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Topic: Split bindings this time a year

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Aileene - ,
Subject: Split bindings this time a year
Date Posted: 12/22/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 339
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I have been receiving quite a few of these in the last few weeks (since it turned so cold and snowy in my area) where the pages are separating from the inner binding. You wouldn't notice the problem unless you open the book, but once they are opened it is quite obvious.

So I was wondering, is this something that people just don't check out for in books they may buy in bulk and list w/o really looking at them or is this a common problem in the winter months when/where the weather is cold (a suggestion by one sender, she said that her husband used to work at a bookstore and they had this problem in the cold months)

I've been rather surprised that I haven't (knock on wood) had any bad communications w/ the senders of these books and those that I have asked for credits back have given them w/ apologies and even a few I didn't ask for credits back (figuring that I was probably have to accept being the 'last receiver'  for those books, since the binding was more worn out and while split inside no pages were falling out)

So anyway, is this a common problem in cold weather? or is it just an overlooked problem for people who may buy books in bulk & list w/o really checking them out?


Date Posted: 12/22/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,405
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I don't know that  weather is a huge factor.  I have noticed that the bindings seem to be splitting more frequently in books though so it may be a manufacturing problem.  A friend of mine sells new books and had an author doing a signing, every single book she opened to sign ended up cleaving at the author page.  And those were brand new books, never read.

Date Posted: 12/22/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I don't live in a cold climate, but it seems that I've read about other PBSrs in colder states having that problem.  I would think it would happen most easily with mass market paperbacks since they are made with flimsier material & glue. 

Sara -
Subject: damaged books
Date Posted: 12/22/2009 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2009
Posts: 1
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I recently sent a book that was in perfect condition, and got a nasty message from the receiver telling me the book was falling apart at the binder, the pages were coming apart from the book, what do you do in a situation like this? I love this site and only send great condition books because I cherish books and take good care of them, I felt offended!

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Sometimes I think the glue is bad, and once it gets too stiff it just breaks or comes undone.

I had a trade-size WL'd book that was about ten years old but looked pristine. Flipped it open and fanned it out and it was great. Said I could mail it. Then a passage caught my eye and I opened it to actually read the book and the binding went 'POP'. Broke completely, straight through. Opened to another spot and it went 'pop!' again. Of course, I had to cancel the order, but honestly, if I hadn't done more than fan through it I wouldn't have believed it if the sender had complained. I'm sure now that being squashed in the mail, with any stress on the binding, and it would've been a mess by the time they got it. I'm just glad I caught it early.

And I've gotten other books, new, that just seemed to lose a page here and there when it was opened. New stuff. I even had new textbooks fall apart after one use when I was going to college. They looked fine when I bought them new. By the end of the semester I had to put them in binders if I wanted to keep them.

I think publishers are cutting costs on paper and glue quality. Or just don't realize they're making a poor binding choice. As long as they're getting through the original purchaser's reading and don't have to refund, I think they consider it a good deal. It's not like they're interested in the book surviving a secondary market which they don't get a penny from.

I love this site and only send great condition books because I cherish books and take good care of them, I felt offended!

Please don't feel offended. A complaint isn't personal, and it's not about you. You have to remember that no matter how well you treat your books, you're not the person who chose the glue, or the paper, nor do you have a lot of control over how much battering the book gets on route.

All you can do is say it was okay when you sent it. And if you really believe that it must have come apart in the mail and you wrapped it well, keep your credit. If you have any doubts, or it makes you feel better, then return it. It's up to you.

But don't take it personally. Too many things about the books we have and trade we can't control, and sometimes can't catch until it's too late. It happens to the best of us.

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I've noticed it frequently lately. I figured it might be caused from books coming to a warmer climate from a cold one, but it doesn't seem to matter. I think it must be pbs in general are getting to be poorer quality. It irks me, no, they aren't  fortune to purchase, but they certainly should last through one reader. Thirty  year old books I own don't have the same problem, and they've moved with me many times. If it is a quality deterioration problem across the board, that can only hurt all of us in the long run, including PBS. :-( 

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I recently had a request for one of my books, I gave it the quick look over, made sure I could not see any damage and then accepted the request.

It was not a book I had read all the way thru but do have favorite parts, so figuring it would soon be gone I wanted to reread just 2 pages of it.

I live in CA, it was a cold night around 55'f and when I opened the book the glue cracked and thus the book became unpostable.

I am very certain if I had not looked closer at the book and had this happen, it would have happened on the recievers end.

On closer look I saw that the book was poorly put together, binding glue was very thinly applied and other sections promptly broke apart.
So I think its a combo of weather and bad bindings.
Least I had the chance to cancel the request and not send the poor member a bad book.

Date Posted: 12/23/2009 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 1,101
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I have had a few break on me when I opened them in the winter. Now when I get a book I let it get to room temp first before really opening it.   I live in South Dakota and don't know if it is because of the cold or just bad timing, since I don't think I've ever had that problem in the warmer months.