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Topic: What is a "Text Book?"

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Subject: What is a "Text Book?"
Date Posted: 5/25/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 93
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Are there any guidelines or rules of thumb as to what constitutes a textbook? 

For example, I have several books purchased as required reading for business, economic and political science courses, and as such, they have some highlighting, but they aren't necessarily text books.  They are general non-fiction subject matter books that anyone might buy and read.

Okay to post and describe to interested parties as textbooks?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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I would not describe something as a textbook unless it was specifically written to be used as such.  To Kill A Mockingbird was required reading in my high school English class, but it wasn't written with the classroom in mind.  That's my opinion anyway.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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I have been posting these types of books as long as they meet all other requirements of PBS. When I get an order I PM people to let them know that they were used as a text book and they have highlighting. Schools now frequently use books that are not textbooks in the classic sense. I think the previous definition of what a textbook is is dated. Anyone that has attended college in the last 15 years (at least) will probably know this. All schools aren't the same though so it may be different in some places. I have attended college classes in WI, MN and MO over the course of the last fifteen years and at every school for almost every class I was assigned books that weren't textbooks according to the previous definition. These were the primary books for the class not additional required reading or books to accompany the primary book.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I just had the following PM conversation regarding a WL novel-

Sender:  I used this as a college text, so the book has underlining and notes in pencil only. Please let me know if you still want this book. Thanks.
 

Me:  I do not - as this a novel, I really don't believe it is postable here at PBS. Please cancel the transaction so that I do not lose my place on the WL queue. Thanks!

For some reason this really irked me.  I mean, it's a novel.  The purpose for which the sender used it is completely immaterial to me. 

 

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,359
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i think novels for reading/english classes should not be considered textbooks, even if they were used as such.

however, books like you are describing (business, economics, poly sci) would be ok.  but make sure that you would PM anyone who might order them from you.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 93
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I agree a novel could not and should not be considered a textbook. 

After some internal debate, I recently posted a computer program tutorial book as a textbook. I let the receiver know about the minor markings, and he didn't have any problem with it, so that worked out okay.

It does seem like a gray area.  I would always PM the person first, but I don't want to mislead or waste anybody's time, either.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I recently posted a computer program tutorial book as a textbook.

I would agree that that is a text book.  I think I got so annoyed about the transaction above, is that this is the second time this has happened to me recently (i.e. being PM'd that a novel had been used in a class and has underlining and/or notes).  I kind of wish the help docs were a little more explicit.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've had this happen to me several times and I'm beginnning to think that there are a few people out there justifying the underlining and highlighting by saying they were textbooks when they might not have been.  I  feel uncharitable about that, but I don't like being fooled.  I can't read highlighted text because it starts a migraine that takes days to get rid of.  So I guess I'm a little short-sighted.  But any book can be used as a college course book.  I don't think that automatically makes it a textbook. JMO

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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Even if the books are not considered text books, the special posting rules are for text books and work books. There are no special rules defining what these are, but any book routinely used in a classroom or as a learning tool would be a work book to me.  I don't see how these wouldn't be considered workbooks.

It really shouldn't make that much difference since the rules don't allow the book to be sent without notification anyway so it shouldn't be a suprise to get the book with markings, you should be notified ahead of time and have the opportunity to say no to any markings.



Last Edited on: 5/26/09 2:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/26/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,964
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Hey everyone...I contacted the Team about this and they were gracious enough to respond quickly to my request!  :)  Basically, any book can be defined as a textbook by any individual person....  So if you used it as a texbook (you being general) and highlighted and underlined it, you can still post it, so long as you follow the rule regarding the up-front PM, and all is well.  :)  The trick is that *most* people will not accept a novel or general reading book in this type of condition and thus the posting member will have to cancel and repost. 

Partial quote from the Team:

If a member considers her book a textbook she can post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages BUT since she has to contact the requestor and receive 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...... And if a member used a novel in a class - a novel being something that most people would NOT consider a textbook - and she posts it, she will NOT be likely to get consent from requestors to highlighting/underlining/writing on text pages, and she will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  The farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  The sender will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition and will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook".

So according to them, any book may be posted with the mindset of it having been used as a textbook, but that person posting MUST follow the textbook rules in regards to sending a PM to the requestor.  Hope that helps!

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 93
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That's fantastic, exactly the information I was looking for.  Thank you so much!

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 63
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Great to have the answer to this, as I was also wondering!

i add a tag indicating "textbook" to any of the books on my shelf I consider textbooks.

 

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Thanks for finding this out.

If this is the case, how does one avid the WL posting loop - i.e. a WL novel is posted to the system, I have that book on auto-request, I receive the PM regarding highlighting, etc., I don't want it, the poster cancels so that I do not lose my place in the WL queue.  Then - if the poster wants to offer it to someone else, wouldn't it go right back to me and then the whole process would repeat?

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 5:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Regarding wishlist loop.  IME a book that has been declined for RC's will not be offered again to the same requesting member.  If there is one book and one requestor, in this circumstance the PBS system will not match them up (even if you have a change of mind).  Don't know if the same applies when RC's are not involved.



Last Edited on: 5/29/09 5:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2009 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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IME a book that has been declined for RC's will not be offered again to the same requesting member. This was changed this last winter some time. A book can now be re-requested if someone turns down your RCs.

The only way to avoid the WL loop is if the person with the RCs removes it from their WL until that copy gets requested.



Last Edited on: 5/29/09 10:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2009 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I have no RCs.  I just require that a book meets PBS guidelines, i.e. no underlining or highlighting.  So the sender actually has to cancel so that I do not lose my place on the WL queue.  Thus the loop.  I am referring to novels.  When I place them on my WL I have no way of knowing that a person might possibly have used it in a class, thus I am not expecting a PM, or a cancellation due to the postability of the book.  This is when the loop occurs.

 



Last Edited on: 5/29/09 11:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2009 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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I would suggest that you add an RC that states you will not accept any highlighting or underlining in any books, including textbooks/workbooks. Then the person can deny the RC and get their book offered to the next person.

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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This is why this decision by TPTB really irks me.  It essentially institutes a workaround for posting the unpostable.  I really don't see why I should have to have an RC if all I require are PBS standards.  By saying that any book is a text book if the sender deems it so, is essentially a change to the postability guidelines.  It's very diferent than offering a damaged book or an ARC for credit in the bazaar, as in that case, the person ordering understands the nature of the transaction.  With FIFO and WL transactions, this is not the case, and I thought the reason for the (IMO) excellent postability guidelines.  If any book can have highlightng, and a PM is required, this is no longer the case, and in the case of Auto-request WL items it is a total annoyance, as the whole point of auto-request is its autmation.

I think I'll message my concerns to TPTB.

 

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I suppose that for me, it depends upon the situation in which the book in question is most likely to be read, and also the version of the book.

For most classic books, there is a "classroom" version out there. This would be a copy with historical notes, additional footnotes providing context and whatnot in order to support an actual study of the book. Heaney's translation of Beowulf has a version like this, but also one that is simply the translation with a smaller amount of additional material. But on the whole, I think that MOST people who are reading Beowulf are reading it for a class.

But for classics that are commonly read for pleasure today (such as To Kill a Mockingbird), I would not consider a standard printing of this book to be a textbook. I would, however, consider a copy of it that had annotations and supplemental material (such as reviews, historical context, social impact) a textbook.

But I would certainly consider it baloney if someone tried to send me a WL book on the current best-seller list as a textbook. The odds of that book being so widely circulated and having educational potential are extremely small.

Date Posted: 5/29/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I pretty much agree with you.  I would assume that most people who had the Norton Critical edition of anything, used it for a class.  I think that is a reasonable assumption.  I just think TPTB's decision on this has opened the door to:  I read the Weetzie Bat books as a part of a class on Gender Identity and Magic Realism in Contemporary Southern California Literature - which, while perfectly possible, would not be the ordinary expectation of the person who was most likely ordering the Weetzie Bat books to read for pleasure.