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Topic: Can I swap this book?

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Subject: Can I swap this book?
Date Posted: 2/7/2012 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2012
Posts: 2
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I'm a newbie here and am unsure if my book meets the "good condition" requirements. It is a paperback that was published with a cutout in the front cover, showing the first page through it. I guess at some point in it's life, that cutout was snagged, because a part of the cover has torn off starting from that spot. The cover is still there, there is just a piece missing that's about 3 inches long and half an inch wide.

What do you all think?

Date Posted: 2/7/2012 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
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With a piece of the cover missing, no, I don't think it meets the swapping guidelines.

If it's a WL book, you can post about it on one of the threads in the Book Bazaar for damaged WL books and describe the damage.  Someone's usually still willing to pay a credit for a damaged WL book.

If it's not a WL book, you can offer it as a freebie with any order from your shelf.  Someone'd order one book and you'd send the damaged book and the book they ordered for their credit.

Date Posted: 2/7/2012 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Hi Casey. This topic came up before a while back, and it was determined that the artwork behind the cutout is part of the cover. If it's missing, the book isn't postable. 

I want to find the post I'm thinking of, but it was so long ago I'd probably just drive myself crazy looking for it.

Date Posted: 2/7/2012 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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The page behind a cover with a cutout is considered part of the cover so the cover guidelines would apply to it. A part of the cover can be missing up to 1 square inch. Since the portion you are missing is much bigger than that, the book would be unpostable. Had the portion torn away been smaller than 1 square1 inch, the book would have been postable.

From the Help Center:


  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket. Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above. That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY

Last Edited on: 2/7/12 8:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/7/2012 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Casey!   Excellent question, we're glad you asked  enlightened

The answer I would have given has already been posted, thank you Melanie!

Last Edited on: 2/7/12 10:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2012 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Sounds like you have your answer already, I'll just add in that the illustrated page inside the cover is often called a "stepback", in case that helps in searching the forums, or if you ever get on Jeopardy. devil