Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Know It's Free, but...

Today's rant topic was up in the air til I got a paperback swap request that inspired me.

Here's the deal: Paperback Swap let's you list your unwanted books. If someone wants it, you mail it to them, paying the postage yourself, and you get a credit to use to order a book you may want from someone else. So, for the cost of postage at (usually) media mail rates--guaranteed to be cheaper than all but the most baseline clearance books at Half Price--you get a book you want to read without paying $5.99+ for it. Pretty sweet, right?

Not sweet enough for some people. I am, frankly, thoroughly tired of people who want me to send them something for free but have a laundry list of conditions the item must meet. Things I've seen people bring up in PB Swap conditions include:

  • "I don't accept hardback books without dustjackets." Really? That's too bad---you are very unlikely to ever get to read a book you want from my collection. Dust jackets annoy the crap out of me and 9 out of 10 of them that enter this house on a book I own get recycled. I'm interested in that's between the covers, not what's decorating them.
  • I am not willing to accept books that have been withdrawen from libraries" Pet peeve #1 - Do Not Look a Free Book in the Dustjacket and spit on it! #2 - everyone you request a book from will receive a copy of your conditions---take the time to spell your ridiculous demands properly people! #3 - If it's good enough for the library, why isn't it good enough for you? I ~never~ order anything from paperback swap with the thought of adding it to my permanent collection in mind. Why not? Because I never know what I'm gonna get. If I get something I want to add and it happens to be in good shape, yay me! If it's not, I'll read it and pass it on and pay for a permanent collection copy.
  • "Books with a strong moldy smell." Yea, cuz I post those a lot. If you have legitimate allergen issues (I always warn people who mention allergy issues that I have had cats near my books in case it is a problem) that's one thing, but statements like the above are just being b1tchy. Even more so since all of these gems came from a SINGLE person.
And I'm sure it will not come as a surprise to anyone that I rarely mail books to people like this. I've learned the hard way that demanding types like the one described above are almost never happy with what they receive (again, for FREE) and I've had one go so far as to deny credit for the book received.

Play nice with the rest of us, people, or take your unwanted books and go somewhere else! I'm sick of you, you paperback primadonnas!

Yes, I am probably overreacting, but I'm crabby and this person's poorly spelled laundry list of book issues just lit my fuse.

1 comment:

Lanel said...

I don't think you're overreacting. I think some people are too damn picky when it comes to FREE books. Give me a break, it's FREE. I can understand if pages are ripped or whatever but get over it. (OK, not the ripped pages but the other picky gripes.) I wish I could remember the one super picky laundry list I received...my jaw dropped reading it.