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Topic: All My Recent Requests have had Smell RCs

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Subject: All My Recent Requests have had Smell RCs
Date Posted: 7/31/2014 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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I've been amember here for a few years and have noticed - and shrugged off - various trends in requests from my shelf.  But the last 5 requests I've had have all had the dreaded vague "no smells" RC.  I have practically no sense of smell myself so I decline the RCs just as a  precaution;  I don't need the credits at the moment.

However, in looking at my account transactions, I've noticed that those last 5 requests were all for books that are 20 to 30 years old, published between 1977 and 1989.  Now it seems to me that unless a book has been stored under ideal conditions - hermetically sealed or locked in an airtight vault - for that long, then the chances are pretty darned good that the paper is going to have absorbed some odors from something, even if it's just that "old paper" smell (which I actually like). 

Now I know that everyone has the right to post RCs here, just as everyone has the right to accept or decline those RCs.  I'm just wondering if anyone can honestly expect a used 25-year-old book to NOT have some kind of scent to it.  In terms of the lifespans of paperback books, these volumes are on the verge of being antiques!  :)  And if you're asking for a book that is old (and in most cases, out of print) shouldn't you kind of expect it to look and possibly smell it's age?  I'm not talking about cigarette smoke or mildew, just that aroma that says that a book is old.

Anyway, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular.  I'm just curious about people's expectations.  And maybe I just have too much time on my hands...   :)


ETA:  Oh, and if anyone's looking for older SF or Fantasy, I'm offering a 3-for-1 special on those paperbacks I have left from the big box I found under a spare bed.  They don't smell like anything to be except "Old".  :)

Last Edited on: 7/31/14 3:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/31/2014 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I have some older Signet trad Regencies (1980s, early '90s) that are in mint condition but were on a raw wood bookshelf so they have a 'funky' scent, it isn't like fresh wood because the unfinished bookcases are about 15 years old, but there's a definite scent. Some of the books are WL but I hesitate to post them in case someone, even with no 'smell' RC, will complain.

My sense of smell isn't what it used to be so I'm not a good judge of the scent, but I hate to see the books go to waste. The smell RC is so subjective.

I had one member complain that the inside of the front & back covers of a book were yellow. The book was from 1987 and in otherwise great condition but these days I really watch what books I post.


Date Posted: 7/31/2014 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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You are wise to decline the "smell" RC's, especially since you admit to having very little sense of smell.  If a book is from the 70's & 80's, it certainly could pick up the scent of the home it was in  (you know, how everything coming out of Grandma's house smells like Grandma's house.  Every time my Mom sends me something, I get a whiff of "home"!).  Hopefully your smell RC streak is over and you'll get non-RC requests!

Date Posted: 7/31/2014 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 2,183
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I often wonder the same thing, JoAnne. I know when I order an older book I expect it to have aging issues - old book smell, yellowing, age spotting, etc.  I'm surprised when a 20- 30 year old book doesn't have these. 

Last Edited on: 7/31/14 7:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/1/2014 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I just think people aren't thinking when they request a book that is 20+ years old and then request that it be free of "old book smell, yellowing, age spotting, etc." I had an exchange with another member who was upset that the book he requested, published in 1969, had typical age issues. The book he got was tightly bound and in excellent condition, just old. But when I pointed out that the book was 45 years old and it gave the publication date in the book description and he requested it knowing that it was 45 years old, he settled right down. I don't think he was happy but at least he understood that if he required a younger book he needed to request an edition that had a more recent publication date.