In addition to the details 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.