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Topic: Do I RWAP this?

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Subject: Do I RWAP this?
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2010
Posts: 7
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I've recently received a book where the spine and the binding have clearly seperated from one another. While this doesn't compromise the readability of the book (ie, no pages are falling out), I still feel like I need to be particularly delicate with handling it. Does this merit a RWAP?

Pictures of the book in question:

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Date Posted: 6/4/2011 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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That's kind of a toughie without seeing the whole book Charles.  Some hardcovers have the spine open like that (it allows them to lay open flat without damaging/creasing the outer cover), a quick peek at my bookshelf revealed several at first glance.

The undamaged books on my shelf looked very similar to your pics, but upon close inspection along the page edge (where they attach to spine) is a tiny corded edging.  Well rats, I went an looked again and that isn't going to work.  The majority had an edging, but I found a couple printed in the late 1960's that look exactly like your pics.

Is the gap the same top to bottom?  You will need to determine if the book was manufactured this way, or if the spine has truly separated...pages from cover.

Date Posted: 6/4/2011 3:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2010
Posts: 7
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I'm not in a position where I can take any more pictures for the moment, so I'll attempt to describe what's going on:

I looked at the book again, and the gap starts at the top and runs about two-thirds of the way down the spine, while the remaining third of the spine downwards is very soundly attached.

If I lay the book open on my desk, the binding and the spine along the top part seperate even wider, with the binding curving in an arch while the spine lays flat and on the same plane as the covers. The bottom part, on the other hand, has the spine and the binding moving and curving together so that there's a gap between the spine and the desk. Where the two parts meet, there's a sort of blister or pucker, like the bottom part is trying to pull away to be like the top part.

Does that make any sense, or have I simply confused things even further?



Last Edited on: 6/4/11 3:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 6:55 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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If 1/3 of the book is completely attached and 2/3 is separated from the cover, then I think that would be a RWAP under the no separation rule. 

But if it's still attached by its ends in the trouble area, and just has a gap in the middle, personally, I'd probably just mark it received without a problem and chalk it up to it being on or near it's last read. I've seen some new books with a gap in the middle, but they were still firmly attached, and it went the whole way down the spine. This looks like it was at one time completely attached but maybe from rough handling or poor construction, is starting to separate.

It's hard to judge without seeing the book, and even then sometimes you just have to use your best judgment.

Last Edited on: 6/4/11 6:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I can't tell without seeing the book what I would do, but I just pulled a fairly new Riverside Shakespeare off my shelf and it looks exactly like your pictures, and the binding does what you are describing.  It seems to have a different binding than the other hardcovers on my shelf and it has had the easy life of sitting on my shelf as a seldom used reference since it's easier to beat up paperbacks or search for quotes on the internet.  I'm wondering if your book has the same type of binding.

Date Posted: 6/4/2011 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The comment that part of the spine is open, and part closed would seem to indicate a damaged book.  How are the connections where the pages meet the cover (that seam inside the front & back covers)?  If the spine is damaged, those connection points quickly loosen and tear.

mistie -
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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personally, i wouldn't be marking this RWAP. IMHO, if it's borderline,  and other members can decide either, I'd rather err on the side of being happy to receive a hardback, and accepting this may be it's last read.

Another way to consider this - if you posted this book, adn someone else marked it RWAP, would you be happily refunding their credit?

Date Posted: 6/4/2011 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I don't know about this book without holding it, but my book that looks similar isn't damaged.  It's made to lay flat if you open it, so the pages are sewn with a space between the spine and pages like the picture on this page: http://www.ehow.com/how_6504325_make-old_fashioned-book-cover.html .  It's usually for reference type books, but they come like this new.


Last Edited on: 6/4/11 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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That's a tough one Charles. For myself, if it is just fabric coming lose and the spine itself is all intact I wouldn't mark it RWAP (since as someone has pointed out, some books are actually made to have that fabric part not be attached and their integrity is not compromised) . But without actually having the book in ones hands, there's no way to tell if the spine is compromised.

Date Posted: 6/4/2011 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,540
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If you are near a public library, why not take it in and ask the librarian for an opinion.  They work with so many books and also do binding repair (at least ours do) so should be very knowledgeable.


Date Posted: 6/4/2011 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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From your pictures I can't tell if it's a hollow (or case) binding or not.

Pictures of bindings

Hollow Binding Examples Figures 6, 7, 8 & 10

If it is a hollow binding, it's perfectly fine.

I'd go by whether or not the pages are firmly attached for the RWAP.

Last Edited on: 6/4/11 7:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: this is a toughie
Date Posted: 6/4/2011 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I've got tons of books that look like that, usually larger volumes, and it's always seemed to be just the way they were meant to be. As someone already said, it gives the book a bit of breathing room for opening. NewRuth's first link has a perfect depiction of what I'm talking about, in the figure marked B. That having been said, if the book in question isn't uniform in this regard, as if having gone partly from figure A to looking like figure B, it probably qualifies as separated. I like mistie's suggestion: if you'd accept it if a requestor called a book you sent damaged for that reason, I suppose you could give it a shot. I just don't think it's necessary clear enough to know for sure whether the sender in question will agree, and I honestly can't tell from the pictures provided whether even I would agree myself. Since I have so many already bound that way, I'd most likely not have even noticed.