Note that it is not the nearest measurement
given against each code; it is the size above that (for instance, any
book that was less in height than 305mm but greater than 248mm, would
be a 4to size).
All reputable online book sellers use the Independent
Online Bookseller's Association guidelines on how to describe a book's
IOBA Condition Description Definitions
For many years, the grading system defined by AB
Bookman (now sadly defunct) was the standard in the antiquarian book
trade. IOBA's standards, listed below, do not fundamentally differ
from those standards though they have been expanded upon, and defined
a bit more specifically.
(Condition normally shown as __/__, i.e., F/F,
denoting first book and then dustjacket condition)
AS NEW (AN) or VERY FINE (VF) or MINT (M): Without
faults or defects, unread, in the same immaculate condition in which
it was published (Note: very few 'new' books qualify for this grade,
as many times there will be rubs/scuffs to the dustjackets from shipping,
or bumped lower spine ends/corners from shelving).
FINE (F): Approaches the above, but not
crisp. May have been carefully read and dustjacket may have been slightly
rubbed or spine ends slightly bumped from shelving/shipping, but no
real defects or faults.
(NOTE: From here on, there may be '+' and '-' in
a grade, which will mean that it is above the grade noted but not quite
to the next higher grade for '+', and that it is below the grade noted
but not quite to the next lower grade for '-'.
NEAR FINE: Also used, although not contained
in Bookman's Weekly definitions, meaning a book or dustjacket approaching
FINE but with a couple of very minor defects or faults.
VERY GOOD: A used book showing some small
signs of wear on either binding or dustjacket. Any defects/faults must
GOOD: The average used and worn book that
has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.
FAIR: A worn book that has complete text
pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers,
half-title page, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, dustjacket, etc.
may also be worn. All defects/faults must be noted.
POOR or READING COPY: A book that is sufficiently
worn that its only merit is the complete text, which must be legible.
Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. May be soiled, scuffed,
stained, or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
EX-LIBRARY: Must always be designated
as such no matter what the condition of the book.
BOOK CLUB: Must always be noted as such
no matter what the condition of the book.
BINDING COPY: A book in which the pages
or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or non-existent.
Always, if issued with one,
the lack of a dustjacket or slipcase should be noted.
Copyright 2000 by Independent
Online Booksellers Association