Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: I just can't take it anymore

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: I just can't take it anymore
Date Posted: 1/26/2010 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
Back To Top

Still yet another stained book.  How can someone know how to do DC and not know you're not supposed to post a stained book? Are there actually still used books out there without stains? Because I'm sure not seeing them.

I have just had it. I'm dreading opening packages instead of looking forward to them. I hate confrontations and accusatations.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 97
Back To Top

I am sorry that you are having a run of bad luck :(  

I hope you start getting good books!

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
Back To Top

 could you do what, a request condition, making it clear that stains, clarifying what you perceived as stains, are not acceptable?

I will play devil's advocate and state that what some have posted here as unpostable type stains I don't have a problem with. 

It could be that the person who had the book doesn't see the stains on the book as unpostable.  I'm not saying it is right to post the book, just that perception of a stain is subjective.  I don't know what the stains are, how big, what type, water?  Food?  Dirt?  All of the above?  The type of stain can make a difference to some people. 

I am new here and am waiting for my first few books to arrive.  Of the 20 some so far that I have sent out, I would say 95% are in pristine condition, almost half have never been read.  A few (I think around three maybe four) are obvious used book, some bending on the front cover of one; it looks as if the book was laid down, the cover was folded under and not realized and now it has a crease in it.   From what I have read, they fit the guideline/rules of PBS. 

I tell people the shape a book is in when before I send it, that way if they don't want it they can refuse the book.  So far, no one has; it is a used book and looks like one.

There is a difference between a nice used book and a nasty used book and some don't see to be able to recognize the difference. 

Hope any more you get are in better shape. 


Date Posted: 1/26/2010 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
Back To Top

The rules are crystal clear. No stains (except the cookbok exception.) It couldn't be said any more plainly. No. Stains.

So I have to either confront the sender or feel like a bad member for letting it go. And I'm not just having a bad run. It's been like this for a long, long time.

I feel like there's some unwritten rule that everyone else is playing by and I'm the idiot for actually following the rules as stated. When I think of all the books I could've posted if I just didn't give a damn about the rules.

Last Edited on: 1/26/10 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I just got one today from a long time member that is falling apart.  And it's not a case of it being beat up in the mail system. The member tried ot tape the book back together.  But the back spine is almost completely seperated from the back, it's obvious that under the tape is a tear on the front cover going almost up the whole length.  The only reason the book isn't in 3 seperate sections is a because the last 1/4 inch of the back binding is still attached. 

I went 2yrs with only a few RWPs and this past week I've had to mark 3 that way.  The worst books have been from long time members.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

I'm so sorry to hear that, Willa.  And now just hoping I haven't sent you anything with a stain in it:P  If I ever do, I swear I'm nearly blind & probably missed it.  I have to work on my jewelry under a maglite these days...  I'm sure a lot of people do miss stains, and then there are probably plenty who don't care, or will use the old "I received it that way" excuse.  As though not marking it RWAP or whatever when they got it, or if they did & didn't get their credit back, was an excuse for making it someone else's problem.  I think that's the situation that bothers me the most; when people know the book is unpostable & try to rationalize it as being ok because someone else did it to them.  I have to admit my own tendecy to make mistakes, but I will always do the stand up thing & correct them, and that's really all I'd ever ask of anyone else.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Willa, I'm so sorry about your situation.  I've had cycles of bad books and cycles of great condition books.  I just received a book with underlining throughout the book.  It's  been the first book in a while now that I've gotten RWAP.  I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of a bad cycle!

The only thing I could think of as a "stain" that might be okay is foxing, and that isn't a stain and is allowed unless there is a RC against it. 

What genre are the books in?


Date Posted: 1/26/2010 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

Wow, sorry about your cycle of bad luck.  I have been having a cycle of great luck since most of my books are in pretty much "like new" condition.  I have as yet to receive a stained book.  The worst books I have received are really yellowed and the spines are really cracked.  But, that doesn't bother me since it really doesn't get in the way of reading the book.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
Back To Top

I feel your pain, Willa.  It's frustrating, especially when the unpostables seem to come in clusters.  I know you are marking them RWAP and asking for your credit back...but it sucks to have to do that.  I am very non-confrontational myself and HATE doing that- then I am always worried and checking my PMs to see if the sender is going to totally freak out on me...not fun at all, adds stress to my day that I do NOT need.  Sorry you have to deal with this yet again.  People should 1) be aware of the posting rules, and 2) check their books before they mail them to make sure they are still postable.

That said, I once almost accidentally sent out a stained book but thankfully noticed the staining while wrapping the book.  I check all my books really well when posting them, and then again before accepting an order, but had missed this one.  The staining was light yellow (I think from orange juice that leaked in my work tote, nothing gross) and when I posted that batch of books it was at night and the lighting was not good enough to see it then.  Now I make sure to check all my books in natural light instead of under one crappy 60 watt bulb in an otherwise dark room!

Hang in there, and I hope the sender resolves the transaction promptly.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
Back To Top

What is "foxing"?

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Here: http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=152386&l=25

The first pics are from an inactive photobucket account, but if you scroll down, there's a post from me with links to foxing images.

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
Back To Top

Heh Kim, not to worry. :-)

Lesley, I always check my books in natural light too. I actually just recently got a liquid-stained book with damage that was really hard to see and I'm kind of sorry now I didn't just let it go because it was so easy to miss and this one I just got is so damn blatent.

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
Back To Top

They do seem to go in cycles.  Hopefully you will get out of the bad cycle soon :)

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 4:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 115
Back To Top

Foxing isn't stated to be okay in the rules that I can find.  Yellowing from age is stated to be okay but foxing isn't mentioned.   Please let me know if I am wrong because I have looking for and can't find it.

I do think people interpret "stain" and "not a stain" in a variety of ways.    Lots of books I receive have spots (not dust) on the top of the page edges which could be interpreted as "soiled" or "stained."    If I repost these books I PM about them because I don't know whether this was intended be excluded or not but it does seem to be sent a lot without a PM.   

In double checking some books before I mail them I just discovered one has a large patch of discolored area where a book pocket used to be.  This could be interpreted as normal x-library stuff (legal), yellowing (legal) or a stain.  I could glue a new book pocket on top of it and it would be legal as normal x-library stuff.   And then I noticed that the tape used to attach the plastic cover to the book also has caused discoloration on the end papers across of it as well as the part of the book its attached to, more room for interpretation . . .   Is this normal x-library stuff and yellowing type of aging or is it a stain?      I've PMed the requestor about it.   

And then there is the book I have that really looks close to new except there is a wide black marker pen mark on the back cover.    Is that a stain?    Again, I PM.   

I'm curious as to who would interpret each of these as "a stain"?     Should I have posted these books at all?    Should I be RWAPing books with spots on the book edges as "soiled" or "stained"?  

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Remainder marks like the black marker on the top are allowed by PBS.  They're pretty common.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
Back To Top

Foxing is not avoidable damage to the book. It is a natural process. I think that is why it has always been generally accepted to be allowed. There is no way to prevent this happening to your books. Foxing in a book will not make anyone sick.

Mold/mildew on the other hand, is preventable damage (if you store your books somewhere damp and they get moldy, you need to store them in a different location!) .... and can make people sick.

The PBS rules are set up to prevent people from posting books that have damage that is 1. gross (dirt, stains, water or liquid damage, bite or chew marks, mold / mildew), or 2. makes the book unreadable (writing or highlighting on text pages), or 3. falling apart (spine damage, rips/tears, no missing text pages).

In my view, something not covered explicitely in the rules (gray areas) ... unless they fall into one of these categories, I tend to think of the book as postable. A discolored area on a page where a book pocket used to be = postable. (unless it falls on a text page). PBS allows non-text pages to be missing from the book completely, therefore if they present but discolored, that is allowed. Discoloration of endpapers = postable under the same reasoning.

Pen / marker / ink marks are allowed on the edges of the book. Unless they have bled into the pages. If the cover in intact and has marker or pen marks on it, those are generally allowed. Unless they are so numerous that they make the book fall out of the catch-all "good condition" rule.

If a book is fully readable, not falling apart,  and does not break an explicit rule of PBS, I fail to see why it should not be generally presumed to be postable.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 115
Back To Top

None of my descriptions were of remainder marks.   I know what they are and that they are allowed.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 115
Back To Top


Foxing is thought by many people to be mold or mildew.   Maybe sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.     

" There is some consensus that the culprits are either fungal or mineral or both in origin." from Bookologist's Glossary of Terms  http://www.bookologist.com/cab/abu/y203/m03/bk0001/s03

I will PM about most foxing before I mail a book because it can fit many people's definition of a "stain"  or even "mold" and if someone RWAPs about it the spots I think its pretty well indefensible.      

Someone could even say that books with foxing are unpostables but whether that is what PBS intended or not by saying no "stains" or "mold" but allowing "yellowing" from age, I can't tell. 


Date Posted: 1/28/2010 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
Back To Top

And then there is the book I have that really looks close to new except there is a wide black marker pen mark on the back cover.

I would consider this writing - but since it's not on a text page, it's postable.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
Back To Top

The tip about checking in natural light is a good one.  I don't get home to check my mail until after dark, and I keep all my unread books in my bedroom (yes, I'm starting to run out of room for me, LOL, but that's beside the point) which doesn't get a ton of natural light.  Today I am reading a book on the way in to work and it's a bright day, and I notice for the first time that the side of the book is stained by what looks like yellow highlighter, which I hadn't noticed when I received the book.  Sigh.  While I don't care for my own reading, it does make the book unpostable and means I can't get a credit for it myself, which bums me out  I wish I had noticed at the time I received it to RWAP, because I feel like that's the only way to reinforce the rules at PBS.  But to the OP, I will say this is generally a great site and I have received so many great, almost-like-new books here.  Don't let a run of bad luck get you down!

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 115
Back To Top

I really wish PBS would make the following issues postable, but must PM:

* Highlighting and underlining (all books, not just textbooks)

* Foxing (which they'd have to define)

And then I wish PBS would tell people with attitudes about RCs to get over it and keep their turn downs related to the condition of the book.

Any thoughts?

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
Back To Top

There have been a number of threads dealing with foxing and the general consensus is that it is postable.  I think the issue is that not everyione knows what foxing is or how to recognize it.  One of the threads a good while back had some photos.  If I remember correctly the pics showed some light rust-colored spots on the edges of the book.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 115
Back To Top

Unless stated in the guidelines, the concensus about foxing doesn't matter.   Someone can still RWAP it.  The spots are either rust stains or mold or some other kind of stain and as such are "stains."    It may be that most people won't RWAP it, but they still can rightfully by how the guidelines are worded.   I will PM things I consider to be foxing and let the requestor make up their own mind.  

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
Back To Top

I'm with you, Willa.

Like you, I just rec'd a liquid damaged book and the sender used DC.  The book is readable, just not postable, IMO.

When a sender uses DC and it's a RWAP, is the credited deducted from them?

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
Back To Top

When a sender uses DC and it's a RWAP, is the credited deducted from them?

No.   PBS doesn't deduct credits from someone's account for a RWAP - whether they use DC or not.   The choice to refund a credit always lies with the sender.  

From the viewpoint of the receiver, it shouldn't matter whether or not the sender used DC.   Once you get the book, you need to mark the book Received regardless.    If there is a problem with the book, then you mark it RWAP and go through the RWAP process.

Last Edited on: 1/28/10 4:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 2