Used Book Condition Codes
Our used book grading system resembles, but varies slightly from those employed by the ABAA and other general used booksellers. The differences come primarily because most of our customers are not book collectors or buying books for investment purposes, but are interested in the books for their academic and research value. In our system, the general condition (Near Fine, Very Good, etc.) refers to the mechanical condition of the book. Some signs of prior ownership, such as a bookplate or signature, can be present in any book we list, even those marked Near Fine. There may also be defects and these are listed under comments.
- The five categories below contain the full range of books that we deem to be saleable.
- NF - Near Fine Condition Our top grade encompasses what other sellers often designate as 'New,' 'Fine,' and 'Excellent.' It therefore covers books that are perfect, through those that show some very minor wear. In this way, we don’t ever characterize a book as being perfect. If the book actually happens to be perfect, the customer wins.
- VG - Very Good Condition Our second grade consists of books that are obviously used books. They may have a few minor noted defects, but have some wear, fading, yellowing, depending on age. The book must still be structurally very sound to receive this rating.
- GC - Good Condition These books have more wear and more noted defects. Bindings may be slightly loose; paperback spines may be obviously creased. There can be no loose signatures.
- FC - Fair Condition This level is for books that may be worn through the cloth, contain numerous noted defects. Bindings may be loose, but not falling apart.
- PC - Poor Condition These books contain the complete text of the book which can be read in its entirety. They can be soiled, stained, spotted, have very loose bindings. We try to list all defects present in these volumes, but by listing them as being in poor condition, we mean that the book is in the lowest useable condition.
- We do not buy or sell books that fall below this last category … books with missing sections, etc.
- DJ = Dust jacket Meaning that the book has a dust jacket. The jacket is in the same general condition as the book unless otherwise noted. Sometimes general wear, tears, some torn small pieces missing etc., are noted by saying that the dust jacket is ‘chipped’
- Ex-Lib = Ex-Library These books have been owned at some prior time by a library and some signs of this ownership are still present. This could include cataloging information on the spine or title page, stamps, circulation ‘pocket’ etc. To the best of our knowledge, all ex-library books sold by Dove have been officially released or sold by the library.
- In general we try to note the extent and the neatness of any markings.
- UL = Underlined Some dealers call this ‘scoring’ or ‘underscoring.’
- HL = Highlighting
- MN = Marginal Notations
Damage & Abuse Codes
- LB = Loose Binding When hinges have become detached sections are loose or falling out we describe in detail.
- R = Rubbed Wear or abrasion that causes little discoloration and does not go through the cloth or paper binding.
- SC = Scuffed Refers to wear or abrasion that does go through the cloth or paper binding.
- FR = Frayed This occurs when wear or abrasion has caused some of the cloth binding to unravel or some of the fibers are loose.
It is our policy not to sell books that are excessively moldy, mildewed, etc
- HT = Hit This indicates that the book has been damaged, warped, etc, by an impact.
- ST = Stained Can mean simply a discoloration. When it means real water-damage we describe this in detail.
Used book assessments are done by human beings and mistakes may happen. It’s very easy to fan the pages and miss 2 pages of highlighting. We try to be very careful about this but when errors do occur, we assume full responsibility. You have a 7 day right to return if we fail to describe the book properly. If you have a problem with any book bought from Dove, please call one of our staff for information and instructions.