Work Binding Calamity


We’re absolutely heartbroken to have to announce that the print run for our new book Work has been discovered to contain a high number of books with a production defect where the front cover can easily become detached from the rest of the book. We’ve fielded enough reports over the last few days to be sure the problem is not isolated, and thusly, we are suspending shipments of the book immediately. We are currently in negotiations with the printer as to how to fix this problem, and it is likely to take several weeks to resolve. You can be sure that until we are certain we have books in hand that do not have the defect, we won’t be sending any out.

What We Know So Far About the Problem

For books that contain the defect, it manifests itself thusly: Initially the book seems fine and by all tests and measures appears to be in good health; the cover is solidly attached, and nothing indicates trouble. However after spending some time actually reading the book and putting stress on the cover, it will simply pop off. The adhesive meant to attach it will be exposed and there will be no tears in the paper or any trauma—it is simply detached as seen in the above photo. At the moment, we still don’t know exactly what happened for this to occur on some books and not all of them, and are waiting to hear back from the printers as to what precisely can cause this to occur. The trickiest part of this defect is that it can’t be detected until the book has been handled for several hours, making book-by-book quality control impossible. Fortunately, because we have a fancy Otabind binding on this book, a cover failure isn’t catastrophic, and the actual book binding remains 100% intact.

Not all copies are affected, in fact, we believe that most are not—we’ve found more books that are rock-solid than those that aren’t, so if you’ve spent some time reading yours and it still is in great shape, then you have nothing to worry about.

What Happens If You Already Bought the Book

We’re particularly sad that this problem will affect our most enthusiastic supporters and early adopters of the new text—it seems incredibly unfair to all involved. You can be assured that if you are affected by this problem, at the very least you will receive a free replacement copy as soon as they are available, at no cost at all to you. We will post an update as soon as we have a system set up to deal with exchanges and credits. Thanks so much for understanding, for your patience, and for supporting us at the first opportunity.

In the meantime, there appears to be a simple solution that at least temporarily solves the problem: simply close the book and align the cover properly with the edges of the book, place it on a hard, flat surface and press down firmly on the spine-edge of the cover, running your fingers from the top of the book to the bottom; somehow this appears to bind the cover to the book more solidly than they initially came, and should last through an entire reading of the book, and beyond, judging by our experiences here.

Moving Forward

We are still accepting orders for the book, but they now become backorders. If your order contains a Work book, the entire order will be held until the corrected printing of the book is available, which we expect to be approximately 3 weeks from now. Your card will not be charged until the order is shipped. All paper mail orders we receive for the Work book, starting today, will be held also, even if the order was mailed prior to this announcement.

UPDATE: New info here.

15 thoughts on “Work Binding Calamity

  1. I had this problem last week, but fear not i fixed with a bit of glue and it’s fine now !

  2. Ha. My four year old was playing with it and the binding came loose. I just played it off to typical kid wear and tear. It’s not a big deal at all though. Fixed ours with some glue too! :)

  3. Having the same issue. All I did was put it beneath something heavy (a larger book in my case, but I’m sure a box or crate would work as well) for about twenty-four hours and the problem was fixed. I’m more interested in what’s between the covers anyway, so to speak…

  4. man, that is a sucky thing! i’m sorry you guys are having problems. i haven’t gotten to read my copy yet so i don’t know if i’m affected. sounds easily fixed though, and HighKeeba is totally right anyway. (and pretty clever too!)

  5. So basically 13 and some odd dollars goes away for nothing but a raincheck?
    Damn, what an essential use of my hourly rate…

  6. Hey go_outside, yeah, we agree the whole situation really sucks, but there isn’t much we can do about it until the books get fixed and sent back to us. We hope you can find a way to forgive us. Anyway, it’s not really a raincheck if you have the book in your hands, right? As folks have said above, it’s really easy to return the book to a readable state while you wait for a brand-new replacement copy, so try to be patient and enjoy the book! Thanks.

  7. hah
    you cant even tell its torn when you have it open to read. I bought 2, one for me one for my friend and we both had it happen but we both fixed it. just glue the binding back up and store it upside down. Great book guys. If you send me another one im just going to give it to one of my friends; i’m more than overjoyed with the first copy.

  8. I didn’t get a book, though. That’s the only reason the situation here sucks.
    I ordered it, expected it in the mail, then found out (on this page) that it would be delayed.

  9. Go_Outside, If you ordered the book before the announcement (when the store link still said ‘add to cart’ instead of ‘backorder’ then your book has been shipped, and is in the mail currently. Only people who ordered after this announcement have their book orders on hold.

  10. Well that’s reassuring. I wouldn’t mind if there was no cover at all, it just seemed like I wasn’t getting the book at all. I’ll be patient—thanks.

  11. …I ran into this problem within 3 hours. I pressed it back and ran a rolling pin over the contact point and ZAP! Fixed with no further issue. If someone can’t DIY this issue they should re-read the above note on repair. While I certainly applaud the extraordinary sensitivity of CrimeThinc Far East I wonder if it wouldn’t have been a little less frustrating to allow the purchase and shipping of the book to those who acknowledge a disclaimer. We are paying for the content, not the package itself.

  12. I’m far away from this whole thing, but I’m guessing that part of the issue is that it’s impossible to compel the printers to redress the problem if they go on selling the books. This is unfortunate, but hopefully it will be taken care of soon. Incidentally, it’s really nice to see how capable and inventive the people getting these books are.

  13. Any defective ones left? Would you guys consider selling them for a discount like you have in the past? That would be pretty damn cool, I don’t mind “defective” things, not at all, haha…

  14. hey GC,

    Unfortunately we don’t have a single copy left here with us, they’ve all been sent back to the printer to be inspected and hopefully fixed. If you can hold on for a bit, I’d suggest getting it from your local library, who can easily be encouraged to procure one. Also, one aspect of raising our prices will be that occasionally we’ll have ‘sales’ where books will be available at a discount, so stay tuned for that.

  15. for those who like Work, bell hooks has an entire awesome and interesting chapter about Work in her book “The Will to Change”

    fucking check that shit out!

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