Book Grading Guidelines

Condition Guide

We strive to give each of our books an honest and thorough condition appraisal, taking time to comment on the dust jacket, cover, spine and textblock. We photograph each book’s front and back, and any additional characteristics that warrant documenting. Just like Ebay, our condition tiers are Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable, but we’ve added some helpful real world language to give these grades more meaning.

It should be noted that none of the books we sell have smoke damage or water damage. Exposure to these elements is so wholly ruining for paper, we just don’t deal in it.

That being said, here’s a breakdown of what we expect from a book in each tier of grading.


As all our books our used, Like New is the highest grade we issue.
These books should look new in most aspects, with extremely minor cosmetic imperfections, like a book you might find on the shelf at a very busy Barnes and Noble.

Like New books show minimal wear to their covers and dust jackets, have clean pages free of tears or markings, and straight unbroken spines. Often, Like New books have never been read and were used as display copies only.


A book in Very Good condition has been read carefully and is well cared for. Any wear to the cover and dust jacket is subtle, for instance, some light creasing around the edges of the dust jacket or minor handling marks to the cover. Pages are mark free overall but may include a few identifying marks on the inside cover or an affixed bookplate, a few dog eared corners, or slight shelving marks along the top or bottom of the text block.

Very Good books still make great display copies, although at a slight discount from pristine copies.


Good is the condition grade for, “reading copies.” While books in Good condition are structurally sound and undamaged, natural wear and tear from previous reads makes them less desirable as display volumes and more appropriate for tucking into your purse or backpack and enjoying on a long subway ride.

Covers may show scuffs or slight creases. Pages may include some minor creasing, or a few notations or highlights, but are intact and secure. Spines may show some creasing from opening and closing but should be in good shape. Books in Good condition may show shelving marks along the text block, tanning, or wear along the edges. Good is also the best possible rating we will give a book with a missing dust jacket, regardless of its condition.


We refer to books in Acceptable shape as, “working copies,” and the majority of the books we sell in this condition are textbooks and academic paperbacks. These books may not be beautiful, but are functional and give students a lower cost alternative to buying new. They show quite a bit of wear and may have some damage to the cover or binding but are still structurally sound. Interiors may include notes and highlights from multiple owners, but all pages should be present and legible.

These are the broad strokes of our condition guidelines, but each book is different! We will always include specific notes as to a particular book’s condition in the item description of our listing.