Second Hand Books

In recent months I have had to ban myself from purchasing any books of any sort. My backlog on NetGalley never goes and I seem to win the odd book on Goodreads. I haven’t counted my TBR pile but I do not feel guilty about the size of it.

Last week though,  I decided to treat myself to a book I have wanted to read for quite a while. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. The money though, is tight so I decided to use Amazon. I’m not going to get into the debate about Amazon in this post.

I found the book, clicked buy now and within 30 seconds the book was ordered. The next day I got the dispatched notice and the day after that, the book was delivered. There are few things more exciting than opening a package you know contains a book you’ve been looking forward too.

Cue disappointment.

The Amazon seller had the book listed as “Used – Very Good”. Now, I have sold books on Amazon myself and have followed the guidelines of what qualifies at the various levels of use. This copy did not fall into the “very good” category.

Amazon states a “Used – Very Good” book will fit the following;

The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.

Jasper Jones01

Image Mine

The first thing I noticed was the different cover. The seller has Dylan-esque version listed. If you click on the picture, you will also see the multitude of crease marks. This is the first problem.

The second problem is the quality of the cover and the pages underneath it.

Jasper Jones02

Image Mine

The quality of the picture is quite poor but I was in a rage. The seller was touting this book as being in very good condition. Even from this image, it is clear that there is water damage.

The third problem is the quality of the spine…

Jasper Jones03

Image Mine

You can see, very, very plainly that this book has had its spine broken in numerous places. You can also see how the damage from the spine creeps into the front cover. When I opened the book, the poor thing nearly split itself in two because the rough handling had all but destroyed the glue.

Nothing about this book suggests it is in “very good” condition. I would never have sold a book, in this condition, in any other category than “poor”. It isn’t that the book was expensive but its the complete disregard for the customer, by this seller, that really annoys me.

A cautionary tale but one that sellers on any site should take notice of. We might love books in all their shapes and forms but at least give us the quality we believe we are paying for. That isn’t asking too much.

Currently, this book is waiting for collection and I will have my refund.






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