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Topic: How strict are you?

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skywaywaver avatar
Subject: How strict are you?
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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I know that some folks are pretty easy-going when looking at their book condition.  Then there are those like me that are pretty strict.

The point of this is that I have received a few books recently with spines that I would describe as cleaved.  Now, I know this is so subjective that I'm very much on the fence on this issue.  They can't be reposted, so I they are damaged by sender, but many people don't  know what a cleaved spine is.  The one time I did mark as damaged and said the spine was cleaved, the sender remarked that she had no idea what I was talking about. 

Please help!

L avatar
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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"You vill follow da rrrules!" <crack!> ;)

Yeah, I'm pretty strict.  I think we all should be when it comes to the parts of the rules that are not subjective:  water damage, torn or missing pages, writing and highligting, etc.

There's enough wiggle room in the rules for the things that are NOT subjective. 

R&R recently changed the wording of the guidelines regarding cleaved vs. cracked - taking both words out -  I suspect because they are too confusing for most members.  You might want to search the Help Center, to see.


skywaywaver avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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Thanks L, I haven't looked at the wording since the last brou-ha-ha when they said they wouldn't get involved.  LOL

mimima avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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Eh, I'm not too strict.

mahbaar avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I hadn't noticed they'd removed cracked vs cleaved. I'm glad, because that was SO confusing. I look a book over, just as I would at the UBS. If it seems to meet guidelines, that's OK. If it reaches the end of its readable life while in my hands, that's OK. Besides saving money, I save TONS of time I used to spend trying to find books used. So if I get a borderline one, I don't worry too much.

skywaywaver avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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And that's why I worry...because if I let it go, the sender might point back to me in the future as someone who didn't have a problem with it, therefore making it even more of an issue for someone who has received a book with a cleaved spine from that same sender later on.

I decided to mark it as damaged, and got a PM back saying that they wouldn't have sent it with spine issues.  I would take a picture, but I don't think that would make a difference.

The sender said that they would PM their contact (whoever that would be) here at PBS and find out what to do. 

That's what bothers me...I'm just trying to have fun and trade and then I get so worked up. 

Guinan avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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LOL LG!  It depends, if it is a wish listed book I am fairly strict only because I know what it is like to sit and wait, and wait, AND Wait some more for a book, I like to keep the flow going you know?  So when I get a wishlisted book (so far that has only happened once) where the book is unpostable I feel not only out the credit but that the poor person next in line got gyped too.

Other than that I'm fairly easy, as long as the book is clean and readable I'm good.  The occasional unpostable I am happy to offer deals on to move other books from my shelf.  Of course if it started happening a whole lot I reserve the right to borrow LG's whip!


Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Well if anyone doesnt know what cleaved is heres a pic. Send them here to see it. http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h125/mannythepoolshark/12.jpg

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2006
Posts: 638
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I'm pretty laid back.  As long as I can still read the book, I'm happy.

hugbandit7 avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I try to follow the rules but I'm not going to get upset over a book that has a tiny bit of writing in it or maybe a sentence that is highlighted.  I try to make sure all the books I send out are up to my standards (not the writing part) or better.

I too would have no idea what a cleaved spine is and I looked at the photo and my guess is where the glue or binding that holds the pages together is split where you can see the cover?

skywaywaver avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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I think somebody once described the spine is CRACKED when the book falls open to that spot, and CLEAVED when the pages are pulling apart and you can see space between them, or what Leslie said. 

Thanks, Chris, I think I remember it was you that had a discussion with R&R about this whole situation. 

melanied avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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Cleaved spines are one that I would say could happen between them and you opening it if it an older book. I know that would sound like a cop-out from a sender, but who knows when that final opening is going to happen? I have some old Rex Stout books I was looking through because someone was looking for some of them. I am paranoid about listing books I haven't read and them ending up damaged. I opened the book 3 times to check it out. The first 2 were fine, the 3rd it cleaved. What if I had only looked twice and she got the time it cleaved? I felt bad not being able to post it because it is an old book that is probably hard to find. As the rules are written now, I questioned whether it was unpostable because all of the pages are still intact, but errored on the side of caution and just didn't post the book.  Anyway, point being, have some faith that senders are not trying to rip each other off. All books reach their end at some point and we can't expect them all to be in someone elses hands.

BrownEyesBlue avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
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When I have a book that's a little less than what I consider perfect I'll pm the person who wants it and describe the condition and ask if they still want it. I have a lot of books that have been boxed up and in my attic or closet for years (mainly paperbacks), but other than the fact that they've yellowed on the edges they're still in great readable condition. No ripped, torn or missing pages, the spine is good. But I figure better be safe than sorry so I give them the choice. As for myself as long as the book is all in one piece and readable, I'm flexible.

CozSnShine avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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IF I have a book that is questionable - I won't post it.   I want to get books that are postable by PBS standards, nothing more or less.    I got a brand new - one person read - hardback, wished for book today.  Boy - did that ever make my day!!!!!!!!  

MeadowbrookManor avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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I might not personally get too uptight about a book that doesn't quite meet the guidelines, but it's certainly not unreasonable for anyone to expect that these guidelines be fully met. Don't let it make you lose sleep (it's just not worth it, sleep being as dear as it is...), but I support your right to be annoyed when others ignore the guidelines! ;-)

JeffersonsAmbrosia avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
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i am pretty laid back. but i do have issues with the spines, and water damage. I got two recently that i was just mad over, and the snder of one was really rude when i politely let them know about it. The spine was cleved, and the book had water damage. on another one there was a big hunk of spine missing, but its still together so I guess its not a huge issue. I just reported them with problem and let them know the problem.

In my BOB swaps i got s couple that I wouldnt call postable, but they are still readable. So i let it go. I will just either send them as Bookcrossing or offer them as freebies when I am done with them.





skywaywaver avatar
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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This was a relatively newer book...which leads me to my next thought: many of the newer smaller mass market paperbacks (the size of cozies and paranormal romances, etc.) seem to have very weak spines.  They seem to fall apart after very few readings.  Wonder who is cheaping out at the book manufacturers?

Patouie avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,390
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I also take a close look at the packaging.  If the book's spine is damaged and it looks as if the package has had less-than-loving handling on the way to my house, I assume that it left their house in good shape but was damaged by USPS.  I think the sorting machines can be hot sometimes, which is hard on old glue.  Same with water damage: if the packaging also looks as if it has been wet, I assume it was fine when mailed.  Otherwise, I no longer hesitate to mark it damaged by sender.  Sometimes I ask for my credit back, and sometimes not, depending on the situation.

krisbooks avatar
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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
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Most of the books that interest me are out-of-print oldies, so I expect a certain amount of wear and tear and I am very forgiving on the subjective conditions (eg, is it in "good condition") with books that I receive.  I am strict re the objective conditions, such as writing, highlighting and water damage.  But I am the MOST strict on the books that I post!  I fortunately live near a good UBS that takes books in all sorts of conditions.  Sometimes I'll get a borderline book that I'm okay with, but instead of reposting I'll swap it at the UBS for a book that I can then post later.

Generic Profile avatar
Friend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 8/27/2007 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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You want to see a cleaved spine? I'll show you one:


Unfortunately, I didn't see this until after I'd marked the book received okay. I PM'd the trader and told them the problem. I got  "I just received the book one week before I sent it to you in the same condition." I explained they should have marked it 'received with problem' instead of passing the problem along to someone else. She was new, only having joined a month earlier, so I let it slide.

Today, I've received a water damaged book, wrapped in plastic, with the outer wrapper clearly intact. I can clearly feel the difference in the texture between the damaged and non-damaged portions of the page. This will be my first 'received with problem', so it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

crawford avatar
Date Posted: 8/28/2007 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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I'm not "strict", but sometimes I am REALLY taken aback back the condition some of the books I recieve are in. I just did a BOB where I sent someone a great book that was literally in new condition, and another great book that was in very, very good condition. I just recieved their end one of the books is just beat up to hell. I guess it fits under PBS guidelines (the bare minimum, gee thanks!) but it is folded up all over (including the cover) and crease city- I'd be ashamed to send anyone this book so I guess I'm stuck with it. I'm kind of bummed that I sent her really nice books and I obviously got some that she didn't care about putting deep, pointy creases in and were probably sitting in a garage for a while. Ah well. They weren't even books I really wanted, I just wanted to be obliging, from now on I'm going to be a little more choosy about getting books I actually want.

Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 8/28/2007 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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They weren't even books I really wanted, I just wanted to be obliging, from now on I'm going to be a little more choosy about getting books I actually want.

That's one of the reasons I stopped BoBing. I really wanted to make some trades, but always felt like I was settling. Toward the end, I did get really picky, and even turned down a few. My BoB subscription exipred a few months ago. I may pick it up again, but not right now.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/28/2007 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2007
Posts: 6
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uhh... mannythepoolshark - that picture doesn't realy show anything.  It is too blury!

Shaylinn avatar
Date Posted: 8/28/2007 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 192
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For myself I'm toughest on books I've posted. I have a couple I have decided to eventually offer as freebies that are in better condition than two of the ones I've received.  Both of which I'll probably keep since I like the series they are part of.

And in one recent transaction I noticed that two of the books a fellow member had requested (She took a whole trilogy from my shelf) were borderline by MY standards but okay within PBS - One had a bent cover and the other had a well worn spine - and I PM'd her and we worked out a deal to both our benefits. She got the series she wanted, I got another couple of inches of shelf space and a clear concience.

But I've been lucky so far that none of my books have arrived in a shape totally beyond acceptable to me.

syntheticashe avatar
Date Posted: 8/28/2007 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2007
Posts: 401
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As long as you can read it and it's clean - it should be fine. I'd be pretty pissed if I didn't get a credit for sending a book because someone was overly picky. If you want it to look like it just came off the shelf at Barnes & Noble, then go and buy it brand new! That's my point of view on anything used - more so for free! Really, what do people expect? Used is used. If you want 100% brand new then BUY it brand new! It's sickening listening to rich people bicker and gripe about the littlest imperfections when they get something cheap or free from a poor person!

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