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Topic: "No smoke of any kind"

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Subject: "No smoke of any kind"
Date Posted: 12/10/2008 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I got a request with RCs that say "I am not willing to accept books that have been around smoke of any kind." Should I be correct in assuming that this is meant to apply to cigarette smoke? I don't smoke, but I have a woodstove, so the book could have been exposed to wood smoke at some point, although the books aren't stored near the woodstove. It's the "smoke of any kind" part that is confusing me. What do the rest of you think?

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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I'd take it literally to mean no smoke of any kind.  I'd turn down the RC saying you have a wood stove and the books may have been exposed to that.  Maybe it'll help the person clarify their smoke as to what kind they don't want.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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I'd turn this one down too. We don't smoke but DH does have an outside fire ring he uses and sometimes the smoke smell drifts in the house. Not worth taking a chance on.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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That RC needs to be a little more specific.  And unless you bought the book new, you have no idea if the previous owner is a smoker or not.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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"No smoke of any kind" means cigarette, cigar, wood fire, bad cooking... I'd turn it down and put "book has been exposed to smoke from our woodstove" so they get the idea that if they didn't mean it that way they should write it differently.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm going with the crowd here and would decline if you have a wood stove.  I have a little gas fireplace, I would accept because it makes no smoke. But I know in the winter at our old house, when we ran the wood fireplace everyday-the smell would linger for a while in out clothes and stuff. A nice smell, not like cigarettes. But someone with alergies might be still be bothered by it. 

You could in your reason  for declining say "we don't smoke but use a woodstove and RCS state smoke of any kind".  Better to be safe then sorry.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I assume that anyone on a book site is literate enough to write exactly what they mean.  I'd turn it down.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I don't know how this person could be more specific.   It says NO smoke OF ANY KIND.   I'd take it to mean exactly that.  Yes, I'd turn it down if I had a wood burning stove.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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Okay, thanks, that's what I'll do. I was just confused because I've never seen anyone mention that wood smoke in a book was a problem before. I certainly don't want to send somebody a book they're allergic to.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Cozi, whilie I agree with what you are saying, I also do think it could be more specific.  We do not smoke, but I would turn it down based on this part:  "books that have been around smoke....."

See, I have no idea if my books have *ever* been around smoke.  In this, they could stand to be more clear.  Most (not all) people mean "if YOU, the sender or someone at your house, smoke", but you have to assume otherwise with ones like this.  

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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This same wood smoke question came up last year during the winter.     Actually I probably would have just turned it down PERIOD.   I think it's clear so if I don't know the history of the book at least back to the book store, then yes I'd turn it down.

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,537
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I agree with you Cozi,

Speaking as an asthmatic with multiple allergies as well, I can tell everyone that different types of smoke will set off different types of reactions.  I have problems with any type of tobacco smoke but can handle small amounts of wood smoke.  I think the person who had the RC about any type of smoke, is probably dealing with something similar.

Now, I know many people will say that they get their books from here or from UBS and don't know the history.  I agree, you won't know, and not knowing, you (editorial) should probably decline based on RC.  If the requestor had meant to limit only to books currently around smoke, they would have said so.  They were already specific enough to include all types of smoke.

I would imagine that this person is fully aware that this will limit, perhaps severely, the number of books they will get.  But remember, there are members on the site that do buy new books and post them and don't smoke or have wood smoke around, etc.  Therefore, there are still plenty of good books for this requestor to get.

JMO though, I could be reading too much into it (I have a tendency to do that especially this late at night :)


Date Posted: 12/11/2008 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2006
Posts: 472
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Zoe you should not send the book because you have to interpret the conditions literally.  As people stated there are people who had reasons for making them as literal as they are.  There are also people who write conditions like "I do not want books that have ever been around smoke" who really mean, I want books from a currently nonsmoking household.  You used see more people getting upset about turn downs by people who took the conditions literally, but there seems to be a wider shared understanding that conditions will (and must) be interpreted literally.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 12/11/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I think the RCs are worded the way they are to specifically exclude wood smoke and other non-cigarette sources of smoke.  Some people are very allergic to any smoke at all, and just a regular  "no books from currently smoking environment" is usually interpreted as cigarette smokers and woodstoves would not even be considered.  So, I think the requestor is purposely trying to get others to think about other types and sources of smoke.  They probably do realize they will get a lot of turndowns, but the books they do receive will not make them sick.

I suggest that you turn this request down.  You have a woodstove, and book may have been exposed.

Date Posted: 12/11/2008 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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I agree - turn it down. My aunt and uncle have a wood stove, and every time we go over to their house we reek of smoke when we get home. I would not send to this person either - I burn incense in the room where I keep all of my books.

Date Posted: 12/14/2008 4:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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His wording is being taken too literally.  We really do not know what he meant. 


Date Posted: 12/15/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 167
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I think you have to take the RC literally.  If they get too many declined, then they will re-word their RC. 

Almost all of my books came to me used - from PBS, Half-Price Books, Garage Sales, FOL Sales, etc.  I just decline and write "I received this book used and have no way to know if it has ever been exposed to smoke."  Simple, straightforward and factual.

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I am assuming they meant what they said "No smoke of any kind."  That's pretty clear to me.   IF they meant no cigarette smoke then they should have said so.

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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Wow, I just want to say THANKS for this post...I have a wood stove and because no one in our house has ever smoked cigarettes, I always reply books are from a non-smoking home, never considered our heat source!!