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Topic: how do allergy-stricken readers browse PBS?

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louisleek avatar
Subject: how do allergy-stricken readers browse PBS?
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 6
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I've had my first couple requests on PBS nixed due to my RC (I'm allergic to cats and dogs), and I'm kind of curious how other allergy sufferers have fared in the long run. How often, on average, do you find that your requests get turned down? More than 50%? The more I read the forums, the more feline/canine signatures I see, and...well, sometimes I'll sneeze just looking at 'em, especially the ones with both cats and dogs :)

So I'm kind of wondering how allergy sufferers get their books on PBS. Is it best to just wishlist a ton of books, in order to minimize how long you have to wait for a single book that satisfies your RC? Or is it easier to go "profile shopping," hoping to find that elusive hypoallergenic swapper somewhere in the forums?...


Cathy avatar
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,240
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Have you ever had an allergic reaction to books before? Like from the library, or borrowed from a friend? I'm extremely allergic to cats, but I've never had a reaction to a used book form anywhere else, so it didn't occur to me to put requestor conditions on my account when I joined here and have never gotten one that bothered me. (I do get smoky books, but they don't activate my allergies the way actual smoke in the air does.)

LaurieAnne avatar
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I have very few problems receiving books and I have restrictions on my account. I personally react very badly to smoke but I don't have any  restrictions for animals so I am not sure on that account. I do actually have allergies to animals too, just not as severe and my allergy medications pretty much control the animal dander for me, at least to a tolerable level. Keep in mind that many people have no idea whether or not a book currently in their possesson may in fact have animal dander on it and may feel that they should go ahead and cancel it to be on the safe side.


drewsmom avatar
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Hi Ken,

I have no-smoking and no-cat conditions on my requests because most of the books I order are for my son, who is allergic to cats and has a hypersensitive nose and reacts harshly to the smell of smoke, and I have only been turned down 2 times.  I don't do anything specific when ordering.  I just find the book(s) I want and send the order along.  Then I let my requestor conditions do the talking for me.  I've never had any mean responses, nor have I received any books contrary to my conditions.  So far it's all worked out just fine.   

I would venture to say that you've had a run of bad luck.  I'm sure it'll turn around soon.  I mean if you've been turned down that much, I would say the odds should be in your favor soon.

Good luck!  :>)

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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I am allergic to cigarette smoke and I used to have that as a condition.  After getting turned down for a wishlist book three times, I took it off.  That was at least a year ago, and I have never received a book that bothered my sinuses.

Alison-H avatar
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 24
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I added a "No smokey smelling books" type condition after I got a book that I had to hold at arms length to read and I haven't gotten turned down for it yet.  I think having Cat and Dog conditions might lead to more frequent denials.  A lot of people will be wary of sending to you even if they don't have pets because they can't guarantee where it was last.

louisleek avatar
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 6
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Thanks for the comments/suggestions. I had a couple sneezathons years ago after buying books at a local bookstore where the owner let her cats roam around and on the I try not to take any chances. Anyway, I'll keep on requesting (and waiting) for the time being. But maybe I'll consider ditching the RC (with Claritin at the ready) as a possible option.  

Generic Profile avatar
Member of the Month medalFriend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Are your conditions vague like I dont want books that have been exposed to animals? If so a lot of people will turn you down because they dont know the history of their books. A clearer one like I dont want books that are currently in a pet owners home will prevent that ....if thats the case.

obsidianfire avatar
Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 1,010
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Well there are no animals in my house and neither my hubby or I smoke, so I never turn down those with those conditions.  I think there are plenty on here that don't have animals or smoke.  You also have to realize there are a huge amount of great swappers here that don't post regularly on the forums, so all in all there probably are more that don't have pets or smoke than do in the long run.

Cattriona avatar
Member of the Month medalFriend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 2:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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You might try a book with known allergens (cat hair or whatever), put it in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer for a couple of weeks.  My husband, the botanist, does the same thing with dried plant specimens to kill all sorts of things that might be catching a ride -- see if that helps. 

Cheers, Catt

LuvMyPaps avatar
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2007
Posts: 2,416
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Last Edited on: 1/22/09 8:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 8/20/2007 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 1,636
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Last Edited on: 2/5/15 12:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2005
Posts: 462
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I had a couple sneezathons years ago after buying books at a local bookstore where the owner let her cats roam around and on the shelves...

By any chance, are you allergic to mold?  Mold will always set me off and I almost had the squad called once at a UBS....they were very apologetic and admitted that they had thrown part of a big box of books away that day due to mold but kept the ones that "looked okay".  The ones they kept still had the spores, and I still reacted!