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Topic: What is a "Cleaved" Spine?

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Subject: What is a "Cleaved" Spine?
Date Posted: 1/25/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 117
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I've been seeing this word turn up a lot here lately, and I have no idea what it means. I'm familiar with book terminology, but this isn't turning up on any of my definition websites. Does this mean a skewed or slanted spine? Or, does it mean something else?

Since I've seen some people in the forums complaining about receiving "cleaved" spines - I would like to know what they're talking about.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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It when the spine splits into two pieces at the glue.  Becoming more common in new books because they are using cheaper and less glue.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 117
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Ahh...... now I get it! The term for that in the book world is "shaken." Now, I know - thank you!

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I've only seen the term "shaken" used in conjunction with hardcover books myself, and I think it indicates that sections are becoming loose, but are still attached to the binding (stitching) - but there is no separation of the stitches themselves.  Generally, when someone says that a book has a cleaved spine, they mean that the binding has completely separated, and all that may be intact is the cover beneath.  The spine is actually the back portion of a book's binding which is visible when a book is shelved in a bookcase, so the term is misleading.  What people actually mean is the binding is broken or split; "Cleaved" basically means split.  So you open the book to where the binding is broken, and it falls into two halves, and the only thing holding it together is the cover.  Here's an image of a book with a split binding or "cleaved spine":

 

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y4/rubberducky102760/8_299.jpg

"Spine cracks", which actually means binding cracks, are similar, but that term is meant to describe cracks in the binding, usually a long line of pinhole or slashed separations along the length of the binding, visible from the inside, or between pages.  It looks like this:

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y4/rubberducky102760/2762798875_d3dec5c5e0.jpg

Sometimes it's not even that pronounced, or the binding is not weakened to the extent that it will fall open into those two neat sections, as shown in the image above, when the spine is placed on a flat surface.  Then, you're likely just looking at the beginnings of a split binding, or a series of small separations along the length of the binding.  I wasn't here when PBS stopped using the term "cleaved spine", but I have presumed it was because it's a subjective term, and some members might think a book is acceptable with a few pinhole cracks between one or two pages, and that it only applies if the binding of a book is completely split and the only thing holding it together is the cover.  PBS book conditions guidelines say "no separation on the inside or outside of the book", so I've always taken that to mean any separations - be they splits or pinholes - are unacceptable.

Hope this helps:)

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Kim thank you so much for those pictures.  I have many books with the pinholes, and I've considred them unpostable.  I haven't quite known what to do when receiving them, though, because I've gotten so many that I thought maybe they are postable.  I haven't been reposting, but since most haven't been horrible I've been marking them received.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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People do tend to send them, Karen, possibly thinking they're okay, but IMO, they aren't.  They are usually the easiest binding defect to miss when flipping through a book however, so it's likely that a lot of the books that get sent out with them were just overlooked.  If the binding isn't split to the extent that it falls open, someone might have no reason to suspect that there are any defects to the binding, and the outer spine may even look perfect, or just have a few light creases.



Last Edited on: 1/25/09 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/25/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 117
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Thank you - the photos do help!

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,256
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Kim - thanks for the info.  The pictures certainly do help.  Pat

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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The help center says:

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

 

For that reason, I've always considered the second picture to be postable.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, the thing about the second picture is that those are separations in the binding.  The binding isn't fully separated from top to bottom, as in the first image, but those little pinholes & cracks between the pages, as shown in the second image, are cracks in the binding, and as such, should make a book technically unpostable.  That's just my two cents worth on that.  It might be a good idea to ask a TG and have them check on it & confirm if they are indeed unpostable though.



Last Edited on: 1/25/09 7:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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Well, the thing about the second picture is that those are separations in the binding.

The way that I'm reading the Help Center, that type of separation is excluded.  I've never seen a book that opened to one page that did not look like picture 2.

 When I first joined, there were "cleaved" and "cracked" spines.  Cracked were OK to post.  They've since removed the terminology.  Clarification from TPTB would be helpful.  However, they don't seem to want to be more specific.



Last Edited on: 1/26/09 12:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The way that I'm reading the Help Center, that type of separation is excluded.  I've never seen a book that opened to one page that did not look like picture 2.

What part of the Help Docs specifically has you leaning that way?  Just curious about it.  Also, do you remember what the old documentation said?  I joined after it was changed to what it is now, so I never actually saw it.  I've always read what's there now very literally to mean no separations, and since they don't have an exception to that posted, I would think that cracks are covered just as much a complete split.  I suppose I can message someone & ask though, and then post whatever I hear back.

*ETA:  I have seen a few books that dropped open in the middle and didn't have any binding cracks, but not that many.  Paperback bindings will get soft & loose over time, and if the binding doesn't crack, they're eventually going to flop open and lay flat like that.



Last Edited on: 1/26/09 2:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/26/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,333
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 This is off-topic, but as I was reading, I realized that cleaved is one of those wonderful words (like "sanction") with opposite meanings.  I was thinking of my old oath: "I shall cleave to my Campfire sisters / Wherever, whenever I find them..." where cleave means the opposite of to cleave something in two (with a cleaver perhaps.)

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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What part of the Help Docs specifically has you leaning that way? 

 

The help center says:

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

 

The opening to a particular page part is after the no separation statement.  Intact means perfect, but the two statements below the first allow for some imperfection.

 

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Huh?  You're losing me there.  The two conditions aren't synonymous.  A book can flop open to a certain page without having binding cracks, and it can have binding cracks without flopping open to a certain page.  I don't see what the order the binding conditions are listed in has to do with it.  And I don't think intact means "perfect", or at least, that's not the context they mean it in.  I think they mean unharmed or undiminished - unbroken.  A binding can be softened from being read a lot - constantly creased open - or from frequently laying facedown with the pages open, but they don't always crack like that.  Again, those are binding separations, and PBS says NO separations.  I still haven't messaged anyone & asked for a clarification though, but I will get on that & post it if I hear something.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Okay... so I sent a clarification request to the PBS Team, and this is what I got back:

Dear Kim,

We would not consider a pinhole to be a cleaved spine. Books that fall open to a specific
page are postable, and almost every paperback book that does that has at least some small separations.

What matters here is if the pages are securely attached. If they are likely to fall out on the next reading, then the book should not be posted. We really cannot clarify this any further. We need members to use their common sense and best judgment about whether a book is about to fall apart or not. This is just not something we can judge without having the books in our hands.

So I gather that pinholes & cracks in the binding are acceptable as long as the pages are securely attached, and don't look to be tearing loose along any of those perforations.  As with most of the rules, common sense is key.  I think I would take some extra care when packing books like this to ship, just because they could pull loose with any kind of rough handling - such as the USPS manglers so frequently dish out to our poor, defenseless books:P  Anyhoo, hope this is helpful to everyone:)



Last Edited on: 1/27/09 7:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2009 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 71
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THANK YOU KIM!  It is very, very nice to have a picture to go along with a term (especially one I don't understand!)

Melissa

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
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The pix really help! Probably half the paperbacks I have received look like picture 2. They just don't make them like they used to. I have received a couple with what I would call pix 1, but the pages on both sides are still attached to the cover, just the book is sort of in two halves. I have gotten very good at fixing this condition so far. And, I leave the book for a week or two to make sure my  repair will hold up, then fan the book out, etc. I'm glad pix 2 is ok or I would have to not repost at least 1/2.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I am bumping this thread up because of several questions lately about what is and is not a RWAP

Date Posted: 2/23/2012 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2007
Posts: 24,097
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This thread is 2 years old but was very helpful today.

Subject: Thank you for the info ( Lsressler)
Date Posted: 8/9/2012 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2009
Posts: 752
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Bumping this as I needed it this past week.  Very helpful.  :)

Date Posted: 8/9/2012 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,672
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Lots of good information about this ,as I've had questions about it as well.

Date Posted: 8/10/2012 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2012
Posts: 6
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as a newbie I say a big THANK YOU to you all! Very helpful & cleared up some of my concerns :)

Date Posted: 11/14/2012 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,412
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This thread sure did help me today!  Thanks for posting the pics & for all the info!!!  And thanks to PBS tour guide Patty P. (Patouie) who helped me find it!!

Date Posted: 3/6/2013 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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Many on PBS keep striving to move this club to include only like-new or nearly-new paperbacks.

Given the declining quality of everything involved in book production, particularly in this case, glue, few mass market paperbacks will not show something at some splace between the front and back page after four or five readings.

It also seems to be the general consensus that any stain is surely classifiable as water damage. Try to find a 20 year old book, paperback or otherwise, that doesn't have "water damage" on at least one place, if this is your criteria (all discolorations can be attributed to mold or water damage)

The above pictured book: average condition for any 20 year old book. For a five to 10 year-old paperback, slightly below average, but definitely unpostable...

Gimme a break. When those in charge start to enforce those standards, I will be happy to hit the breeze.



Last Edited on: 3/6/13 10:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1