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Topic: Another strange condition

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Subject: Another strange condition
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 11,241
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I just had a book requested from my shelf by someone who has the following condition:

"My books are sent to our soldiers in Iraq and to homebound elders  so please, no writing, highlighting or water damage. Thanks for your understanding."

I actually turned this down, because I'm really offended by it. It's special pleading implying, "It would be OK to hose someone by sending a book that doesn't meet basic PBS swapping standards, but not if it's going to a soldier or a homebound elder." That just really got my goat. Am I being unreasonable? Are they being unreasonable?

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
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Last Edited on: 7/26/09 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
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I don't think there is anything wrong with it, although I do kind of understand what you're saying.  I don't think they intended it to come off that way, though.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2007
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I don't think the condition was meanth the way you took it.   The person just wanted you to know the book could be going where they send some to.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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Yes, I do think you are being a little UNreasonable.   You are "reading between the lines" and assuming things not said.  All you accomplished was to deny yourself a credit, IF your book met the conditions.   I guess I just don't understand why anyone would take conditions so personally.  I don't know what the person is thinking when they post it.   If your book meets the condition, WHAT is the problem?   You don't like the "way" the wrote it?? you just don't like "the looks" of the condition.  Conditions are allowed.  ANY AND ALL conditions are allowed.  If a book meets them, you are hurting no one besides yourself by not sending it.   

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
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"it seems a lot of damaged books are being posted latelyA lot of new people may not have read the rules and be unaware that they have to do some inspecting before listing or sending a book out"

As a Tour Guide, most of us are including follow-up letters to all our newmems explaining the guidelines and conditions of posting books, in case they are not aware of PBS rules.  We hope this will help.


Date Posted: 7/28/2007 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2006
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If I'd gotten those conditions, I would have asked if I had any other books I could send her for this worthy cause.  Unreasonable conditions...not in my opinion.

Last Edited on: 7/28/07 12:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Unreasonable, no, but redundant, yes.  Those are conditions that apply to PBS as a whole, not just a certain population.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Those are conditions that apply to PBS as a whole, not just a certain population.

Yes. Why not just say, "Since I will be forwading these books in boxes for soldiers or to homebound elders, please double-check your book to ensure it meets PBS guidelines. Thanks for understanding!"

Personally, though (call me a cynic), I'd rather send extra books to a known organization that stocked libraries for soldiers and the elderly than send to a random person who requests a book off my shelf. A request like this seems to me to be an implied request for additional books, and I think that's what would rub me the wrong way. Why not make a public post saying that you do this and asking for help?

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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I agree with Cozi I think most of the time when a condition has annoyed someone they are reading more into it than is really there. The only conditjons I turn down off hand are smoking and pets. My mother and husband smoke and I have a dog and cat.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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To me it smacks of "Look at ME - I do good things!"  combined with "I know you really want to hose me, but I'm going to guilt you out of it."

S/he doesn't add any condition that doesn't already exist, but finds a way to blow his/her own horn about doing good works, which probably strikes the wrong chord with a lot of people.  I'm sure a lot of people give books to the elderly and send them to soldiers, but refrain from shouting that from the rooftops.

If the condition of the books was an issue, then just post the condition.  From what I know of field conditions in Iraq, nothing stays pristine anyway, but the homebound elderly probably have some concerns - for all of those large print editions you were going to send.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,795
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She probably just added the condition because she is giving the books away and wants to make sure they are in good shape.  It wouldn't bother me, since it was worded politely.  It is just restating conditions, but we all know some people either don't bother to read them or follow them. 

Angie -
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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I'm in a witchy mood, I'd probably decline it too. I agree with everything that Sharon W. said.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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BUT BUT BUT. . .  why does it matter if she's saying "look at me"???  Why would you care??  You don't have to "reform" this person - just send her a book so you get a credit.   You are assuming she's saying she thinks you are going to hose her.  She did NOT say that, you did.      I guess I just don't care who the person is, what they think of themselves, or what they MAY think of me.   I'm swapping books NOT personalities.     Now, IF this was a friend of mine, I might say to her polietly "others may think you are tooting your own horn, so you might want to reword that."  But she's not a friend, just someone trying to order MY book so I can get a credit.  <shrug>

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 11,241
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Thanks - interesting to see people's varying reactions. I probably flew off the handle a little, but I was indeed reacting to what Sharon pointed out - the self-righteousness of it all. I'm entitled to not swap my book if I don't like the feel of my interaction with someone, so I didn't. My punishment for this is, of course, that I've still got the book on my shelf.

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2005
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I sent this person some books a while back or someone with similar or same conditions. Didn't bother me and sometimes honestly some conditions really bug me!

Just me 2 cents.


Angie -
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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why does it matter if she's saying "look at me"???  Why would you care??  You don't have to "reform" this person - just send her a book so you get a credit.  

It isn't about reforming them, it's more along the lines of thinking "I don't like you (or at least the way you put your condition), I'm not going to bother sending you my book."  I know you don't have to necessarily like someone you do "business" with, but I'm just stubborn like that. I might reconsider if I really really need that credit, but even then, I would rather buy one from somewhere than send to this particular person.

I have a lot more to say about people that pat themselves on the back because they send a few measly books (in pristine condition though!) to the troops, as if wow, the soldiers should jump up and down with gratitude. (I'm not saying that it isn't a nice thing to do, but it's nothing to brag about either.) Or whatever the current trendy thing to do is at the moment (those annoying magnets). As the wife of a 25 year old disabled veteran (-I'm only throwing that in to indicate that I do know a little bit about what I'm talking about), I firmly believe we (as a country) would not even be in this outrageous "situation" if people TRULY supported the troops.  But, that's veering away from the original topic, and I'm way too bitter to be subjective about it.

I'm also very suspicious-due to the way it is phrased- that the person is really even sending books to soldiers. (Because it sounds as though they are ordering specific books to send to random soldiers, which doesn't really make sense to me. If they were sending it to specific soldiers, you would think they would be more specific about it, "my nephew",etc., since they are so proud of themselves and all.)

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2007
Posts: 918
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Personally, I wish every book was treated as if it were going to someone special. It is rather disappointing to get a book, get excited about it, then open it up and find it damaged. Why am I any different than a senior or military personnel? I work hard saving peoples' lives every day at work.


Date Posted: 7/28/2007 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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It is funny how people can look at the same words and get completely different meanings.  In so many threads people post that they think people who have conditions are either too picky or all selling the books.  Maybe she worded her conditions this way to let people know she isn't being picky about her books for herself and that she isn't selling them. 

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,183
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While she is just reiterating basic PBS standards, I think it is because the people receiving the books are either not going to be reading them under the best conditions (military) or may have eyesight issues (the elderly) and she wants to be sure that the books are able to be read easily. It isn't like she was asking for brand new books, just those that adhere to guidelines. Unfortunately, some people need to be reminded of acceptable book conditions and this puts it right under their nose.

Would it have been preferable to read: "Don't send me crap because the people I am giving the books to have enough going on in their lives?"

Date Posted: 7/28/2007 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
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Maybe she worded her conditions this way to let people know she isn't being picky about her books for herself

That's kind of the way I saw it too, Michelle.  Plus, if she requests a lot of books for other people, especially if people are requesting specific titles, it would be really annoying to have to ask for refunds if they were unacceptable to begin with, and then re-order.  I think she's just trying to avoid any complications up front and not have to pass on icky books.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 7/28/2007 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I don't understand what the conditions have to do with soldiers or the elderly, except the elderly may not be able to read highlighting.  Sounds like the requestor is patting themselves on the back for doing a "good deed".


Date Posted: 7/29/2007 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,968
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Wow, I'm glad I haven't set any conditions.  I honestly had no idea that something as innocent sounding (to me, anyway) as her conditions would cause such negative reactions. 

Soldiers share almost everything they get with battle buddies.  Hoping to receive a book that can be shared by many instead of falling apart after one reading is something I hope for each time I request a book for a soldier.  There are many of us here who belong to organizations such as anysoldier.com, booksforsoldiers.com, etc. and rely mainly on PBS for books to send to deployed troops.  Especially for specific titles they request that are hard to find in UBS  and thrift shops.   I don't have conditions, but I will send a thank you in a PM and mention that the book is going to a deployed soldier.  I certainly don't do that hoping for freebies or to toot my own horn.  I just thought peeps would like to know where their book will end up. 

Now I'm thinking I should just say thanks for the book and let it go at that.  'Course, then I'll probably tick off someone who gets annoyed by PMs that only say thank you.  Some days I think you're darned if you do and darned if you don't, LOL.

Happy reading, everyone. 


Date Posted: 7/29/2007 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
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Last Edited on: 11/7/08 7:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2007 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 125
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I turned down a request from that person a few months ago because the books I had were used and someone had made checkmarks by the recipes they liked.    I thought it was a little odd that somone would request cookbooks to send to soldiers in Iraq (there was no mention of shut-ins) but hey, to each their own.

FWIW, I donate books, CDs and DVDs to military personnel stationed overseas.  However, like Mahbaar, I send them to established agencies who can screen them and ship them there with less trouble than I could.

Last Edited on: 7/29/07 2:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1