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Topic: Religious bookmarks

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Subject: Religious bookmarks
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2009
Posts: 2
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I recently received the book, "Three Cups of Tea."   The book came with a bible verse bookmark.  I am hoping that this additionally material was left in accidently and was NOT an effort to spread the word.

Has this happen to anyone else?

It made me very uncomfortable and I am trying to gauge how often this happens.



Kate -
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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That's never happened to me, but I've seen some discussion on here. Depending on how offensive it was ("convert lest you burn in hell" as opposed to, say, "love thy neighbor") I would either report it to TPTB or just roll my eyes and toss it out.

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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You might PM the sender and ask if she needs it back, working under the assumption it was left there by accident (I've had Red Sox tickets, phone numbers and all sorts of other "bookmarks" sent by accident with books).

If she indicates it was intentional, remind her that it violates both Media Mail policies (if the book was sent Media Mail) and PBS policies.  More details are available in the Help Center under "Can I include anything with my book?"  If you get a rude response, report it to PBS.

I've had deliberate insertions 3 or 4 times out of 500+ books; in those cases, they were either blatant advertising or religious tracts and I reported them to PBS.  They were sticking up out of the book so I couldn't miss them, and neither could the sender.  I don't want to have to pay extra postage or risk having a book destroyed because another member doesn't follow the rules.



Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 63
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I once had a sender enclose several Avon catalogues with some samples and her business cards with my book order.  I was brand -spanking new to PBS.....but still, it felt like she had crossed a boundary there.   I'm sure there are those who will say I should have reported her to the "powers that be," but like I said, I was new and not quite sure what was allowed.

Last Edited on: 7/20/09 7:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Was it in the book or in the package?  If it was in teh book it could have been sent my mistake. I get books with coupones, beat up bookmarks, receipts and such in them on a regular basis. I almost sent a bookmark with my daughters picture on it one time but I noticed it just in time. 

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<I once had a sender enclose several Avon catalogues with some samples and her business cards with my book order.  I was brand -spanking new to PBS.....but still, it felt like she had crossed a boundary there.  >>

That's pretty brazen. I hope you reported it, Tammy.  Using PBS to advertise is a huge no-no, not to mention the Media Mail issues.


Date Posted: 7/20/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Interestingly, the only Bible tract bookmark I have received was in the only unpostable book I've received where I've had any kind of attitude about getting my credit back.  And it was very, very unpostable.

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I got an Avon catalogue in a book recently; it didn't occur to me that I shoud have reported it. It was only a few days later that I realized it had been a violation of PBS rules. If it happens again, though, I'll report it.

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2008
Posts: 166
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Never received any religious bookmarks/tracts. But I have received books with a lot of things forgotten in them. Plane tickets, football tickets, receipts, and notes. If it was stuck in the middle and not sticking out, it could have been an accident. I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a "bookmark" or two in the books I've sent. I try to search for whatever I was using to mark the book, but you never know.

The Avon catalog would be a bigger issue for me because that is blatant marketing. Seriously, this is not the place for this.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 329
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I have also found lots of interesting things used as bookmarks left behind.  I've even found old photos, since I buy most of my books from used sales it would be impossible to track down who belongs to it.  I tend to think that most things left behind were forgotten or overlooked.  I don't think I'd "report" it unless we're talking about something really inappropriate.


Date Posted: 7/21/2009 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I recently got a book from a UBS that included a used boarding pass with the person's name on it.

As for the religious bookmark, I personally think what's the all fuss?  If you don't like it, throw it away, regardless of if it was left unintentionally or included on purpose.  It's just a BOOKMARK. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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I'm confused here. Does "just a bookmark" violate media mail rules? I know you can't send letters, cards, advertising, etc., but I wasn't sure about bookmarks. I personally usually use what scrap of paper is lying around, but I'll have to be sure to check my books more carefully now.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
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I accidentally left a couple pictures in a book once...  I had not read the book in a couple years...  the recipient PM'd me and was ever so kind to mail them back to me....  and I think I may have left a bookmark in one recently, but it was not religious...  so it may have been an accident...  I'd either just toss it or PM the sender....

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Yes, I did receive a bookmark once and yes it was an accident, I PM'ed the sender. I knew it was an accident because it referred to "fathers". I am a woman so it had nothing to do with me. It did have a bible verse but was in no way intended to spread the word. This sender PM'ed back saying her husband had read the book and had apparently left the bookmark in it. I described the bookmark (it was a really nice one). I thought she might want it back. She remembered it and where he had received it, but said no I could keep it. It was all very innocent.

I suggest you assume the best rather than the worst. If it really bothers you, PM the sender and put it to rest.



Date Posted: 7/21/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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I live in a home with so many readers that if you set your bookmark down someone is going to pick it up, so I have gotten into the habit of sticking it in the front of the book.  I have lost several of them that way when I have finished the book and then posted it and had it ordered right away(If the book sits around for more than a few days I notice I have a missing bookmark and go looking for it.LOL) Once I inadvertently sent off a book containing a bookmark from another swapping site, boy did I sweat bullets over that one. For my birthday last week, my 10 year old daughter made me a half dozen bookmarks. I now try much harder not to leave them in my books!

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Media Mail- Depends on the post office, I know some allow bookmarks and others dont. So its best to play on the side of caution and not enclose them. Really if you wish to send out bookmarks to people there are many wishing for them in the ROAK thread.

I would PM the person and ask if they want their bookmark back.   It could just be a mistake.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2009
Posts: 273
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I recently recieved a bookmark along with the book. I know I've been guilty about forgetting things in books, like receipts or even some money. I once got a book at a book sale only to open it months later to find a $20 bill in the middle. Personally, I would lean towards it being a harmless mistake and, depending on the quality of it, offer to send the bookmark back or just throw it away.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 3,700
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I accidentally left a bookmark in a book once. It was a 3-D picture of three kittens. When you move the bookmark, the kitten appear to be running.

I would assume that most things left in books are accidents. At my local used book store, they have a whole pile of pictures and other items left in books they've bought from the public.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
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Come to think of it, I received a book a while back with a bookmark that advertised another swapping site....  I think I just left it in the book... LOL....  had forgotten about that until someone mentioned leaving one for another swapping site in  a book..... LOL

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I like the idea of just contacting the sender to see if it was left in by mistake. I would never put one in on purpose but I have lost several by leaving them in by accident.

Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 7/21/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
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Jess-books - I might look at your shelf and order something, in the hopes of getting some surprise money!

I got one bookmark for a wicca store in a paperback I received. It was a paranormal book, so no big deal to me. I suppose someone very religious might have been offended. If I got a Christian-oriented bookmark I would just say "Bah!" and throw it away. Not worth my time to report it.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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BsMommy, it's funny because I just happened to be reading a book I got here with a card advertising another swapping site - which I am using as my bookmark!  I am definitely one of those people that ends up using any old scrap of paper as a book mark, usually business cards or doctor's appointment cards - I can't seem to keep track of my actual bookmark with my kids' photos on it (although if I did accidentally mail that one out, I'd be sad, so maybe I'm safer sticking with the business card/scrap paper approach, LOL).  I know some people here participate in multiple swapping sites, but I don't think I'm moving away from PBS anytime soon, I love it here!

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I know every year I buy the pack with the magnets and book marks for the school photos and they never seem to be around when I need one.  So I end up using receipts or coupons.  I have a playing card in one book now and a credit card statement in the other. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I've found quite a few bookmarks, some religious, but most of them seem to be from book stores and libraries. Also boarding passes, credit card receipts, and the other day, for the first time, a couple of bookmooch ads. I shred the credit card receipts and add everything else to the stack of bookmarks on my desk. I make it a point to check everything I send to make sure no strays are sent to anyone else.


Date Posted: 7/21/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2009
Posts: 2
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As a follow up to the my initial post...It is a big deal to me personally, if it is purposeful.  I say this as a non-Christian who has been the target of some fairly strong conversion attempts.  That is why I initially posted.  I wanted to know if this was happening across the board.  The book that I received it in (Three Cups of Tea) is about a Greg Mortenson's school building efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The book also had a handwritten index cards with a verse of Psalms.

I have been reassured by everyone's comment that this is an anomoly and not commonplace.  I just will have to be on the lookout for roving band of Avon salespersons.

Thanks for all your comments