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Topic: Writing on front cover?

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Subject: Writing on front cover?
Date Posted: 3/6/2011 2:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 565
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I checked the book condition guidelines, but am still unclear. I have a book where a previous owner had written a phone number on the front cover (it's a trade pb). it's fairly small, but it is smack dab in the middle of the front cover. Is this postable, and do I have to PM the receipient as with textbooks? TIA.

Date Posted: 3/6/2011 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I'm guessing that no one has answered here because - as you've noticed - this is sort of a gray area. Technically, I think it's postable - I don't think there are any prohibitions against writing on the front cover. On the other hand, since it's right in the center of the cover, it might well cross over into the "excessively worn" common sense category, or whatever it's called exactly. Certainly it's not hard to imagine that lots of people might object to getting such a book.

Since it doesn't seem to me that it's unpostable, what I think I'd do is to go ahead and post, but then PM - describe the situation, and tell them that you will cancel on such-and-such a day if you haven't heard from them by then that you should send the book. This would be, of course, quite annoying if it's a WL book that you then can't send out to the next requestor (without annoyances like asking wisher #1 to put on an RC so that you can pass it down the line).

Or you could send it, and take your chances on an unhappy recipient....

Date Posted: 3/6/2011 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Stickers and remainder marks are okay.  But I agree that it is a gray area.  You do run a risk.

After all, I did get a RWAP for a creased cover on a WL book.  (Which is allowed.) 

Date Posted: 3/6/2011 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Under the book condition guidelines here is what it says. I think it is perfectly fine to post your book. 

The guidelines below refer to the text inside the book that is part of the story.

  • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.  These may not obscure text.
  • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY. These may not obscure text.

No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages

  • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside, front or back cover is OKAY
  • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
  • writing or highlighting or underlining on the text pages is NOT OKAY

Edited because I can't spell.

Last Edited on: 3/6/11 2:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Whenever I'm not sure about postability, I ask myself one simple question:

Would I be annoyed (or even surprised) to get this from another member?

If the answer is "yes" or even "maybe" I'll add it to my free unpostables list, or find some other way to pass it along.

I'm reading one right now that has some kind of oil stain on the front cover. Just a blob of discoloration that you can see on both sides of the paper, like vegetable oil. Not real noticable but one you see it, you can't un-see it. Even though it's technically still postable, the point is arguable. I won't post it back into the system because someone may be unhappy and give me a hard time. Not worth it to me. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2011 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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regarding the marker ... I think that it is postable. If the rules don't say "no" .... and the thing in question is not gross or disgusting in some way ... then IMO it's postable.

regarding the oil stain ... I do not think that one is even technically postable. Stains on books are not postable in any way, even if they only affect the cover.

Date Posted: 3/6/2011 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 565
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Thanks, everyone. I personally would be annoyed if I received something with writing on the front cover (as I was when I received this via another book swapping site), which is why I was hesitant to list it, but it doesn't seem against the rules per se. The writing is in pen and i've thought of attempting to cover it with white-out (the cover's mostly white) but I fear it'll look just as bad or worse.

I'm now debating whether to post and then PM as Elizabeth suggested, or list it on the unpostable WL books thread in the bazaar since it is WL-ed. It's nonfiction and fairly obscure, though, so I have no idea if I'll get any takers in the bazaar.

I so wish that PBS allowed for condition notes for a particular copy of a book - it would make my life, at least, a lot easier. I don't mind RCs and have one myself, but I don't see why we can't also have condition notes - there's a lot of variability within the scope of 'postable' books under PBS guidelines.

ETA: I posted it on the unpostable WL thread on the bazaar.

Last Edited on: 3/6/11 4:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 3