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For rare and collectible books, Powell's follows the condition codes first proposed in 1949 by AB Bookman's Weekly, which have since been widely adopted as the industry standards. Powell's is generally very conservative when assessing the condition of book, so you can generally be assured that a book listed in, say, fine, condition is in at least as good a condition as the description listed below. Please direct any questions about condition to:
Please note that we only use these standards for rare or collectible books. For the condition codes used for our general used book inventory, please see the glossary.
AS NEW: 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 dustjacket (if it was 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.)
FINE: Approaches the condition of As New, but without being crisp. For the use of the term Fine there must also be no defects, etc., and if the jacket has a small tear, or other defect, or looks worn, this should be noted.
VERY GOOD : 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.
GOOD: Describes 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, etc. (which must be noted). Binding, jacket (if any), etc. may also be worn. All defects must be noted.
POOR: 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.
EX-LIBRARY: Copies must always be designated as such no matter what the condition of the book.
BOOK CLUB : Editions must always be noted as such no matter what the condition of the book.
BINDING COPY : Describes a book in which the pages or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or nonexistent.
DUSTJACKET: In all cases, the lack of a dustjacket should be noted if the book was issued with one.