Books Get Recalled, Too (The Shocking Truth)


Just when you thought the world of consumer product recalls was largely limited to lead-based toys, laceration hazards, and the phenomenon of exploding laptop batteries, we can now add reading materials to the potential list of “harmful products.”  And while paper cuts are nasty things to experience, we’re referring instead to the possibility of electrical shock with this most recent alert. 

This may be the first time I’ve seen a book recall in my lifetime.  There may have been others, but not since Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 have I seen such government reaction to the possible hazards of any particular edition.  The books at the cause of the attention are Wiring a House, 3rd Edition and Wiring Complete, Expert Advice from Start to Finish and are published by Taunton Press. 

The books are how-to manuals with the promise of being “builder tested, code approved.”  The problem lies in some of the instructions, however, as they have been found to be no good.  (Several technical diagrams are inaccurate.) 

With the risk of electrical shock to those who don’t know better and blindly follow the book for guidance (which would be most anyone who bought it), there is the real possibility of harm and liability.  As a result, they are recalling the book, and insist that any book owners return it to their retailer for a full refund.  (If you’re not sure where you bought it, or you managed to snag a copy on Ebay, contact Taunton directly at or (800) 477-8727.  They should be able to help you out.) 

At the time of the recall, there have been no reported injuries.  For the full scoop on this CPSC recall, visit the official government website at

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Guest's picture

That's amazing...

I never thought the day would come..

First dog food, then baby formula, then toys, and now A BOOK??

Is anything safe anymore?

Guest's picture

What does this topic have to do with Personal Finance?

Linsey Knerl's picture

Good question.  We deal with several topics here at Wise Bread, including green living, DIY, productivity, and consumer affairs.  Since recalls fall into the category of consumer affairs, this seemed appropriate.  (We have covered recall news in the past that have dealt with Crocs shoes, baby formula, and lead in toys.)

If you are not interested in reading all of our articles, you can click on the headings at the top of any page to see just the articles for the particular category that interests you most. 

Thanks for reading!

Linsey Knerl

Guest's picture

That made me laugh... Thank you!

Guest's picture

Hi Lindsay,

I work at a bookstore, and I got a phone call from Taunton's distributor, who noted that we'd bought copies of this book and were calling to have them sent back.

It's not the first time we've had a book recalled, but usually it's for much more mundane reasons: a chapter misprint, a dispute over who has the publishing rights, a blurb on the back attributed to the wrong person. Also, usually the recall comes via written correspondence, not by anything as dramatic as a phone call.

As for the copies of "Wiring A House" that my store had bought, I had, in fact, already returned them to the publisher the week before they called me, because we'd had them for six months and they hadn't sold.

Guest's picture

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