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Condition Ratings

Book ConditionWhen describing the general condition of our books we are guided by the following standard condition ratings as defined and used by the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA).


MINT: Indistinguishable from new, without blemishes and exactly as published.

FINE: Without faults or defects.

NEAR FINE: Approaching FINE but with a few minor defects which will be noted.

VERY GOOD: Showing some signs of wear. Defects will be noted.

GOOD: The average used book. Totally complete and intact. Defects will be noted.

FAIR: A worn book that has the complete text but may lack endpapers, half-title page, etcetera. Defects will be noted.

READING COPY: A very worn book whose only merit is its complete and legible text. Missing maps or plates will be noted. May be soiled, scuffed, stained, rubbed, spotted or damaged in any other way and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etcetera.

BINDING COPY: Books in which the text block, including illustrations, is complete but the binding is lacking, or in such poor condition as to be beyond realistic restoration efforts.

In addition to these condition ratings, we will endeavour always to designate ex-library books as such no matter what their condition; and we will similarly endeavour always to designate book club books as such (usually by the publisher's name) no matter what their condition. We will also note any applicable remainder marks, bookplates, dedications, or previous owner's names.

Buyers and prospective buyers should understand that the only rating whose definition is unarguable is MINT. From there downwards the condition ratings become increasingly subjective but some things are immutable. For example, a book that has corners bumped, inner hinge cracked, stained boards, torn pages and text annotated should never be described as VERY GOOD, even ‘for its age'.


Photo courtesy of Samantha Hurley