We describe and date all items on this site to the best of our ability using the conditional gradations and terminology outlined below:

Condition Gradations

As New:  A book can be classed as, 'as new', even if it was published some years ago, so long as it is in the same pristine, unopened / unread condition as when it was first published.

Fine: A 'fine' condition book may have been opened and even read, but nevertheless exhibits no defects or signs of wear to the cover, dust-jacket or pages. 

Very Good: A book may show light signs of wear, but no rips or tears to cover, spine or paper. 

Good: An book which exhibits reasonable wear commensurate with age or usage, but which still has all pages present. 

Fair: A well-worn book which may have significant creasing to the cover but which has no missing pages. 

Acceptable: A book which exhibits significant signs of wear or soiling but which nevertheless retains all of its pages and as such, still fulfils its purpose as a 'reading copy'.  

Descriptive Condition Terms

Boards: The often cloth-bound covers of a hardback book.

Dampstained: Light staining to either the cover or the pages of a book caused by moisture from food or handling. 

Edgeworn: Light signs of wear along the outside edges of hardback book covers.

Foxing: Brown 'age-spotting' of the paper caused by a the reaction of print chemicals to air over time. 

Price Clipped: Where the published price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket, usually on the inside flap.

Shelf Wear: General wear that occurs as a result of removal and replacement on shelves. This may constitute signs of rubbing to the outside edges of a dust-jacket or the loosening of the top 'head' of the spine which has been used to pull the book from the shelf. 

Sunned: Fading – usually of the outside cover or spine – due to exposure to light or direct sunlight.

Tanning: Slight browning of the outer edges of interior pages or outside edge of text block (see below) commonly found on older mass market paperbacks. 

Text (or page) Block: The 'block' of bound pages which are bound into the cover to create the book.

Tight (binding): The binding of any new book is tight but will loosen over time as a result of repeated readings. 

Please note that additional features, such as 'ex-library book', 'book club edition' and 'notes and underlining' will be included in individual descriptions where appropriate.