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Old 16th August 2003, 06:22 PM
Fallguy Fallguy is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: UK
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Angry Say it ain't so!

I was just speaking to one of the employees in my local book store,
and he was explaining to me how paper backs are sold in America. I'm not sure if he was being on the level or not, so I thought I'd ask y'all...

Apparently in the US paperback books are sold as effectively magazines, with a shelf life of a month or 2 or 3. At the end of that period they are then (and this is bit that gets me) stripped of the cover, which is returned to the publisher to get credit, whilst the book is destroyed...

Hence the bit inside the cover of paper backs stating that a book sold without its origenal cover is illegal.

Now I'm sorry, but destroying books like that, regardless of whether they are good or not, is outright wasteful and wrong. I mean the NAZI's burned books they didn't want, is this any different? I can understand that the books might need to be returned to the publishers to get credit, and that shipping might well be expensive, but to destroy the book is wrong.

The situation is made worse in my mind because most books get published in America first, and then published again in other countries (e.g. the UK), so these books that are being destroyed are not necessarily unwanted... in fact in many cases they are reprinted again!

This probably seems silly to you Americans, but to me destroying a book is just something I can't imagine - if I don't like a book I will sell it on to a 2nd hand book store, or give it to a charity book shop, I would never destroy it because someone somewhere might enjoy it, or at least gain some insight from it.

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Old 16th August 2003, 06:36 PM
Farley Farley is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Elgin, IL USA
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Well, I'm not a big reader but my wife is and this is not how it works here. Least in my area. Paper backs stay on the shelf as long as the hard covers.

Maybe this is what the story started out to be, and down the line added colorful twist. Back in the 70s-80s you could get an Album for half price with the corner cut about 1/2 inch. They were discontinued and they called them "cutouts"

I've seen this with books too, with the ripped off covers, but haven't seen it for many years.

There are several programs here (again my area) that support book donations. RIF, Book for Kids, AMV, and Purple heart to name a few. Not to mention the local library here will take any complete and readable book as a donation and put it on the shelf.

Surley this options seem much more inviting to a publisher than throwing them away. Tax write off vs total loss. This after it makes the rounds on the many discount book stores.

Like I said I've seen paper backs with dust on them too.

Sounds like an urban legend


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Old 17th August 2003, 12:50 AM
Gservo Gservo is offline
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As far as i know, paperback stay on the shelves to they are sold, i have never heard of that before...
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Old 17th August 2003, 01:03 AM
Chops Chops is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: sum more
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???huh??? never heard o that before . How did you come by this info again, first consider the source before ya take it as truth
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Old 19th August 2003, 07:22 PM
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CyberdynSystems CyberdynSystems is offline
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Location: Working on various plots in concert with the CIA
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They stay on the shelf,. untill they move to the bargian bin! From there they will end u[p at bargain stores lot "Job Lot", "Buck a Book", Building 19, etc....

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Old 20th August 2003, 12:48 AM
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krucibus krucibus is offline
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As a side note, a lot of unsold paperbacks get donated- brand new!- To military and federal relief programs and end up in places like military chaplains' tents to be handed out to service men and women deployed overseas. A large portion of my personal library came from this source (Yes, I'm in the military).
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