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Book Conditions Explained

As part of the comprehensive details we provide on all our books, a special emphasis is given to providing reliable and consistent descriptions to allow our customers to buy with confidence.


Most of our stock is fine or better quality.  Unlike many booksellers we do not sell books at bookseller or specialist fairs; this means they are not continually suffering from handling and transport.   We store our books in a temperature controlled warehouse and very great care is always taken to ensure they are in the very best condition.  This includes the high quality new packaging material we use for shipment.


Two overall assessments are normally provided using standard booksellers terms.  Firstly the contents are rated and secondly the cover is assessed, either with or without a dust jacket.  The terms are as follows:


New - a copy sourced new from the publishers, without prior ownership.


Mint - a new condition book although not sourced from the original publishers.


Fine - clean and sound without major blemishes and only light indications of being previously owned.


Very Good – a presentable copy with indications of previous ownership; faults could include minor inscriptions, cover rubbed or bumped, browning or dusty pages, small tears or wear on the dust jacket.  


Good – with clear signs of previous ownership and having a number of faults such as marked pages, covers or spine rubbed, wear or tears to dust jacket, labels or inscriptions. 


Working Copy – the major part, if not all, of the text will be complete but book will have significant faults such as major wear or large portions of the dust jacket missing.  Illustrations may also be missing.  


In addition to these overall assessments, we often highlight specific faults where this enhances the overall rating guidelines.  Please also keep in mind that the assessment will take into account the age of book, such that older books may well get a higher rating than a modern book in strictly the same condition.  Again our additional notes will make this clear.


Book covers.  For more valuable books, not already protected, we will protect dust wrappers in new professional book covers.  These provide excellent protection and are not fixed to the book or the dust wrapper.  We sometimes receive books which have already been covered in an adhesive material; usually, these will receive an automatic 'good' or lower rating and will always be recorded as such in the book notes. 


Although we provide comprehensive data, we will be pleased to provide further information on all aspects of a book, including its condition and photographs, upon your specific request.