Used books are notoriously difficult to value. Adding to the problem is the condition books are in when brought to us (or brought back to us). The following guidelines need to be met when exchanging books with Paperback Shack.
ABSOLUTELY NO: Dirt/Dust/Pet Hair or Dander:
Please make certain your books are clean. If we pick up the book and it is dirty, from dust, pet hair and whatnot, we will put your book back in your bag and hand the bag back to you and ask you to remove the bag from the store. We take pride in keeping our store clean, please respect our space. We wouldn’t bring dirt into your home and expect you to clean it.
ABSOLUTELY NO: Odors, Stains, Liquid Damage or Mold/Mildew.
Books are made from organic materials that pick up scents from their environment. Once the book has picked up a scent it won’t dissipate no matter how long you “air it out”. If books are stored in a basement or garage they tend to absorb a musty smell. Smoke from tobacco products, campfires and the like will also be absorbed and be not appropriate for resale. We all love our pets, but if Fido or Tabby somehow left their scent on the books, we cannot accept them. Fragranced storage materials only aid in making the situation worse, so please – no dryer sheets, scented garbage bags or perfumed pages – all of those scents will also be absorbed by the paper and while you may love the smell of Fresh Linen from your favorite candle maker, not everyone shares your enthusiasm. Even if these books are otherwise in very good condition, their scent makes them, not only unsalvageable, but detrimental to have in our store because other books near them will pick up their scent.
No one wants to buy an item with an unknown stain on it. As humans, our imagination runs rampant and readers are more creative than most at envisioning a grotesque origin for the spot.
Liquid damage can occur in a variety of manners including but not limited to: spilled coffee, dropped in the snow, flopped into the pool, plopped accidentally into the bathwater (even if only for a second) or worse (we won’t even discuss it). Liquid, once dried, forms wavy or brittle pages. We will reject a title, regardless of how much or how little it affects the books, if any part of it has been touched by liquid. You wouldn’t put your hand in a strangers bath water, so why would you want to touch a water damaged book? You wouldn’t and neither do we.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but, books are made of organic material. Once a book begins to mold it cannot be saved. While the process of decomposition is natural, we don’t want it in our books. Mold will spread and it’s not picky, so it won’t limit itself to other books. All books with signs of mildew or mold will be rejected.
NO: Writing/Highlighting, Rips/Tears, Loose Pages/Broken Spines
Writing and/or highlighting of any kind won’t be accepted. This applies to any part of the book including its covers, spine and outer edges.
If it only has one tear which is smaller than a quarter inch we may consider taking it in if we have need for it. If it has multiple tears it will be rejected. Tape repairs do not make the book acceptable and will also be rejected.
Loose Pages/Broken Spines:
When pages begin falling out of books it indicates a failing spine. There are several ways to check for broken or poor condition spines: if the book naturally falls open or stops at a certain section, white crease lines down the spine of a paperback, visible internal cracking, and books with a pronounced angle to their spine have been broken.
**There is a high rejection rate on mass market titles because the materials they are made of are lesser quality and have more condition issues than other titles.**