In addition to the written descriptions given in the catalogue, we use the following standard descriptions for the condition of books and other literature items. Equivalent descriptions will apply to non-literature items.

Mint. – As it left the bookseller. Complete with dust jacket, if originally supplied, and impossible to distinguish from a new copy. A mint dust jacket will be as new.

Fine. – In excellent condition. Some evidence of ownership or storage. May bear small inscription from a former owner. A fine dust jacket will be as new apart from some slight rubbing.

Very Good. – Less than fine condition. Apart from slight foxing or fading, no significant faults. A very good dust jacket will have excellent colour but with rubbing evident on back, edges and corners and possibly some very slight creasing and fading.

Good. – Obviously a second-hand book. Some faults but complete in all respects unless described otherwise. A good dust jacket is complete and fairly clean but with noticeable rubbing, fading, slight creasing, marks, small tears, and other signs of wear.

Poor. – A book in bad condition. It may be warped and stained, with preliminary pages missing and spine damage. The text will be complete. A poor dust jacket will be tatty, grubby and may also be noticeably marked, creased or torn.

A Working Copy. – a book in a condition unacceptable for the library, but complete and still of value, e.g. a garage copy of a workshop manual.

The above terms may be qualified by such words as: very, almost, approaching, less than, plus, minus, etc.

The paper used for certain letters, newspapers and magazines – even today – is of poor quality. Inevitably, such paper will brown in time, sometimes quite quickly. This is not necessarily evidence of neglect, merely chemistry in action. Common-sense dictates that there are very few 50-year old magazines,, brochures, etc, left in mint condition.

Condition is also relative. A fine sales brochure two years old will be in better condition than a fine sales brochure forty years old. The fineness of the former is as compared with other two-year old brochures and the fineness of the latter is as compared with other forty-year old brochures.

Unless otherwise stated, all books are hard-backed and in English.

All measurements are in inches and taken from left to right then bottom to top. Thus, a book or brochure 12 x 8.5 inches is in landscape format whereas a book or brochure 8.5 x 12 inches is in portrait format. Measurements are accurate to half an inch.

The following are the meanings I give to certain words in my descriptions:

Edgy. – Thin, rubbed, slightly worn and perhaps with a few minor tears at the edges. Most often used to describe dust jackets, road test reprints, sales folders and the like. Oversized items are often edgy.

Bumped. – bruising to the corners and top/bottom of the spines of hard-backed books, thick sales brochures, corners of card photo mountings, etc.

Rubbed. – typical of the back cover of a book which has been slid across a desk, or a press pack cover which has been sliding around in an over-size box with a number of others.

Scratched. – a deeper form of rubbing where the surface of the paper has been cut to some depth, but not completely through.

Foxed. – the brown, spotty discolouration occasionally found on inside pages and edges of older books.

Warped. – a bending of covers and/or pages, usually caused by damp, or by stacking in uneven heaps.

Chipped. – loss of small portions of paper, usually from dust jackets.