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.