?

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Color me clueless, but did even have ISBNs 50 years ago?    If the book was posted under an ISBN other than what is on the book itself (if it even has one), the condition was not only misrepresented, so was the edition. 

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 I think you did the right thing asing for your credit back. It is truly sad when members send books not in postable condition and try and act like it was ok due to the books age and it seems laughable that the person tried to blame you. Either it is in readable, postable. condition or it is not.

 

 I agree, I would let them know the book was not in postable condition, that age does not change that rule, and they have so many days before you mark it unresolved and a black mark is put on their account.

 

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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I would like to second the question............Does this book, the copy you have even have an ISBN?  I didn't think that ISBN's were present then so, if not then hello sender, you posted this book incorrectly.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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For those asking about 50 year old ISBN numbers, here's the page of the copy I ordered:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/Pride-Prejudice-Jane-Austen/book/0451519167/

The book I recieved is not the same cover (the green cover comes from a more recent reprint with the same ISBN number) so I'm guessing the book sent to me was a first edition/printing from the 60's. But it does indeed have the right ISBN number on the back cover. And I really didn't care about which printing I got, just that the one I got was readable and swapable. Everytime I tried to read from this one, the pages became even more loose. Now it's just sitting on my shelf and I'm reading from a library book until I can get another copy to make notes in.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll PM her to tell her that age doesn't matter and I would like the credit in a certain number of days or I'll mark it as unresolved. I have a feeling she won't send my credit back but at least I'll be giving her the chance.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Hm.  If it has an ISBN it simply cannot be 50 years old as ISBNs did not exist 50 years ago.  Which means the sender is just plain old wrong.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2005
Posts: 145
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The book info states it was published in 1961 but I suspect the year was entered in error since the ISBN wasn't created let alone used before 1970.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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Oh, really? I had no idea that books didn't have ISBN numbers before the 70's.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Nope ISBNs were not in general use until the 1970's.  I'd be surprised to see one (especially on the back cover) of a book printed in 1961.

OTOH - print date is usually different than c1961 (the copywrite date).  A book copywrited in 1961 may have a dozen different print dates (each newer than the original copywrite).



Last Edited on: 9/10/10 11:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/8/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 519
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This sounds like the same person who sent me 3 unpostables.  I never got my credits back and ended up marking them unresolved.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,313
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Probably way more than you want to know, but the official ISBN site, (http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp) where the #s can be purchased has this:

History

In 1965, W. H. Smith (the largest single book retailer in Great Britain) announced its plans to move to a computerized warehouse in 1967 and wanted a standard numbering system for books it carried. They hired consultants to work on behalf of their interest, the British Publishers Association's Distribution and Methods Committee and other experts in the U.K. book trade. They devised the Standard Book Numbering (SBN) system in 1966 and it was implemented in 1967.

At the same time, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Documentation (TC 46) set up a working party to investigate the possibility of adapting the British SBN for international use. A meeting was held in London in 1968 with representatives from Denmark, France, Germany, Eire, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and an observer from UNESCO. Other countries contributed written suggestions and expressions of interest. A report of the meeting was circulated to all ISO member countries. Comments on this report and subsequent proposals were considered at meetings of the working party held in Berlin and Stockholm in 1969. As a result of the thinking at all of these meetings, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was approved as an ISO standard in 1970, and became ISO 2108.

That original standard has been revised as book and book-like content appeared in new forms of media, but the basic structure of the ISBN as defined in that standard has not changed and is in use today in almost 150 countries.

Date Posted: 9/9/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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I sent the sender a respectful but firm PM yesterday, giving her until next Wednesday to send back the credit. We shall see how that goes...

Date Posted: 9/10/2010 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
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The date the book was actually published should be on one of the first pages inside the book -- the publisher's page. What does that say? It'll list all  the years the book's been published if more than one.

Date Posted: 9/10/2010 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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Susan > There are two dates: 1961 and 1980.

Date Posted: 9/10/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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Well if there is a date of 1980 in the book then it is NOT 50 years old, it is 30 years old and it looks like your sender cannot read, ironic for a member of a book swapping site.

Date Posted: 9/10/2010 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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"Well if there is a date of 1980 in the book then it is NOT 50 years old, it is 30 years old and it looks like your sender cannot read, ironic for a member of a book swapping site."   +1

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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This is probably not much of a surprise but it's Wednesday evening and I never heard back from this sender nor did she return my credit. So I'm going to send her a PM telling her again that I'm marking it as 'Unresolved' and then do so. I guess I'll just stick to the library book, thank goodness I was only auditing this 19th Century Novel class for fun. Darn shame she couldn't see the error of her ways. Oh well, at least if she tries it on anyone else, she'll start a pattern of black marks on her account.

After I mark it as 'Unresolved', is there a way for her to send me a credit and for me to change the status of this swap, just on the off chance she changes her mind?

Thanks for everyone's help and advice on this RWAP, I really appriciate it!

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I'm no expert on RWAP Erin, but I'm thinking that's a no.  Once marked 'resolved' or 'unresolved' it cannot be changed. 

ETA - Bummer about the book & credit, but hope you really enjoy the class!



Last Edited on: 9/16/10 12:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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