books

Used Book Condition

We follow the IOBA standards for used books, but please note that we will only be selling books that meet the  “Good” or higher in the IOBA standards.

 

  • AS NEW; FINE: Without faults or defects.
  • NEAR FINE: a book approaching FINE (or AS NEW) but with a couple of very minor defects or faults, which must be noted.
    [NOTE: From here on, there may be “+ (Plus)” or “- (Minus)” in a grade, which will mean that it is above the grade noted but not quite to the next higher grade for “+”, and that it is below the grade noted but not quite to the next lower grade for “-“, i.e., Very Good + (or Plus)/Very Good – (or Minus). Which means the book is better than Very Good and the dust jacket grade is less than Very Good.]
  • VERY GOOD: A book showing some signs of wear. Any defects or faults must be noted.
  • GOOD: The average used book that is totally complete (as issued) and intact. Any defects must be noted.
  • FAIR: A worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title page, etc. Any defects or faults must be noted.
  • POOR or READING COPY: A book that is sufficiently worn that its only merit is the complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates must be noted. May be soiled, scuffed, stained, or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
  • EX-LIBRARY: Must always be designated as such no matter what the condition of the book.
  • BOOK CLUB: Must always be noted as such no matter what the condition of the book.
  • BINDING COPY: A book in which the text block, including illustrations, is complete but the binding is lacking, or in such poor condition it is beyond realistic restoration efforts.
  • REMAINDER MARKS, BOOKPLATES, PREVIOUS OWNER’S NAME: These are faults and must always be noted, if they apply.

Other Descriptors used in Conjunction with the Above Grading Scale

Bowed – A condition of the covers or boards of a hard cover book. Bowed covers may turn inward toward the leaves or outward away from the leaves. The condition generally results from a rapid change in the level of moisture in the air and is caused by different rates of expansion or contraction of the paste-down and the outer material covering the board.

Chipped – Used to describe where small pieces are missing from the edges of the boards or where fraying has occurred on a dust jacket or the edge of a paperback.

Dampstained – A light stain on the cover or on the leaves of a book caused by moisture such as a piece of food or perspiration. Generally not as severe as waterstains.

Darkening or Fading – When book covers are exposed to light, the color darkens or becomes more intense. See also tape shadow.

Edgeworn – Wear along the edges of hardback book covers.

Ex-library – the book was once owned by, and circulated in, a public library. This book could well be in any of the above general categories but more often than not has been well used. May have library stickers, stamps, or markings. Any former library book must be marked ex-library.

Foxed / Foxing- Brown spotting of the paper caused by a chemical reaction, generally found in 19th century books, particularly in steel engravings of the period.

Loose – The binding of a new book is very tight; that is, the book will not open easily and generally does not want to remain open to any given page. As the book is used, the binding becomes looser until a well-used book may lay flat and remain open to any page in the book.

Made-up Copy – A copy of a book whose parts have been assembled from one or more defective copies.

Price Clipped – The price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket.

Re-backed – A book that has been repaired by replacing the spine and mending the hinges.

Re-cased – A book that has been glued back into its covers after having been shaken loose.

Re-jointed – Means the book has been repaired preserving the original covers, including the spine.

Shaken – An adjective describing a book whose pages are beginning to come loose from the binding.

Shelf Wear – The wear that occurs as a book is placed onto and removed from a shelf. It may be to the tail (bottom) edge of the covers as they rub against the shelf, to the dust jacket or exterior of the covers (when no dust jacket is present) as the book rubs against its neighbors, or to the head of the spine which some use to pull the book from the shelf.

Sunned – Faded from exposure to light or direct sunlight.

Tight – The binding of a new book is very tight; that is, the book will not open easily and generally does not want to remain open to any given page. As the book is used, the binding becomes looser until a well-used book may lay flat and remain open to any page in the book.

Trimmed – An adjective indicating that the pages have been cut down to a size smaller than when originally issued.

Unopened – The leaves of the book are still joined at the folds, not slit apart.

Working copy – Even more damaged than a reading copy, the working copy will have multiple defects and may even need repair.

Worming, Wormholes – Small holes resulting from bookworms (the larvae of various beetles.)

Parts of a Book

See a visual guide of the parts of a book by visiting here

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