What it means to be Good+

As I'm reading through (& writing) blog posts, it occurs to me that a lot of used book sellers use the terms Good... VG+ .... Near Fine, etc. to describe the condition of their books.  I thought it might be helpful to explain a little further what those terms mean and why they're used.

Back in 1949, at an international booksellers meeting, it was decided that booksellers needed a better system of describing unseen books to one another. The terms "new" or "used" or "smelly old book," left a lot to be desired. So they created a standard set of rules and descriptors for determining the condition of a book in order to better communicate to other booksellers.  This system has since become the industry standard. Now, however, we're starting to see booksellers add a "+" to the category.  Just like a grade, this indicates that the book would be considered in the upper range of said category.

As New 


Very Good





Book Club

Binding Copy

In all cases, the lack of a dustjacket should be noted if the book was issued with one.

[resource: Terms for Describing  Condition from AB Bookman's Weekly, http://www.modernlib.com/General/AB%20Bookman%20content.htm]

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