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Topic: What is a cleaved spine? Postable?

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Subject: What is a cleaved spine? Postable?
Date Posted: 11/2/2009 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,281
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I have a book that opens to a particular spot and while the pages are very much intact (nothing is lose at all), you can see through to the spine (or the book cover as it is a paperback book).  Otherwise it is in very decent shape.  I've been afraid to post it to my bookshelf, but before I donate it to the library booksale (or maybe offer it as a freebie with an order), I thought I ask other's opinions. 

I don't know if this is what is considered a "cleaved" spine or actually separated (or if those terms mean the same thing).  On that note.....A long time ago I remember seeing a link here to a website that showed samples of different kinds of spine problems.  Does anyone have the link available?

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 1:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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This is what the help docs say in regards to binding:



  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY


Others may disagree with me, but I feel that the situation you described is "separation". I have received several books in that condition and have marked them as RWAP. I would not risk posting that book to your shelf. In fact, it's become such a concern that I've had to make it a part of my Requestor Conditions.

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 3:07 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,988
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If the spine is in 2 pieces and is held together by the paper it is cleaved and unposable.

If the spine is still in 1 piece, and the book just opens to a page, then I think the book is still postable. If it opens to a page and you can see pinhole dots through the spine to the paper, I believe that is still OK, too. But if the pinhole dots through the spine are actually larger, then it is unpostable.

Books that have a partially broken spine can often become completely broken thru the rough handling of the mail. So, if you send it, it could very well still be postable when you mail it out but become unpostable by the time it reaches the receiver. Just something to think about.

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,281
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Thank you, Jennifer and Sara.  I was aware that the book condition guidelines say "no separation", but I was struggling with what that meant exactly since the pages themselves are firmly attached.   I think I also was struggling with the interpretation of that because otherwise the book looks practically new.  So sad.  And it's heavily wishlisted too.  Double sad.   And I didn't even like the book, so it's gotten little handling from me.  (sigh)  I had leaned in the direction you ladies wrote when I first received it (kicking myself that I didn't mark it RWAP -- again, I just wasn't sure).  And as I looked at it again this weekend I found myself waffling.  But I'm done.  You helped me put it to rest. 

So no one who read this knows the link I referred to in the OP?  It was really helpful the first time I saw it, but I forgot to save it and can't seem to find it on my own.  :^(

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Not sure which link you are looking for, but here is one that I found helpful:


Date Posted: 11/2/2009 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 2,667
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Last Edited on: 7/6/11 11:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/5/2009 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,281
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Thank you for that link, Christina.  I don't think that was the one I was looking for, but those pictures are helpful.