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Topic: Tiny hardcovers....

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Subject: Tiny hardcovers....
Date Posted: 1/24/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Why do normal sized hardcovers and tiny, cheaply made ones share the same ISBN? That really annoys me.

I thought the small, cheaply made ones were all book club editions, but I just got one and I can't see anything on it anywhere that would indicate it is a book club edition. This book in the stores near here are all the larger, full size hardcovers. The artwork is slightly different too. Here in our stores, the background color is blue, this cheapo book has a gold background.

Do different areas of the country get differently made/colored books?

The size and quality of the paper really doesn't matter at all because I'm going to read the book and pass it on, but I just don't like these books. I know it's weird and stupid, but I just can't stand them, especially if I've already seen and held the nicer hardcover in the store. Silly, isn't it?

I'm really just curious to know why it's okay to use the same ISBN when there really is a big difference in the books.

Date Posted: 1/24/2010 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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The point you raise is extremely important to collectors. BCEs are not first editions, generally speaking. They share ISBNs. But the size and quality of the book, and sometimes the cover art, is less than the first edition.

Over time, some uniformity has developed to help collectors determine a first edition. But you really have to know your stuff for the older books. There are several reference books to help you ID a first.

Generally, BCEs are cheap and designed exclusively for readers.

Date Posted: 1/24/2010 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I'm with the OP.  I want the intersting book over the BCE any time.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I always feel like an unpicky slob when I see threads like this. If it's readable, it's fine by me! But then again, I never buy any book new and get them all from either swapping or book sales years after they've been published. Yeah, I'm cheap...but in this economy my patience is infinite and if waiting saves me some $$$$, it's all to the good. ;)

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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What you have probably IS a book club edition.  Sometimes the only way to tell is the fact that they are cheaply bound and smaller than the regular hard size version.    Frankly, if I'm just going to read it, it doesn't matter to me at all.  BUT, I keep many of the hardbacks I receive in my permanent collection, and for those I want the full-size version.   So yeah, it can suck when you get the  book club edition from PBS when you were expecting the regular one.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Oh, if I get one from PBS, I don't get annoyed. You have to post by ISBN, them's the rules. Here, you pays your credit and you takes your chances. ;-)

But, it really annoys me when I buy a book and the seller doesn't mention the difference. I feel like the book club that makes these crappo books should have to use their own ISBN.

Normally, I'm not at all picky about the books I read, but I really hate these awful, crappy hardcovers. I still haven't left feedback for this book. I wonder if the seller knew there was a difference. I think I probably should mention this in my feedback.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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When I was a seller, I put BCE in the description so the buyer would know exactly what they're getting. The problem today is, you have lots of amateurs selling books. ('Course I was an amateur too. LOL! But as a collector, I knew first editions and BCEs.)

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I always feel like an unpicky slob when I see threads like this. If it's readable, it's fine by me! 

That's my opinion too, but then I also am not in the book reselling business.