DO I DESCRIBE AN OLD BOOK?
are at least eight facts a book dealer needs to know about your book:
- Author (last name first)
- Title of the Book
- Place of Publication (Items
3, 4 & 5 may be on the title page or reverse of title page.)
- Date of Publication
- Size (height of book)
- Kind of Binding (cloth,
- Condition of Book (see list
of industry standards below)
Standards Used In Description
is important to both collectors and dealers that you accurately describe your
book’s condition using industry standards. As New - is to be used only
when the book is in the same immaculate condition in which it was published.
There can be no defects, no missing pages, no library stamps, etc., and the
dust jacket (if issued with one) must be perfect, without any tears. (The term As
New is preferred over the alternative term Mint to describe a copy
that is perfect in every respect, including jacket.)
approaches the condition of As New, but without being crisp. For the use
of the term Fine there must also be no defects, etc. If the jacket has a
small tear or looks worn, this must be noted.
can describe a used book that does show some small signs of wear—but no
tears—on either binding or paper. Any defects must be noted.
describes the average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present.
Any defects must be noted.
is a worn book that has complete text pages, including those with maps or
plates, but may lack endpapers, half title, etc., which must be noted. Binding,
jacket (if any), etc. may also be worn. All defects must be noted.
describes a book that is sufficiently worn that its only merit is as a Reading
Copy because it does have the complete text, which must be legible. Any
missing maps or plates should still be noted. This copy may be soiled, scuffed,
stained or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
copies must always be designated as such, no matter what the condition of
editions must always be noted as such, no matter what the condition of the
describes a book in which the pages or leaves are perfect, but the binding is
very bad, loose, off, or non-existent.
in all cases, the lack of a dust jacket should be noted if the book was issued
with one. If the book has a dust jacket, save it. Even if torn, the
book’s value is enhanced by it.
Foxed or Foxing - refers to brown
spots on (actually in) a book's paper.
means that the edges of a book are untrimmed by machinery; and Unopened means
that the untrimmed edges have not been opened by hand.
If a book has been signed by the author, it is important to note this.
Describe what has been repaired.
example of a description prepared using industry standards:
Scott, Joseph. A Geographical Description of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Cochran, 1806. 5 1/2 inches, leather, Good, with
original dust jacket.