A Guide to Book Conditions

A Guide to Book Conditions

When considering the purchase of a book for your collection, the condition and, if applicable, the dust jacket are the most important factors affecting the value. It pays to become familiar with the basic descriptive terms used by used and rare booksellers to communicate a particular book’s condition.

General Terms

The definitions below are for reference only. Booksellers use these terms, as well as unique terms not included in this list, based on their own criteria. If you would like clarification on any term in a particular seller’s description, please contact the bookseller directly for further information.

  • A - Used - Like New

    Almost new, no or very, very slight creases to the spine, no marks on the pages and very little wear to the cover.

  • B - Used - Very Good

    A well-cared-for book that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The book is unmarked, and undamaged.

  • C - Used - Good

    Still in a good condition, spine creased and corners of the cover may be damaged

  • D - Used - Acceptable

    Well read, spine or cover worn or damaged, pages may be yellowed or stained.

  • E- Refurbished

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