PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for June, 2008

Dear Members, Newsletter – June 2008

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

It’s June, the month for Grads and Dads!
Congratulations to all of you who are graduating from anything this month…and for those of you who aren’t, here are some ways to join the Class of 2008:

  • Graduate from Clutter.  Post those books you don’t need anymore!  If they were textbooks, remember to read the textbook exception for highlighting/underlining in the Help Center Book Condition Guidelines.  Get those books outta there and on to someone else who needs/wants them, and make way for new ones!
  • Graduate from I-have-to-finish-it syndrome. If the book you are reading is not your cup of tea, just close it and post it to your PBS Bookshelf for swapping.  Life’s too short to finish a book that you don’t like (but someone else might enjoy), just because you opened it.  Free yourself!  Getting a new book no longer means buying another one: you can swap this one, and order something else.
  • Graduate from Where the Heck is that Book? when one is requested from you.  Use Book Journal and your requests will show the physical space in your house to which you have assigned the book, right on the request.
  • Graduate from Prime Time Addiction. Come on, you know most of the stuff on TV in the summer is the junk they can’t sell any other time.  Turn it off, hide the remote, and dig into your TBR Pile!
  • Graduate from The Same Old Song. If you haven’t joined SwapaCD, then you have to check it out this week!  The changes that are launching today will blow you away.  No lie.  SwapaCD members, get ready for a whole new World o’Swap!

To all the Dads out there: we hope you have a great Father’s Day, with all those ties you don’t need, barbecue accessories you don’t need, and ear-hair-trimmers you don’t want to admit you need (but ahem).   Seriously, we know the presents don’t matter; the day is all about dads feeling appreciated for all they do, and have done, to get kids ready to go out on their own in the world.   But take comfort, those of you who have kids graduating this month: they don’t ever really leave.  They’ll be back…with laundry.
>Have a great June, everyone, and a happy Father’s Day!
Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team

Wow, you really like the BookCovers! Newsletter – June 2008

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

The Cloth Bookcovers have been very popular in the store.  We hope you are finding them useful.  The only size we’re stocking right now is the size for mass-market (small) paperbacks, but we do plan to get more sizes and patterns soon.

Cloth Bookcover patterns available:

(Morning Glories, Stargazer, Book Lover, Bon Voyage, Roses, Stained-glass Angels, Wine World)

Member of the Month – June 2008

Monday, June 2nd, 2008


Here are some of the comments we got with nominations for Melody:

She is so much fun to follow in the forum threads with her fresh ideas, good sense, humor and interesting bits of trivia pulled from her travels on the internet. She … always has help or clues where to get info on a multitude of subjects. I consider her a true friend.”

“…She really keeps us on our toes in the political arena. She’s fab not only in the Current Events forum but also in CMT. Sometimes I’d be lost without her!”

“She is always so friendly and level headed, and she starts many interesting discussions.”

“Melody is such a positive force at PBS.  Fun and funny, calm and kind…she adds something to every topic she posts in.  I love to see ‘the dog’ avatar on a post because I know it will be something I’ll be glad I read.”

Melody, your posts in Forums seem to be music to everyone’s ears!  You are our Member of the Month for June. Congratulations!

If you have any nominations for Member of the Month, submit them to us here.  Your nomination will not “expire”–anyone you nominate will have a chance at getting Member of the Month if enough nominations accumulate over time. Each month the person who has the most votes accumulated when the Newsletter goes to press gets to be Member of the Month and gets a newsletter mention and a nifty MoM icon to wear on profile and forum posts with pride.  So go for it! Tell us who’s helped you in the Forums, who’s been a great swapper, who in your opinion is a credit to PBS.  We are keeping a list of all the nominated members.  Who knows–one of them might be YOU!

DEAR LIBRARIAN, Newsletter – June 2008

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Dear Librarian– Why am I not getting my PBS emails?   I just got a “FINAL NOTICE” email to respond to a book request…but that is the first email I got about this request!  And I missed a Wish List offer last week.  What is happening?  –Out of touch in Ohio

Dear Hi,

If you look in your Club Communications file (linked from the top of your My Account page) you will see that we have been sending the emails to you.   Your email provider may not be delivering them, though.   Sometimes this is because PBS emails are being treated as spam.  If you (or anyone who uses your same email provider) clicks to mark a PBS email as spam, this will tell that email provider that PBS emails should be blocked and not delivered.   Some people mark mail as spam as a way to delete the email from their inbox!  Yes, it’s maddening, because it affects not only their reception of PBS emails, but also yours, if you use the same email provider they do.

Anyone who is having this trouble should add “librarian@paperbackswap.com” and “noreply@paperbackswap.com” to his or her email address book (or list of accepted email senders), and this should work against the “spam-markers”.  If you have done this and are still having trouble receiving PBS emails, you should contact your email provider, and consider changing your email address on your account to an alternate address until the matter is sorted out.  A reliable email connection is crucial to managing your PBS account, and it is really frustrating when request notifications and Wish List offers are missed because the emails we sent were not delivered. You can read more in the Help doc If you think you are not getting your PBS emails… in the Help Center.

Dear Librarian–Why am I getting wrong books?  First I get a Wish List book that had the wrong ISBN on it.  I wanted one ISBN (it has the author’s notes in the foreword that I want) but someone sent me a totally different version of the book, with a different ISBN on it.  And another time, I got the wrong ISBN and the member who sent it to me said she DID enter the ISBN  and she used the listing that came up on PBS.   She swears that’s what she did.  And another time a member sent me a hardcover instead of a  paperback.  The ISBN on the book DID match the listing of the book I requested, but the book was hardcover and the listing said paperback!   Is this a system problem?  –Disappointed in Duluth

Dear Lulu,

No, it’s not a system problem!  The member who posts a book using the listing for an ISBN that is not on the book is wrong to do so.  When posting a book, the ISBN, title, author and binding type shown on the listing used must ALL match the book being posted.  But some members do strange things when posting a book.   The study of erroneous posting is known as Posteology, and we are (sadly and involuntarily) experts on it. 🙂

Posteology defines wrong-book posters as species Postus Erronatus, and there are several sub-species, distinguished by characteristic behaviors.

  • Titlius Solius Matchius. Familiar names: Match-by-title posters or “click-happy” posters.

These members match by title only. You can find them searching the Club Wish List and clicking “post this book” if the title on a listing matches the title of a book they have.   A box comes down asking them to confirm that the ISBN matches, but they click past this to post the book.   That’s how you get a Wish List offer for a book the member doesn’t actually have, and when the book arrives it has a different ISBN than the one you wished for.

  • Imagius Importantus. Familiar names: Cover-image posters or “so-close-and-yet-so-far” posters.

These members match title/author and cover image (but don’t match ISBN or binding type). They start off okay: they enter the ISBN on the book they have. But then their behavior abruptly becomes erratic: even though the Post Books screen says that the ISBN, title, author and binding type must ALL match, and that the cover image doesn’t have to match, they won’t use the (correct) listing that comes up for the ISBN they entered because the cover image does not match.  They click one of the alternate versions shown below the listing preview, and use that listing to post their book, even though the ISBN (and sometimes also the binding type) does not match the book they have.  That’s how you get a book with a different ISBN on it than the one you requested, and the member will insist that she entered the ISBN on the book she had.  Yes, she entered the ISBN on the book she had–and that listing that she saw first would have been correct–but she didn’t use that listing.  She passed it up to seek out and use one with a matching cover image.

  • Tertio-quaternarius. Familiar names: Three-out-of-four posters, or Drat-the-publishers posters.

These members match ISBN and title/author, but not binding type. They enter the ISBN on their book, check the title and the author and then click Post The Above Book, even if the binding type says Hardcover and the book they are holding is a paperback.  Their characteristic cry is “PBS is to blame!”  Sometimes the PBS listing is in error, actually (our database is compiled elsewhere, and does have some errors)…BUT that doesn’t mean it’s okay to use a listing with the wrong binding type on it.

Most the time this is NOT a database error.  This happens when the publisher(s) re-used the ISBN when reprinting a book in a different format.  When that is the case, ONLY the binding type on the listing at PBS can be posted with that ISBN: the “other” format(s) need to be posted without an ISBN, so that the correct binding type appears on the listing being used.   To make the distinction between publisher re-use of an ISBN and PBS database error (and to figure out if the listing at PBS should be corrected), the ISBN needs to be researched on an internet search, and if there is NO evidence that more than one binding was used for that ISBN, the ISBN can be submitted to us for correction, as described in the Help doc “If the information on a book listing in the database is incorrect…” in the Help Center.    If a member matches only ISBN and title/author, but does not match binding type, when he or she posts, that is how the requestor can end up with the right ISBN but wrong binding type.

  • Swappus DentusFamilar names: “Bite me, PBS!” posters, or “We-don’t-need-no-stinkin-iSBNs” posters.

These members seek  ISBNs to use to post their books that don’t have ISBNs at all! Some even go to other databases on the internet to find these ISBNs to use with their ISBN-less books. This takes a good amount of effort–far more than using the Post a Book Without an ISBN feature which would work to post the book properly.   We find this behavior curious indeed; it is not adaptive in the least, and is correlated with poor longevity in the club.

There are other sub-species of Postus Erronatus, but the above are the most common.

Posteology indicates strongly that all of these sub-species will become extinct if all members follow the instructions shown while posting a book (full instructions can also be read in How to Post a Book in the Help Center), and if a member runs into trouble posting a book, the Help doc Solutions to Common Book Posting Problems in the Help Center will usually solve the problem.

All kidding aside, Lulu, we know that members don’t make these mistakes on purpose when they post books.   You need to follow the instructions in the Help doc There is a problem with a book I received if this happens.  The good news is that problem swaps are not as common at PBS as it might seem to you if you happen to get a couple wrong books in a row.

Everyone should post their books properly, to make sure that when a book is requested, that book is the one that is actually wanted!  There is no point in sending a wrong book–no one is happy when that happens.