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Topic: What does the spine being "cleaved" mean?

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Subject: What does the spine being "cleaved" mean?
Date Posted: 3/14/2008 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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I had someone receive a book I sent and are asking for the credit back because the spine was cleaved and is unpostable for them.

I got it from a library book sale and had no problems reading it?

Is this a condition that you can't post books? I'm confused...

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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Here ya go:


Date Posted: 3/14/2008 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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And just for future reference here are the other guidelines for postable books:

Books are not expected to be new or like new at PBS.

They DO have to meet PBS Book Condition Guidelines to be swapped here.

A book is considered damaged if it does not meet PBS criteria for good condition.

Good Condition Guidelines:

*no damage at all from water or other liquid

*no stains or mold

*no torn or missing or loose or chewed pages

*having a front and back cover (cover does not = dust jacket)

*no writing, highlighting or underlining on text pages (a note on the flyleaf is okay)

*intact binding-not separated on the inside or outside of the book

*not missing supplementary CD’s/audio cassettes/VHS tapes if these were included in original book

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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If you can see the spine between the pages, it is no longer "intact". So, if somewhere in the book, between the pages there seems to be visible something more than is visible between the rest of the pages of the book, you risk a mark on your account and the loss of your credit if you post the book, because the other person can see it as being a separation of the binding.

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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Thanks! I guess I didn't notice when I read it since it was a while ago and didn't think to check it before I posted.

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 78
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I had the same thing happen to me.. I end up getting a cleaved spine book from a BOB and several  books that the cover was coming off the book from a deal... So I end up with several unpostable books but did have several postables that I spend credits on....  So after I read the unpostables I probably have to throw it away..

Last Edited on: 3/14/08 9:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/14/2008 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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A note for those who check into this thread:

Folks, "cleaved" is not in the PBS guidelines. The guidelines for the spine currently say:


  • 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

If you have a complaint about a book, or you're describing a book, please stop using the term cleaved. It's confusing to new members, and even some old ones! Simply say the spine is separating and the spine can be seen between the pages, so it doesn't fit the "must be intact" part of the rules.

It's time to retire the term "cleaved" OK?!

<rant over>

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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what about if the book has those removable cards in the middle to order additional books and you can slightly see the spine there...the card hasn't been removed but there is a slight gap between this removable card and the actual book pages.

Date Posted: 3/14/2008 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 755
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/14/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Terri, I'm sorry if you felt I was ranting at you personally. That wasn't my intent! My point was that the site used to use the  term "cleaved", but then nobody knew what it meant! So they changed it to "No separation inside or outside the book", but people still report books as "cleaved" and the confusion starts all over again!

If the spine has separated, it was not postable. Did you decide that the book follows item 2? That it just opens to a particular page?

Again, I apologize if you thought I was ranting at you.

Oh, and Amy, the link you posted is broken, FYI....

Date Posted: 3/15/2008 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Terri, PBS removed the terms because they didn't want the discussion on cleaved vs. cracked? was it? Can't remember the two terms for sure, but what they tried to convey, is that it doesn't matter what you call it, if it is SEPARATED it isn't postable. In no way did they say "cleaved is acceptable" just because they aren't giving a name to what isn't acceptable. They are only describing it.

If in your description you mean you can see the spine between the pages, in my opinion that means it's not postable because the spine is no longer intact. But, that is for you to determine, not me, I just don't want you to be under the impression that anywhere did PBS say "cleaved is ok" All they did was remove the terms and replace them with a definition.

Date Posted: 3/15/2008 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 755
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/15/2008 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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 In those two places, the pages don't come together---I can see the black part of the spine,

This makes the book unpostable, as the binding is not intact.  The binding has separated.

The spine itself is there and the pages stay in, so I guess it is alright.

These two things do not make it alright.  It is still unpostable, because of the separation of the pages.

Honestly, it isn't worth $3 of trouble---

I can definitely understand your position and respect your decision. However, you may change your mind after you receive 10 or so of these books that can't be reposted.  For this reason, it is important to know what is acceptable and what isn't.  I think a lot of people are not clear on what's allowed, and we currently have a ton of these books in the system.  I recently gave away about 15 of them (10 WL) free, because I had received so many.



Date Posted: 3/15/2008 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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Even after all the explanations, I'm still confused on what is actually postable in regards to the spine being intact or not. From the guidelines it's okay when pages open to a particular page and the spine can still be considered intact. Yet, a book can also be unpostable because the spine is considered no intact and part of what that is based upon is pages opening to a certain page.

I can look at the book and see the spine but the sender could be sure that the book wasn't like that when they sent it. Maybe the action of me opening the book was the one 'opening' that broke the spine and made the book unpostable. This is why the few books that I've received that I felt wereunpostable because of the spine not being intact , I've mark them as received with no problems and just let them end with me. My husband thinks I'm overly cautious (especially with mass marke paperbacks) but I don't want to take a chance in sending someone a book they'll be unhappy with.