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Topic: Textbook Exception/Wishlist problem

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Subject: Textbook Exception/Wishlist problem
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 229
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I'm having a problem with posting a wishlisted book.  The problem is that the book is a novel that I used for a college course as a textbook, and therefore has some underlining in it.  Other than that, it is perfectly postable and is the only copy in the system.  I posted it last week and it was immediately requested through wish list hold.  I accepted the request and sent the requester a PM describing the condition and asking that they tell me whether they would like the book or not as soon as possible.  I chose the latest mail by date so I could to give them the maximum amount of time to respond.  They did not respond by today, which is the day I would have to mail it out.  So I cancelled the request.  Now, since this member didn't respond the first time, it's probable that he won't the next time, and since he's the only person on the wishlist it will automatically go back to him, right?  I don't want to repeat the process of having to wait almost a week before cancelling the order. 

Is there anything else I can do to avoid this happening again?  I've looked through the help docs and don't see anything about what to do when someone doesn't respond to a PM about a wishlisted textbook. 


Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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If the requestor doesn't respond, and it's a wish listed book, you're out of luck. If the first guy in line doesn't want your copy, you have to wait until he gets one before reposting yours.

However, since it's a holiday season, and a lot of people are away (especially college students), you might just wait a few days and then repost the book and PM the guy again.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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You could also post it in the Book Bazaar, stating the condition up front.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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I know the definition of textbook can be subjective. Personally, I wouldn't consider a novel to be a textbook just because it was used for classwork.  Lots of literary works are used as resources in high school and college classes.  With the small print and tight margins, I'd find it very hard to read or use a novel that had been marked up for schoolwork.

The help docs do list an example of using a novel as a textbook (and problems doing so). But it doesn't help you much. The responsibility stays with you to PM the requester and to cancel it (so they don't lose their place in the wishlist line) if not acceptable to them.  If the first person in the wish list line doesn't want it, you are pretty much stuck until they get the copy they want.

What is the definition of a textbook?

Actually, the way the system and rules are designed, it does not matter what the "objective definition" of a textbook is.  The club members decide this - as long as the rules in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS are followed.  See the explanation and examples below.

If a member considers her book a textbook she may Post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages, according to the "textbook exception" in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS; BUT since the textbook exception in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS require her to contact the requestor and obtain PM consent to the book's condition, she won't be in the position of sending a "stealth textbook" to someone who doesn't expect to receive one.

Examples/further explanation:

  • Member A posts an Economics 101 textbook - something that most people would clearly consider a textbook.   
  • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
  • Chances are good that she will get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc. 
  • Member B posts a novel (fiction) that she used in a class - something that most people would NOT consider a textbook.
    • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
    • Chances are good that she will NOT get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc.
    • If the requestor declines the book in its condition, Member B will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  It will go to the 'back of the line' for requests.  (If it is a Wish Listed book, it will be offered to the same wisher and the sender will again have to cancel.  She will have to wait for the wishing member to get a copy of this book from someone else before Member B can post her copy again.)

So, the farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  Members in Member B's situation may encounter several declines, and will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition.  Member B will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook"  and will consider it instead an unpostable/damaged book.


Last Edited on: 1/2/10 4:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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It sounds unpostable to me.  I would post it in the book bazaar (you can post it for a credit there).

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,550
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I was a college professor and a month or so ago I had a request for an Everyman hardcover of As I Lay Dying and The Sound and The Fury that I had used in a graduate class on 20th century American Novel. I did exactly as you did. They said ship it, though. It does look like you are snookered on this particular book, but I think you handled it correctly.

Date Posted: 1/3/2010 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,387
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the member will still have access to your information due to the PM you sent.  i would, in this case, re-PM, and ask them if they would like the book.  if they do want it, then you can repost it to them, no problem.  if they don't, but you still want to repost the book, ask them to put an RC up when they request the book.  that way, you can decline due to RC's, they don't lose their place in the WL line, and your book will be available for someone else to request (remembering that you will need to PM any requestor about the underlining).

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 229
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Thanks for the help, everyone!  I think I'll hang onto the book for a little while and maybe list it in the Book Bazaar for a deal with other books by the same author that are also wishlisted. 

Happy new year!