To cover or not to cover

174Price tags on books, that is. I understand it’s supposed to be in very bad taste to let the recipient of a gift know how much has been paid for it. Whenever I buy a book and ask the salesperson to wrap the book up for me, they cover the price with a sticker. I know these stickers well: They are hell to remove afterwards. So I usually ask the salesperson not to use a sticker, and have received many a strange look.

I never mind knowing how much a book cost (I can look it up online any time I want to, anyway), but I do mind stickers. They soil a book, an otherwise perfect article. The older they are, the uglier they get. And the more difficult to remove: I have a bottle of really nasty-smelling, potentially poisonous dissolver which I use for books exclusively, and old stickers sometimes take minutes to scratch off even with the dissolver, which means I must breathe in the noxious fumes all that time. Yuck.

Worst are stickers on former library books. They breed like rabbits: The average book has about three of them. And they are so very ugly that I can’t really accept the book in my collection until all trace of them has been removed. More noxious fumes (and I do my cleaning books on the balcony or at the open window).175

Are you bothered by stickers on books? Do you remove them? And what do you think of stickers on books that are presents?

– Rike

4 thoughts on “To cover or not to cover

  1. LeeB.

    Gosh, I can honestly say that I’ve never received a book with a sticker covering the price tag. I have received hardcover books with the price cut off on the book jacket. But either way, it is so easy to find out how much the book cost, why use stickers?

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  2. Blythe

    Maybe that’s a German thing? I’ve never had anyone cover the price with a sticker here. I figure everyone can find out what it costs anyway, and most books cost around the same amount anyway.

    However, I sometimes deliberately leave price tags on clothes if I send them to my sister. I know she would rather see that I got a really good deal (yes, really). If I’m sending her something full price, I take the price off. You’d think it would be the opposite. Of course, if it isn’t going to my sister, I always take the price off clothes.

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  3. CindyS

    I’ve never asked for books to be wrapped so maybe that’s why I haven’t come across stickers where the price of the book should be and I do not cover the price myself as I wouldn’t think to look at that normally.

    Now I’ve been in stores that have printed out a price sticker that covers the price on the cover – if in a specialty store it is usually more money so I know better than to buy a book with a different price.

    I know they have stickers that are very easy to remove (30% off stickers etc) which I really appreciate because I would hate that they have to stay there.

    So stickers would drive me crazy. The other thing that bothers me is the black marker strike on the top of the pages of a book that has been remaindered (?) – I think that’s what it is called. Basically no one is buying the book so they remove them from the shelves and sell them off but put a marker strike along the edge of pages. Ugh. Just leave the book alone.


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  4. Linda

    I can’t stand stickers on books either. Especially when they don’t come off cleanly. Rike- I don’t know if they have this in Germany, but I wark in a used book store and we use this stuff called “Goo Gone” to get stickers off of books and it is a citrus based product, I don’t like the smell but it isn’t noxious and it works pretty well.

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