Determining Book Condition or Grading Books For Sale
Book Condition Ratings
Like New(LN)-As close to new as possible. No defects that are visible to the naked eye. No signs of aging, no rips, no tears, no bending, no stamps or previous owner signatures, no stains, no marks on any of the pages, no bending or rips on any of the pages, no seperation of pages from binding or from other pages. Books in this condition are in better condition than some new books--a book with this rating should look as if it were hermetically sealed directly after leaving the publisher's presses. Museum quality.
Near Mint/Fine(NM/F)-A book in this condition may have very slight defects, but only the very slightest. The book must be sound/tight with no seperation of pages/binding or covers. Slight scuffing of edges, spine and corners is acceptable. No scratches should mar the surface. A previous owner signature or stamp is okay as long as it doesn't detract from the book, but needs to be mentioned in a description as this is dependant on buyer preference. Bending, tears, writing or coloring (except sig/stamp) are not acceptable with books in this condition. Minor signs of aging are fine as long as they are noted.
Very Good(VG)-A book in this condition shows minor to moderate wear on corners, edges and spine. Should show not more than 1/4" of tears in any given spot. Pages should not be ripped, binding/covers and individual pages should not show seperation. As long as binding and covers are tight and book is in above condition or better, paper (front inside cover and back inside cover) may show seperation, but webbing or binding material must be tight with no chance of seperation. Very minor bending of a few pages is acceptable. Bookstore stamps and signatures are fine as long as they are mentioned. Signs of aging are fine as long as they are mentioned.
Good(G)-A book in this condition may show moderate wear on binding, edges and corners. Should not have rips or tears that are more than 1". Slight seperation of covers, spine, pages is okay, but needs to be mentioned. Can show moderate signs of aging as long as it's mentioned. Webbing and/or binding should not be seperated, but may show signs of seperation. Pages and spine may show moderate tears (no more than 1"). Minor pencil and crayon marks are acceptable as long as it's mentioned. Signature of previous owner or bookstore stamps are perfectly acceptable if mentioned. Bending of pages is acceptable. Minor scratches on the surface okay, but should be mentioned.
Near Good(NG)-A book in this condition can show seperation of binding/webbing as long as the seperation is not complete. Book should be seperated no more than one-third from both back & front covers and spine. Marks on surface are fine as are moderate tears on some of the pages as long as these are noted, and do not detract from the readability of the book. Crayon and pencil marks are fine as long as they don't detract from readibility of book. All defects should be mentioned.
Fair(FR)-A book in this condition should not be seperated more than halfway from back & front covers and spine. May show major scuffing marks on surface of book as well as moderate scratches. Dust jacket may be torn, scuffed or have marks where stickers were torn off. May have areas that are "fixed" with tape such as half of the spine, dust jacket or a page in the book. May be torn or may have missing pages that do not affect the readibility of the book. May show major bending such as a few pages bent in the middle or lengthwise. Mention all defects.
Poor/Reading Copy(P/RC)-A book in this condition may have most of binding seperated from book, but should not be seperated more than 3/4 from back & front covers and spine. May have large tears on cover or spine. May have large tears and/or bends on pages as long as readibility is not affected. May have large scratches (gouges) on covers as long as readibility of book is not affected. May be fixed extensively with tape, glue, etc. Pages can not stick together though--and there can be no defects that affects the readibility of the book. One should mention all defects.
Very Poor(VP)-Book is seperated from covers, no covers, only a spine or missing one cover. Half of cover is missing, half of binding is missing, etc. Pages are missing, but readability is not affected. For example--title pages, chapter pages, end papers may be missing. Pages are covered in crayon, or pencil marks, but are still readable. Book is beyond fixing, but is still readable (perhaps barely).
Don't Bother (DB)-Book is not readable and looks as if it has been mangled by a pack of wild dogs or thrown into the ocean and retrieved by a shark. It may be the only title you don't have, but do yourself a favor and don't bother.
Library Copy(LC)-also called an ex-library copy(X-LC). This should be mentioned in addition to the condition.
Edition (Ed.)-This should always be mentioned whenever possible/known, whether it's a 1st edition, book club edition or 10th edition. This also applies to printing. Whether a 5th printing, etc. both edition and printing information should be mentioned in addition to the condition of the book.
Publisher(Pub.)-publisher information as well as any publisher symbols, should also be mentioned in addition to the condition of book.
Copyright-always mention the copyright in addition to the condition of the book.