A Note on Our Book Grading

With the advent of bookselling on the Internet, it seems that general terms for describing book condition such as "Good", "Very Good", "Fine" and so on have become increasingly subjective. Traditionalists often cite this as a significant drawback to the buying and selling of books on the Internet. But the problem is really no different from the pre-Internet days of selling books via catalogues, lists and so on.

Back in 1949, the trade magazine AB Bookman's Weekly tried to address this issue by providing a standard by which used and rare books could be described. Over the years, these standards have been refined and have become a shorthand way for booksellers to quickly describe a book's condition.

Unfortunately, this shorthand means nothing if the buyer does not know how to interpret it. Consider this my key to allow you to break the shorthand code of my book descriptions. While the basic information set off in block quotes comes from the original AB Bookman's, additional annotations are mine and mine alone and are in no way to be construed as anything but my opinion.