|Messages: Book condition
No, for some of us, condition is way up there as a priority. I wish there was a site for especially nice books in great condition, with excellent dust jackets. It would speed things along without inquiry as to condition.
In collecting children's books , which is my focus, all of the above is very important.
Does anyone else have similar views?
3 years ago
|(7 months, 4 days ago)||Hi Mary, If you click on the book on your inventory page you will see a button for adding condition notes. What you have said here looks fine to me. I usually mention any creasing on spine, or on the cover, and any discolouration of course. Welcome to Bookmooch!|
|(7 months, 5 days ago)||I've compromised between what a professional bookseller would do and
what is swap. My system is pretty efficient if you want to visit my home page and adopt that. If you want to be more professional, go to abebooks.com home page and check out their bookdealer Manual of sorts that covers conditioning. Abe stands for American Book Exchange.|
- erwin mcgee
|(7 months, 5 days ago)||Hi, I am extremely new to this site and this sort of site. Usually I would just donate old books but this seems like an interesting alternative. Anyway my question if anyone can answer is how do post notes about condition on the books in your inventory? I only inventoried two and I think they're in very good condition but the one does have a little yellowing on the top.|
|(9 months, 10 days ago)||It is not out of line to expect a book to be in very good condition. I never list or send books that are in bad condition ie pages falling out, spine broken, mold,mildew tears,missing pages etc. most books I send are paperbacks.I do send hard cover books once in awhile but all are in good shape . A few of my hard cover books had no dust jacket but I always state if that is the case. I must also say that I have been very pleased with books I have received as well. I guess I've been lucky because all books I have received have been in very good shape. And I don't expect perfection.|
|(10 months, 7 days ago)||It does make me pause, but not in criticism. For most of my life old books or ones out of print I wanted were out of reach. You could stumble upon a title if you were lucky, but otherwise the single resource was using a professional book search service in pre-internet days. I wanted books to read by authors I liked, so any copy would have been welcome, hardback, paper, large print, no dust jacket, whatever. The content was what was important, not appearance, thus it surprises me that this is often not the case at all.|
- Michele Thomas
|(10 months, 14 days ago)||I would have to say that the book does'nt have to be perfect but i do have a collection so its a delight to get a great condition book. i have gotten a few books so far but all have been at least good condition so i dont care as long as it has a covor and no pages are ripped or missing|
|(10 months, 22 days ago)||So far I have been very happy with the books I have mooched from this site. I also have books listed on PBS but the lack of getting points by other means than people asking for one of your books seems to have minimized the amount of action I have gotten from that site. I have only gotten one book that was very well used from here. It was listed as "in poor condition but readable" and it ws exactly that. However I particularly wanted the book and am glad I mooched it.
Despite the prevailing notion that people post their "junk" on here, I have not found that to be true. Nor do I post "junk" on this or PBS sites. If the book isn't good enough for me, I won't post it. The main reason I post books anyway is to meet new authors and make room on my bookshelves for the ones I want to keep to re-read. Some books I enjoy but know that one read is all I want to do. These are the books I post. Others I have multiple copies of of (how that happens I have no clue :o) and even if it is a "keeper", I only need one copy.
Thank you Bookmooch for being! You enrich my life daily!|
- Sue Eble
|(11 months, 3 days ago)||An earlier poster in this thread wrote that "..people basically post their junk on here (stuff that they wouldn't be allowed to post on paper back swap) and get away with it."
They're getting away with it on PaperBackSwap too lately (which is 1 reason I'm joining this site & thinking about leaving PBS altogether). PBS has strict rules about which books are postable & lots of PBS members in the last few years are not following the rules, sending books which are not re-postable; so you're stuck with a book that you can't re-post & if you report it, you get flamed with snotty messages for being too picky. And while I personally don't mind some damage to a book as long as it's still readable, I don't like getting stuck with a book I won't be able to re-post & it irks me that more & more PBS members feel like the rules don't apply to them.
So I'm hoping this site will be a better fit for me, just because the rules are more relaxed; won't have to worry about unre-postable books.|
|(11 months, 18 days ago)||It doesn't take long to condition books if you use a shorthand system. I devised one for BM wherein all listings were either PB (papeback), HB (hardback) or HBDJ (hard back with dustjacket). I then used the conditioning progression F(fine), NF (near fine), VG (very good) or VG-(very good minus). Once you get down to good or fair it is clearly just a reading copy -- the text is all there. A condition notation "HBDJ vg/vg-" would mean very good hard back with very good minus dust jacket (tears or a chip but 95% there). See my bio for more shorthand. Condition nuts don't seem to have a problem with my system and BMers who don't care, don't care.|
- erwin mcgee
|(11 months, 22 days ago)||People have widely varying positions on book condition.The only safe way and the polite way is to fill condition notes for your books, and to look for them when you mooch. There is a lot of good advice in this thread!
I don't mind much about condition if I want to read a book as long it is readable. However there are two things I don't like, one is a strong smell of tobacco on books, it makes me feel ill; the other is bookcrossing labels defacing what would otherwise have been a good book. A neatly placed label inside the front cover is fine. Pen markings all over the page ends, across the front cover and several spread over the title etc. not acceptable to me. If a book is marked as a BC book I don't mooch it.
We listed 1000 books when we joined and put condition notes on all of them and reviews on many.
I have also listed a book as having "an extremely artistic but fragile cover designed by long defunct silverfish larvae (bookworms)" - which received a very nice piece of positive feedback!|
- Bookmooch Journal Library Charity
|(12 months, 10 days ago)||I've gotten really horrible books from this BookMooch members -- severely water damaged, covers torn and falling off -- so I wish there would be some way to communicate to people that books like these are unacceptable before they post them. People basically post their junk on here (stuff that they wouldn't be allowed to post on paper back swap), and get away with it.
A book doesn't have to be in "perfect" condition, but is it too much to ask for clean, non-damaged books? No book I have ever owned has been water damaged, stained, etc., but I get books like those all the time.|
|(1 year ago)||I don't think I'm very fussy about book condition, but it does seem that if an audiobook set is missing its original packaging, this should be noted in the sender's book condition details. I just received one that had the two tapes in their original plastic cases, but no part of the original outer case, and there'd been no indication that the case wasn't going to be included.|
- Margaret H.
|(1 year ago)||DRWS- because many people *collect* these books, and collect specifically hardback or paperback. They mooch a specific book because the listing fits what they are looking for. If they recieve something that is *not* what the listing says, of course they will be a little frustrated!
You get reimbursed for the shipping cost by the point(s) that you get. You are paid, in points, to send a specific book to the person who mooches it. If that specific book differs from the one that *you* listed, it's your fault, and they have every right to give you appropriate feedback.
You could have easily made things better by simply apologizing and being nice about it, but you chose to leave snippy feedback about their feedback, and it looks like that is what turned it into a -1. You are completely right that feedback is not a place to "argue", and yet that is exactly what you did. Instead of trying to be nice and make things right.
A lot of people see "condition" in different ways on BookMooch. Many people, like you, don't seem to care, or think other people shouldn't care, if the listing matches the book. But many people *do* care, and since moochers pay for that book with points, they deserve to have the book that they *mooched*. Not the book that differs from the listing.
Going by ISBN doesn't always work- Sometimes publishers completely reuse ISBNs on completely different books. And, because this data is always pulled from Amazon, a site that is notoriously bad with data-consistancy, you need to *always* double-check the listings. Otherwise things like this will happen.
edit: A friend pointed out that I might sound a little rude in this post, and I'm sorry, that is not my intention. It just frustrates me when people think that it's perfectly acceptable to misrepresent the book that they have, whether on purpose or accidentally, and *then* be snippy and rude about it instead of just apologizing and learning from their mistake.|
|(1 year ago)||I'm a collector and condition is everything but Bookmooch is primarily readers who'd just soon have a reading copy as a prime first edition. This is swap among readers; it will never conform to trade custom re conditioning and I think it abhorrent to give negative feedback on a perfectly good reading copy (albeit it has no dj, tears, water stains, whatever). It's a reading copy. Give them credit. What persnickities need to do is to find "conditioners" and befriend them. There are BMers who give quite detailed condition notes which can be trusted. There are readers who don't and are incapable of doing so. Make friends and stick with them. If it's a serviceable reading copy, give the sender credit. Short of that, "mooch" and e-mail the moochee that condition is important and request further detail. If you do that, they will reject the mooch but not waste their time and money sending it to you only so you can steal them of their well earned point because it did not meet your standards, condition-wise. Such conduct is obnoxious; this is swap.|
- erwin mcgee
|(2 years ago)||Oh, very nice quote! There we have it, solid proof that inaccurate condition often leads to negative experiences, and proof of what is encouraged on BookMooch about condition. Very nice.
(in the interest of full-disclosure, I love mooching "damaged" books, "well-loved" books, etc. But I do that of my own free will, with the knowledge that the book is damaged. I'd still be upset if I recieved a damaged book without any condition notes)|
|(2 years ago)||Y'know, we're all subject to our own opinion because of our own book reading/mooching preferences, so why not go to John Buckman's replication of the survey done ("12 ways to be a better BookMoocher") and go to paragraph #2 called, "Describe Books Accurately." Here it is in its entirety:
When problems were reported, the most common complaint was misrepresented books: hardcovers that turned out to be softcovers, the wrong dust jacket, the 2nd edition instead of the 3rd, and so on. Especially egregious was not including sufficient details about the physical condition of a book, such as highlighting, underlining, marginalia, torn covers, bent spines, mold, and smoke smells. An inaccurate or misleading book description significantly increases the chance of getting negative feedback. Moreover, we found that experienced BookMoochers often check member profiles before mooching a book. They avoid mooching books from people with too much negative feedback, even if it's a book they want. For the seasoned BookMoocher, having a "clean" profile is often as important as getting points. To describe your books accurately, start from the correct ISBN and seek out the matching cover. If you cannot find the correct cover, take a picture of your book and post that image in your inventory. Lastly, be sure to describe any physical problems with the book, such as highlighting, marginalia, torn pages, library markings, missing dust jackets, bent spines, and smoke or water damage.
I think that makes it very clear, don't you?|
|(2 years ago)||"should be expected".... that's the problem, I think. Maybe *you* realize and expect that textbooks, etc, might have underlining or highlighting, but for most people, if condition notes aren't listed, it's *supposed* to mean that nothing is wrong with the book. For most people, highlighting, underlining, broken spines, anything that interfers with the book's reading experience, is indeed something that needs to be noted in condition notes. And here on BookMooch, even if you expect lesser quality, condition notes need to be there for certain things. Otherwise you risk negative feedback and an unhappy moocher with a book they may not have mooched if they had known.|
|(2 years ago)||Elizabeth,
Welcome to Bookmooch. I agree, someone's old used book is someone elses treasure. As long as you give condition notes, and the book is readable, someone will probably want to mooch it. Happy mooching!|
|(2 years ago)||I just joined the site and am loving it!! I have yet to recieve any books but I have sent some today. All my book are free from rips, tears, and scribbles...unless noted. Some of the books I have are from my teen years so they are older and the pages are yellow and in good used old condition. I mean don't/wouldn't send books with pages missing I mean that defeats the purpose of the book... or books that are covered in mold or a substance you have no idea what is...That kinda gross thinking about it. But I expect a good used book pages folded, cover worn down from reading use, old(yellow), some scribbles...things like that...|
|(2 years ago)||the books that I have personally bought and added to the site are all in very, very good condition because that is how I treat my books, but I have mooched over 300 books from this site and regularly feed those back into the system, so those ones are not going to be perfect condition as many have been visibly read at least a dozen times.
When I receive a book in near pristine condition I view it as a very welcome bonus, otherwise I do expect copies that have been round the block a time or two.
Odours, stains and underlining should be mentioned (I did get a book where there was underlining on nearly every page, but it was in the notes so I had prepared myself for it) but otherwise a few dog ears, a cracked spine and yellowing pages are all pretty much par for the course with used books.
If the time factor of people adding condition notes reduces how frequently they add books, I would rather just have them add books without notes to give us all more books to choose from.|
|(2 years ago)||That and the other 40 demands they want--No Smoking, No pets, no fried onions in the house etc. I can understand the No Smoking one, but really this is a free book (well almost free) be happy someone is willing to send it--|
|(2 years ago)||A book should be in good condition. By good, I mean there aren't missing pages, the thing isn't falling apart, and it hasn't been pissed on by your dog (trust me, it happens).
This is a site for used books. If you want a new book, Borders, B&N, and every other god damn book store sells them.
I personally prefer used books that have the old book smell, the cracked spine, the soft cover. It saves me the trouble of breaking them in|
|(2 years ago)||My feeling is that the set level of expectation should be that any books you receive will be in reasonably decent, but definitely used, condition. That means: spines of paperbacks will be cracked, you can expect pages to be dog-eared, there will be minor bits of damage to the dust jacket, etc. I suspect that covers upwards of 80% of the books on the site, and it's a giant waste of everyone's time to expect people to note those sorts of things for every book that gets uploaded.
If a book is in much worse condition than you'd expect from a book that's been read a couple of times, people should note it in the condition notes. If it's in much better condition than that, people can optionally note that in the condition notes.
If you require like new books, however, I feel the onus is on you to ask. Or you could, you know, go buy them, from a place that actually sells new books.|
|(2 years ago)||paper yellows with age. If you want only like new, you should not be mooching.|
- Amy Sentell
|(2 years ago)||I always look at condition notes; and I always write them. Most of the books I look for are old and so I don't expect them to be anywhere near new condition. I figure those looking for "like new" are out to sell them on for profit and I've seen it done. If you want new books, or like new go and pay for them on Amazon or similar site.
I would prefer it if condition notes were compulsory on all books, or a note for those uploading complete inventories to say "please contact for condition notes". Otherwise, it's impossible to leave accurate feedback.|
|(2 years ago)||I have more than a hundred books in my inventory. If I had to list the condition of every one, I simply could not be on the club.
If you want a perfect book, by all means, let me know. Most of my books I get from this club and from another one --PBS. So they are USED and probably used many times. I do not want a book with missing pages, but as long as I can read it, it's fine with me.|
|(2 years ago)||I prefer to mooch only books that have the condition listed. I don't expect a book to look brand new, but I don't want something that's falling apart either. I also try to very carefully describe the condition of all the books I have listed.
One woman recently mooched a 20 year old mass market paperback (for which I had accurately described the condition) and left the comment, " ... book smells old ... " I wanted to say, "Woman! It's a 20 year old paperback book - it IS old!" lol.|
|(2 years ago)||Well, I personally take really good care of my books. Therefore, if I am sending out books that are in good condition 99.9% of the time, then I guess I feel like I have the prerogative to ask the same of the books I am receiving.Not being judgmental, snobby,etc,just looking for used books in good condition, but I have gotten comments such as: "if you want brand new books, go to Amazon".|
|(2 years ago)||I leave condition notes on my books. If the book has some damage or is well-read, this protects me from bad feedback. It's especially important to make sure that if the book has a different cover or is a different edition (or a book club edition, ARC, etc) since some people are looking for specific editions.
When mooching, I find it preferable to mooch a copy with condition notes stating that it's in less than perfect shape than take my chances with someone who doesn't care enough to put any condition notes at all. I have also purposefully mooched copies in poor condition to take with me on vacation.
Some books I don't care about their condition, some I mooch to add to my own collection and am willing to wait for a good copy.
And if your copy has BookCrossing stamps on it, or is a book club edition, please, please say so!|
|(2 years ago)||I agree with Msright 100%. As stated before, this is a used book trade/mooch website, everybody should expect a used book. If there are any major things to note, of course the condition should be listed. But otherwise, you know what a book looks like after it has been read. It's not brand new and on a paperback, you can expect creases in the spine. If you really are out for a brand spanking new book, you can always ask me. But I don't see why I should write every minor detail in the condition notes.|
|(2 years ago)||I don't have any books listed now. But when I do-I will generally only list a books condtion if it has flaws that someone might be concerned with. I will list if there's a torn cover, water damage, it's an ARC or missing a dust jacket. If it's a run of the mill used book-then I don't list every minor thing like: this book has 4 dog earred pages and 1 spine crease. I don't get that detailed. For hardcovers, I will generally list the condition of the dust jacket because I know that's important to some people.
For me personally: I just want a readable book. I don't care if it comes with a broken spine, no dust jacket or every page dog-earred. Although I would complain if a book had nasty stains or a bunch of loose pages. There comes a point when I book is just not readable anymore.|
|(2 years ago)||I write the condition of each book I list..When you are receiving a book from booch mooch, someone is spending an average of 2.00 Shipping. I consider eash book I mooch as costing me 2.00.. I dont askfor perfect books & dont expect it, however I feel is is my choice to mooch a book in the the condition I require. I collect books and would like them to be in very good or better condition. I look for books for reading only and will except them in fair & good condition. I dont expect any moocher to send out a book with rips & tears, pages and covers missing. I received a book last month with the whole first chapter missing.. That shipper was desperate for a point. Of course they received very negative feedback..|
- Lou Jones
|(2 years ago)||Ingrid said above "I would like to ask if anyone else feels strongly about writing condition notes? ... Do you think condition notes should be included?"
I'm new, but I include condition notes on all my books. They're all used, but some are in pretty close to new condition and have just shelf-wear. When I mooch, I'm usually looking to add to my collection. I prefer to choose a book that has a condition note that is about the specific book and not just the "books are used, message me for specifics" note. When I mooched my first book, I picked the one listed by the person who had logged in fairly recently and who had listed the condition. One day, I may go buy this book in hardcover, but for now I just want a copy that will last me several years so that I can reread it without worries that it will fall to pieces on me. For that matter, the book matches (almost exactly) the condition of the other books by that same author. :-D
The way I see it, if you enter the condition, you have a better chance of someone requesting the book from you because you obviously care enough to enter details about your copy of the book. If you care enough to do that, you've probably taken good care of the book while it was in your hands.
Eh, just my two cents. :-)|
- Alysha DeShaé
|(2 years ago)||If I post a book that is well-worn I will usually put down the condition such as creases on cover or spine. I do love receiving books that are Like New and sometimes you will get some like that even if the condition wasn't stated. If the spine of a paperback is really creased and broken that should be stated because then pages might fall out.|
- Michelle Fidler
|(2 years ago)||When people balk at the idea of condition notes, stating "it's a used book!" or somesuch, I always point to the tips/notes above the condition-note box on said page.
"# Explain what condition the book is in, such as: the cover is torn, it smells bad or is mildewy
# it's an earlier edition or version
# the book cover is different than what is shown
# anything you think someone else should know before they receive your book in the mail "
BookMooch *expects* that if anything significant is wrong with the book, you post condition notes explaining those things. Since BookMooch says *right there* what kind of things should be noted, if you list a book with stains or rips and don't leave a condition note, you have to expect that someone is going to be disappointed about it.|
|(2 years ago)||Eva,
While I agree that if there are no condition notes the moocher should ask if they want a book in nearly new condition (for a gift or as a keeper), I don't think that leaving out condition notes is wise. For one thing, if there is more than one copy of a book available I would be much more likely to mooch the copy that had condition notes. Also, there is a question of etiquette. The condition notes field is put there for a reason and it is simply good Bookmooch etiquette to make use of it. And if you do have a very disappointed moocher you run the risk of receiving a "0" or "-1" feedback. Even if you believe you have the moral highground since this is a book trading site and we are trading used books, that won't be change the fact that you have a negative feedback comment on your profile.
Some people get around doing condition notes by putting a statement in their status message indicating that all their books are used and if anyone wants more details about the condition of an individual book to please email.|
|(2 years ago)||I'm sorry, but we are "dealing" with used books here, right? So one should expect the books not to be in perfect condition. If you are after a book in perfect condition and I don't write in the condition notes that it's a perfect book, you can always ask me ahead of time. But if there is no condition note and you didn't ask me, you really should not have any special expectations. It's a book with the title as listed, all the pages are there, you can read every page (i.e. nothing is blackened out, no stains cover up any words). I don't see how moochers can have any expectations beyond this. I am not a bookstore after all. Just someone who likes to pass on books I don't need anymore.|
|(2 years ago)||I try to always supply condition notes so there are no surprises. I mooch books that range in condition from Like New to Serviceable. For a well-loved paperback for example, I will say "it's a serviceable -- good for a read on the beach, but would not make a suitable gift." Often I leave extensive notes about folds in the cover, dinged up edges, etc.
Personally, I consider it a plus when I mooch a book and it arrives in excellent condition.
I am also the moochmaster for my kid's school library. We are looking for copies that are nice enough to place in heavy rotation at an elementary school library. I am typically looking for hardback copies of Harry Potter in ideally very good condition.|
- Bagley Elementary Library
|(2 years ago)||If you didn't give condition notes, or your condition notes were not detailed enough, and the moocher was very disappointed in the condition, then they may decide to leave negative feedback. All you can do at this time is apologize and offer to give the moocher his or her point back.
If you don't want to do that, or don't have the point to spare, then if they do leave negative feedback you can add a comment to the transaction as well explaining that you are new and didn't understand that some people are very concerned with condition and you will be more vigilant about condition notes in the future. Some people have a generic statement in their status message saying that their books are used and not in perfect condition and if moochers want more details they should email with questions.
I realize that it seems it should be cavaet emptor and that this is a book trading site so people shouldn't be upset when they get a used book that has been well-read. However, the Bookmooch etiquette is that when you post a book you should put anything in the condition notes that the moocher might want to know.
Also, before someone else jumps in;) Many moochers take offense at the notion that the books here are "free". They cost the original price of the book, the packaging and the postage.
I hope you can work this out with the moocher, Cara|
|(2 years ago)||Puzzled Sharron,
As I wrote above, I don't think anyone should expect a new book or even one that is in good condition, but I DO think that since the condition does matter to some people it should be mentioned so you don't end up with a discontented moocher and negative feedback as you describe above.
|(2 years ago)||I sent out a book that the receiver says is horrible condition and is threatening to leave negative feedback. Ok...since you all know proably how this guy is felling and its not a huge deal for me on condition(this is how I received the book too and its free books so I never complain and there is a really long long waitlist) what can I do to help him. I just did not realize there was a concern out there for this.
|(2 years ago)||I include condition notes most of the time now, when listing books individually. Many books that I listed through the bulk upload feature never had descriptions added. It actually helps me, as the sender, because then I know what I'm looking for. Is it in a mylar jacket? Possibly labeled with year listed? Dustjacket or none?
I do like to see condition notes from other users, but not having them has never kept me from mooching. If there's something I think that might be iffy, I go ahead and mooch with a note to the owner that "if such and such... then please cancel my mooch." For example, sometimes paperbacks get listed under the hardcover versions. If it's important to me that I get a hardcover instead of a paperback version, I'll include a note that says "please be sure this is a hardcover... I need it for (X reason)."
currently reading The Butterfly and The Bell Jar|
- E Thayer
|(2 years ago)||I agree with the other comments that this site is for used books and most used books will not be in perfect condition nor should we expect that.
I would like to ask if anyone else feels strongly about writing condition notes? For example, I am interested in mooching a copy of The World According to Garp. None of the copies listed indicate the condition of the book. I don't expect the condition to be great since this is an old book, but I would like some indication of what I'd be getting. I could write the owner (and have done - never got an answer) but that seems like such an unnecessary step if the info was included in the listing.
Do you think condition notes should be included?|
|(3 years ago)||For the most part, the books I offer are in good/great well read condition. If a book has something definately out of the ordinary, folded cover, torn pages, markings, etc., I will comment on the condition. I have had two moochers ask condition of books, one was cordial and delighted with my response, the other was snipey and kinda rude. If it is a book as a gift, I understand requiring a better condition. I personally never ask condition. If it is a book I want to read badly enough and I can't find it anywhere else, it can come loose-leaf in a zip-lock baggy as long as all the pages are there.|
|(3 years ago)||I always write a decription of each books condition, i'm never put off by creases and used conditions, i would rather know though what condition the book is going to be in though, just so i'm not dissapointed.|
|(3 years ago)||As long as people are honest about the condition of a book, fellow moochers know what they are getting. If you're looking for new books, a used book network is not the place to find them!|
- Ruth Croft
|(3 years ago)||I wouldn't mind, as long they ask before even mooching in the case my condition notes weren't clear enough for them. It's unreasonable to -demand- mint or near-mint books, but well, some people do put up some and there's no harm done in prefering them when there's a choice.
But I shouldn't have to dig up their bio to know if they're picky and if I should accept or reject their mooch because they didn't even bother to look at the condition notes.|
|(3 years ago)||I've received many books from BookMooch that were in perfect shape, but in general it's unreasonable to expect anything more than good used condition. People will often say in their condition notes that a book is in like-new condition, so maybe you'll just have to be patient and wait for those to come up.
But with children's books, I think that the only way you'll find them in excellent shape is by buying them new.|
|(3 years ago)||I pause and wish they hadn't picked me. I'm one of those all books are beautiful sort of people. If I wanted a perfect book I would buy one. I think this is not the place to be picky and someone who is picky isn't a true lover of books. Also, as a collector, if I was looking for mint condition this is not the place I would go either. This topic has always made me angry and on pbs I have actually declined people when the book met their condition just due to the way they were acting.|
|(3 years ago)||I'm of the school of thought that people who want like-new books, should go buy a book. It's asking a bit much of people to take a hike and play somewhere else if their books aren't up to your idea of what a used book should be. I had the same issue with the last independent bookstore that closed in our area; the guy wouldn't stock used books in good/fair/poor condition, which meant his inventory was lacking in a lot of genres I would have liked to read! Ever think an oft-handled book is perhaps that way because it's a good read or especially useful? Or a nice book has stayed that way because no one saw fit to take it off the shelf for rereading, handing around to friends, or frequent reference?
Personally, if I want to read a book, I don't much care about condition (except maybe extensive underlining, which I find difficult to read over). As long as it's not falling apart, I can still read it. I do include that caveat, because one poster said a while ago that he didn't mind books even held together with rubber bands. Errrr... I do mind that. I do need all the pages attached!
That being said, there is a way to address the "condition" concern without creating an entirely new site; add an optional condition grading to our listings, and make inventory searchable/sortable by condition. That would solve the problem as seen by the original poster. It would also, however, require more programming resources, which are in short supply, since BM has been put together by volunteers who do this for the love of books and community. Since it's also not going to add a great deal of utility for the majority of bookmoochers, I just don't see that ever happening. Unless, one of the pickier moochers is also a programmer, and takes it on as a pet project.|
- E Thayer
|(3 years ago)||I agree with Mythos - if you want a new book, go to a new book store. PBS is stuffier about condition than BM so if condition is most important, try there. I am not in favor of trading torn and damaged books, but sometimes the scuffs and signatures and such ADD to the feel of an older book - like it has a history that we will never know. I often read books from the 30s and 40s - no Kindle for me.|
|(3 years ago)||Paperbackswap.com requires all books to be in good condition, most of the ones i get there are like new.
Free site, btw. They have hardbounds, paperbacks, audio books, from all over. Many books I have found there which were not available on Bookmooch.|
|(3 years ago)||There is such a site: Amazon.com ...but these copies will run you a bit more than a BM point.
It seems counter-intuitive to demand collector-grade copies on a site devoted to books that are used reading copies. Children are especially tough on books, and to expect "excellent" dust-jackets on anything older than a few months old is futile. I'm sure the parents searching for copies for their children to read won't be expecting such either.
Besides being a voracious reader, I'm also collecting certain authors. Many times I'm gunning for a certain 1970s paperback edition for the striking cover artwork. I'm always happy to find one with a clean cover with only minor blemishes. I would never expect mint condition on a 40-year old book. Better/rarer copies can sometimes be traded for with other collectors, but yet again, not for a BM point.|
|(2 years ago)||The books I post are generally in good to vg condition. If it's considered "acceptable" due to such things as yellowing, I mark that. If hardcovers are missing djs I post that. However, when receiving books from BookMooch it is considered hit or miss b/c each person's rating for book conditions are subjective. A few times I received books that I had to fix b/c the binding was torn and/or they reeked b/c they came from smoking homes. I am on two other sites: Paperbackswap and Swap.com and they each have attributes respectively that I think Bookmooch should consider adopting:
Paperbackswap: has a account feature where the moocher can request a specific condition of the book (i.e no books from smoking home, no highlighted books, etc.) If the book doesn't match the requested criteria, the giver declines the request and the point goes back into the system for the next copy.
Swap.com: has a mandatory section when posting books requiring the giver to mark the condition of the book, and the conditions are defined for the giver too (i.e new, like new, very good, good, acceptable, w/ definitions for each).
These changes may help improve the BookMooch experience.|
|(2 years ago)||@Danita Rogers
What you have immediate control over (-1/0/+1), is the feedback you give.
The point was already transferred when you requested the book, and won't come back unless you choose to communicate with the sender to ask that it be refunded (I think you definitely should) and they comply.
And a cockroaches-filled book definitely warrants negative feedback if you can't sort the issue with the sender peacefully.
Take a few snapshots of the thing (clearly identifiable book + vermin) if you have a digital camera and want some "proof" and chuck it after you've taken adequate step to kill the bugs. Don't even try to salvage it and risk contaminating a reasonably clean environment.
This site has nothing like "requestor's conditions" unless you use the notes field in each of your requests for them. But one should definitely not *have* to ask for roaches-free books.|
|(2 years ago)||I recently received a book that was in acceptable shape as per the senders notes, a little tattered...but when I opened the sealed package it was full of at least 4 different sizes of cockroaches and eggs.
I hesitantly gave the point but I'm not sure I will keep the book. I immediately sealed it in plastic and put it outside after killing the bugs. I'm now trying to decide whether to keep it or trash it. It is a hardcover book and I think there are eggs in the binding. I don't want to have to buy bug spray to kill them, it's probably easier just to pitch the book.
Is it acceptable to put in your notes to 'please not to accept my book requests if you have cockroaches'?|
- Danita Rogers
|(2 years ago)||If you mooched them you should be worried that the owner didn't mention that in the condition notes! Books with covers removed are books that were removed from a store inventory when they are past the sell date. Smaller bookstores or chain stores that don't have room to keep lots of inventory will rip the cover off the books and list them "destroyed" rather than mailing them back to the distributer. Employees sometimes just take these books home to read. You are not supposed to sell these, however, I have seen them in charity book stalls and on Bookmooch a couple of times. You don't need to worry about it unless you intended on selling them. The publishers are not going to come after you for having them;) I used to worry about the mattress company coming after me for removing that label;)|
Just signed up and passed along two paperbacks that I got from a friend. I'm quite disappointed that the first comment I get is a complaint about the book's condition. "Disappointed" is an understatement, I'm a little ticked off. There was nothing wrong with the book, it's a paperback that's been read, for crying out loud!
Rude. That's all I can say. Leaves me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about using this site. Especially since I haven't actually found any literature in the inventory that's of the caliber of the two I was kind enough to pass along. Now I just wish I'd given "The Glass Castle" to someone more appreciative and kept my $2.38.
2 years ago
|(2 years ago)||Natterings re 'Book Condition' when listing book..
Yes, book condition descriptions ARE important.
If in a retail store such as B&N, Borders, etc, ... new retail books are expected to be, well, NEW...and in FINE condition.
In the average used book store, books are USED, yes, but generally expected to be in fairly good condition. ie:...here are used books that range from looking LIKE NEW down to fair- (next stop, the trash can). (really there shouldn't be, and generallty you can count on not finding... missing pages, badly broken spines, extensive water damage, etc)
Besides online-bookclubs such as this one and others, used books, in a wide variety of conditions, can be found in a huge variety of other places. ie: yard & garage sales, thrift stores, FOL sales(friends of library), friends and family bookshelves, gifts from f&f (new & used), random finds ie: BookCrossing books released 'in the wild', etc, etc, nearly without end.
!!! In my opinion what should NOT be given, traded, sold, etc...are books with extensive WATER DAMAGE (such books are at risk for, or already have: mold, mildew, must, fungal spores, etc) and misc gunk, food, critter chewing saliva, unknown residue, etc, and any unrepaired physical damage. (adequate physical repairs/reinforcements can and should be notated in the 'book condition' area)
And in all of these places where books can be found, there are generally 'expectations of conditions' ...ie: no surprises. !!!
Occasionaly I have been a book's 'last stop'. ie: one old (early 70's) mmp literally fell apart as I read it. The fragile ancient glue just gave up. I tossed pages/chapters as I finished em, beginning with the cover falling off, lol.
It does happen, but rarely, that I toss a badly damaged book in the trashcan...when it's too bad to even give away to a thrift store.
fyi-early on, shortly after joining, I got a negative rating and comment re a book I'd sent re conditions that weren't notated in 'book conditions'...nor had I even noticed such. A quick apology and offer of a free pick from inventory as replacement...got the negative rating up-graded. However...the value to me of this 'lesson' ... taught me to really LOOK at my books, and then to accurately list the descriptions.
The majority of my inventory is in the 'good' & 'Very Good' range, with a few 'LIKE NEW' and a very few 'fair's...and the accurate description is listed for every single book.
So YES, book condition descriptions are important.
Some folks expect 'better', some folks accept 'worse'.
So there you have it re justloux's natterings.
Some good book condition descriptions at the following site: http://www.millersmiles.co.uk/bookguide/bookguide.htm
*> LIKE NEW: similiar to Fine or Near Fine.
*> Very Good: a used book showing some SMALL signs of wear.
*> good: the average used and worn book that has all pages present. (justloux note:fyi-some books noted as 'good+' are really almost 'Very Good' but might have more visible spine creases. Some of the rated 'good-' books are just a little bit too good to be down-rated to 'fair')
*> fair: a very worn book.
(justloux note:no books listed are lower rated than 'fair') (if books are worse off than 'fair', they're discarded)|
- Lou B
|(2 years ago)||Honestly, I think people just need to use common sense more often around here. Not talking about anyone in specific, just in general.
Common sense says that when someone buys a product, any product, no matter if it's new or used, they most likely want to know the general condition. If I go into a bookstore I can physically see the book, so I can see if the pages are bent, if there is writing in or on the book, etc. If I buy online, I can't *see* the book, so I have to rely on the seller to tell me the condition. I spend points here on BookMooch, and I spend money in order to earn those points. If I "buy" a book here on BookMooch, I deserve to know what the condition is. I'm not going to be happy if I "buy" a book and then it gets to me and it has highlighting, a loose cover, etc. That's really just common sense.
And packaging; again, common sense. If you have *ever* had a package stuffed into your mailbox, or had a package delivered that looked a little worse for wear after the trip, then you know that the PO can be brutal on packages. *Brutal*. Common sense says that if you are sending a package across multiple states, and especially across the sea, you need to prepare it for a rough journey. Lots of tape, padding on the inside, etc.|
|(2 years ago)||And I just got a -1 rating and a 0 rating because the USPS mistreated the package causing the envelope to rip and book to be lost. So I'm out the cash for trying to send a book You aren't actually out the cash to send the book. You get to keep the point you got for mailing the book. You got a negative and zero feedback, not a subtraction from your points. That being said, the moocher should have marked the book lost, not received. They would have gotten their point back and you would have been able to keep your point. I don't think that a book that has been marked "received" can be changed and now marked "lost". You could contact the tech people (click "abuse" from your or the other person's bio page) see if it can be done on their end. Otherwise, if I were in your place, I would email the moocher, apologize for the lost book, explain you are new and didn't realize that reinforcing with packing tape or using a bubble mailer is a good idea when mailing books and offer to return her point if she will change the feedback. I hope you give Bookmooch chance. It can be fun and rewarding.|
|(2 years ago)||Yep! It sounds like it needs to be clearer that condition is important. I too saw no opportunity to describe condition when I listed the first two. Additionally, my personal library is so ever-evolving that I don't think of books as shelf-sitting trophies, I read them and cycle them around to my other book-nerd friends.
Sorry you seem to be having an even worse experience than I did.
|(2 years ago)||gfox I'm also new to Book Mooch and am getting some really 'bad tastes.'
When I listed my books there was no prompt to list condition, I had to go back and look for it so I have had a terrible experience with a moocher because there were highlighting marks in the books (I sent 4 big books). And I just got a -1 rating and a 0 rating because the USPS mistreated the package causing the envelope to rip and book to be lost.
So I'm out the cash for trying to send a book.
I may just redeem the points I have and call it quits. I was so excited to join this website and give and receive books for nothing more than the cost of postage. But now I'm getting harassing emails regarding the refund of points and have lost points because USPS damaged a package.
If it wasn't for the good transactions I've had I'd already have left the site.
Sorry you have had a bad experience too.|
|(2 years ago)||gfox88, I do hope you stick around to see how good BookMooch can be. As Shana said, many people don't care about condition one way or the other... But, since you can't pick-and-choose who mooches your books, it's better to note any condition problems/defects then to hope someone who doesn't care mooches it.
A lot of users mooch books to complete a collection, especially if the book is in a series or written by a certain author. For us collectors, it *is* a case of being able to "put it on a shelf to look pretty" (after we read it, of course). There are all kinds of people here on BookMooch; Collectors, hoarders, readers, sellers; And it helps to remember that the way you see books may not be the same way other people see them.
Also, since you are new, I'll try not to rant about the "especially if they're free" part of your post. But please try to remember that the books traded here are not "free", we spend real money in order to earn the points that we use.|
|(2 years ago)||Thanks, ShanaM Excellent comment, you are a gracious mediator.
I'm sure she didn't mean to be rude, it was just a little jarring. I exchange a lot of books, being a publisher and crazy reader, and as long as they're not toxic/gross or have pages missing, I don't care how "warped" they are. I don't even care about handwritten notes. Especially if they're free.
My intention is to read it, not put it on a shelf to look pretty.|
|(2 years ago)||I'm sorry that your first exchange on bookmooch was less than joyous and fun (on both sides). Ideally, it would have been nice for the moocher to notice that you're new and send you an email with some more explanation. Most people write fairly short feedback comments and it can be easy to unintentionally appear to be snarky. Reading their comment, I think they were probably just trying to be helpful and not complaining. I'm sure they still appreciated your book.
When you list a book on your inventory, the confirmation page has a list of navigation buttons on the right side, one of which is Condition or Condition Notes (can't remember). It is easy to miss and far from intuitive. You have to click that button to enter condition notes.
I'm fairly new, but I've noticed that noting a book's condition is very important to some bookmoochers and far less important to others. Personally, I only care about the condition unless the book has water damage, mold, missing pages or notes/highlighting. This is a used book site, I expect books to be well-loved before they reach me. People will still mooch books with serious damage, but they just like to know what they're getting. For example, sometimes people are looking for trashed books that they can take to the beach sans guilt. I usually write condition notes just to reassure people that there's nothing major wrong. I would recommend doing that in the future to eliminate misunderstandings. But very few of the books I've mooched have included condition notes. So while that's certainly the preference of many, it's definitely not the practice of everyone. I don't think you did anything wrong. I hope you try again with a happier result next time!|
|(2 years ago)||I think that condition notes should be mandatory.
I also think that a feedback comment of some sort should be mandatory as well.
Neither of these would take much time, but would immeasurably improve moral.
If you think this suggestion is strange, I see it as just the Australian way. Friendliness, laid-back, gratitude for things others do for you.|
|(2 years ago)||I'm sorry if I sounded harsh, I certainly didn't mean to be. I was trying to help you and point out how BookMooch works.
If you are in the publishing industry, then I'm unsure why you don't understand that people want good quality books for their money.
Sorry to see you go, guess BM wasn't a good fit for you.|
|(2 years ago)||Um ... wow.
Okay. I guess I don't get the point system, I was able to mooch a book before I spent any money. Also, pardon me for being new to the site, but when I listed my books, it didn't ask about condition.
There was nothing wrong with that book and I'm now sorry I went out of my way to pass it on. I'm personally grateful to get a bit of good-quality literature that's been previously loved as long as all the pages are there.
By the way, I'm in the publishing industry.
Well, happy reading all, it was fun while it lasted.|
|(2 years ago)||The person gave you a +1 and just mentioned the condition, so I'm not sure what you are complaining about.
This is a used book-swapping site, but people deserve and expect to know the condition of the book they are spending points and money on. "stains and warped pages", as the feedback said, are definitely something that needs to be noted in condition notes.
I really wish the importance of condition notes was better stated when you add a book (it's something I've mentioned many times around here), but when you add a book, if you click on "condition" it says:
# Explain what condition the book is in, such as: the cover is torn, it smells bad or is mildewy
# it's an earlier edition or version
# the book cover is different than what is shown
# anything you think someone else should know before they receive your book in the mail
Lots of people don't care about condition, and will mooch a book regardless, but any stains, tears, rips, stamps, warped pages, etc, should be noted.
It should be noted that you may have been "kind enough" to pass along your books, but you got compensated for that with points. Points cost money (users earn points by shipping books...), so the people you send books to are actually spending money in order to get them. As such, most people like to know the condition of what they are getting.|