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Topic: what's wrong with book club books?

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Subject: what's wrong with book club books?
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
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So I have never belonged to a book club, but I remember my mom did when I was a kid and her books seemed fine.  I got a request for a book, but it said no book club books.  How can you tell???  Is there  something different or bad about book club books???

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
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I belong to a book club and I've bought quite a few books from it!  AFAIK, the only difference is that they are sometimes bound differently -- the size, cover, and paper may be different from the other versions published.

I once had a public librarian tell me that they didn't accept book club books as donations because they were edited to have different content than the "regular" publication.  I could find no evidence to support that claim.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
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Personally, I like book club books! But some folks who are looking to fill out collections want a uniform look to their bookshelves.

Book club editions often have no price, are sometimes the wrong format (PPB, not HC, esp if it's from Quality Paperback), and are more compact. They are often printed on thinner paper and have a smaller typeset. I've usually found an indication on the back of the title page, where all the publisher's info is.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
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Nothing is wrong with them, really.  But in general they are smaller and made of cheaper materials.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
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Denise, some book clubs abridge their books -- I'm thinking back to my childhood when my mother would get "Reader's Digest Condensed Books."  So that may be what your librarian was referring to.  I don't think it's as prevalent a practice now.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
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I've been thinking of asking this same question because I have a lot of old book club books. 

 

I happen to have two copies of a book -- one from BOMC and the other just the "regular" book -- if there's any difference between the two, I sure can't tell what it is, other than the fact that there is information about it being a BOMC edition on the copyright page.  Other than that, they are identical. 

 

Don't have any doubles from any other book clubs to compare, unfortunately. 



Last Edited on: 2/26/08 3:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
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usually a BCE (if a hardback) is smaller.  Instead of ~ 8x11 it might be 5x7

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
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I think some people have that mostly for keeper shelves - the want the books to be the same size so they match the rest.  But that's just speculation on my part.

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
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BCE bindings are generally less sturdy than regular ones IMHO.  Also - one way to tell if a HB is BCE is to look at the back cover (outside) - many BCE will have a small indented shape, usually (if I remember from my old UBS days) on the lower right corner (near the spine).

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
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I've found that most recent BCE also have a little white box with a 7 digit or so number in black on the back, bottom of the dust jacket, near the bar code. 

My FIL collects books and says that BCE aren't as well made as "regular" editions.

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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Yes, I agree--I used to belong to a couple of book clubs and found the books to be more cheaply made with the type of thinner paper that fades/discolors easily and the cheap bindings that don't hold up very well...I am not typically hard on books, but had a couple of BCE's that the binding/spine became "wobbly" after just my one reading!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/28/2008 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
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The only difference I've ever seen in Book Club editions is what the others have mentioned....they are usually smaller, with weaker bindings and thinner pages.  The story is the same however, and some book clubs actually offer hardcover editions of books that are only available in paperback, for those that prefer hardcovers. The dust jackets are also very plain.  By that I mean that while they have the same art, the text is not embossed and the paper is not a heavy weight, so it tears easily.   Personally, if I am buying a hardcover for my keeper shelf, I prefer a non-book club edition, but just to read and pass along, I could care less.  My mom still has some of the ones she bought in the 70's & 80's.  If you take care of them, they can last a long time.

Date Posted: 2/29/2008 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
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And to confuse matters even further, sometimes the book club edition IS the 1st edition and therefore more desirable.  But that's  a rather specialized collector's dilemma.

Subject: that is a very good question
Date Posted: 2/29/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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And I still don't see a good answer as why they would not be tradeable on PBS.

Rachel, why don't you use the Contact Us form and let us know what kind of reply you get?

Date Posted: 3/1/2008 6:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
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Someone correct me if I'm wronog, but I don't think book club books are un-tradeable.  (Not to be confused with ARC - "Advanced Reader Copy" - which ARE un-tradeable.)

I think the OP was asking the question because she got a requestor condition, stating that they didn't want book club editions.

Deb

Date Posted: 3/1/2008 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
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You are correct Debbie.  They are perfectly tradeable.  Some people just don't want them, and have RC's saying so.  Nothing wrong with that.

Date Posted: 3/1/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
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yeah-- it was a RC from the requester, so I was just wondering.  The one I was sending had a price  tag on it, so I knew it wasn't one, I just wondered why someone would put an RC like that, and why. 

Subject: Rejected book club book
Date Posted: 3/1/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
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I had a book rejected by the requestor because the book was a "book club" book. You can tell because the book doesn't have a price listed on the book flap. Plus as the requestor explained it is not " a first edition." She went on to explain that she "hoardes" first editions. I am quite offended by this because I figure PBS is a community of "book sharers" not "book hoarders," aka "book collectors". To me the joy in belonging to PBS is enjoying a book for awhile (i.e actually reading the book, not just admiring it on a shelf) and then passing it on to someone else who can then enjoy it and pass it on. I figure if you want to collect books then you should join a book collectors site, not PBS. Leave this site for those of us who want to share the joy.

Date Posted: 3/1/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
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Traci -- it sounds like the exact same member.  Mine said the same thing about hoarding first editions.  Mine definitely wasn't a first edition -- I don't think. 

   I am such a newb though -- I don't even know how to tell it is a first edition. 
Unless I bought it myself when it first came out, I would have no clue.  I read to read, so I have never paid any attention to any of that stuff. 

Subject: Book Club Editions
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 66
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If there is a dustjacket, look to see if there is a price listed on the end flap of dustjacket.   Many of the book clubs will also denote the club name on the end flap as well.

I personally like books that are clean and tightly bound and in good condition -- I would be happy to find a clean Book Club Edition of a book I want to read.

 

Subject: I am so much with you,Tracy W.
Date Posted: 3/12/2008 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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I have only had one book rejected because it was not hardback.

But I agree 100% with Tracy. I joined and participate regularly because I love to read and I love to find new authors. I don't really care about the condition of the book, as long as it is readable.

Marla Maye

Subject: I am glad I read and reread this post!
Date Posted: 3/12/2008 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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I, too, was thinking Book Club books were not allowed.

I just went to the Help Center, Advanced Reading Copies are not allowed, but Book Club Books are.

I have to go now, I have some Book Club Books to post!

Marla Maye