Online Sales - Used Book Condition Descriptions

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Online Sales - Used Book Condition Descriptions

1bookblotter
Edited: Sep 29, 2010, 12:53am

I've noticed when used book shopping online that some sellers have catch-all phrases about condition...

"Good condition; may have marginal notes; underlinings; dust jacket torn, worn or wrinkled; library markings; bacteria left over from the plague; etc."

It isn't overly helpful to have a laundry list of possible problems versus an actual list of real problems.

I realize that, except for expensive books, it is impractical to turn to each page to inspect. But I'd rather have them indicate that a quick inspection/page flip inspection showed no (or few or many) underlinings or marginal notes. Personally, I'd understand an isolated underline at page 422 as just that and the luck of the draw unless I'm paying big bucks (who, me?).

Some things like library markings are either there or not there and are typically obvious.

Here's another one I like... "Cover/book edges may have some wear/damage/soiling." The cover & book edges are on the OUTSIDE OF THE BOOK, did you look, Mr/Ms Seller?

Anyway, what are your experiences with accurate or inaccurate descriptions of books by online sellers?

When online sellers have a laundry list of possible defects, are they ever accurate or just fanny covering?

2bookblotter
Sep 29, 2010, 12:54am

This message has been deleted by its author.

3BookNrrrd
Sep 29, 2010, 1:56am

I used to work in a used bookstore, and a huge part of my job was describing books for sale online. I was really kind of a stickler about it, and I just hated seeing those catch-all lists on other sellers' sites. Anytime a listing says "may have," I think that's a crapshoot. The only time I've ordered books with that kind of vague description was when I bought books for school and didn't care so much about the condition as the price. My feeling is that sellers who don't bother with individual descriptions don't care as much about their stock, but maybe I'm biased. :p

4Crypto-Willobie
Edited: Jan 22, 2011, 9:32am

This tends to be a characteristic of the used 'super-stores' with zillions of books, scoop em up and crank em out...

The fabled Powell's uses "Standard Used Condition", an almost meaningless term. I once emailed them and asked about the condition of a specific book and they actually refused to tell me. They insisted that I complete a charge purchase of the item, and then put my questions in the Instructions to Seller box on the form; then when they were packing it they would get back to me, and if I didn't like the condition I could cancel the sale. As it turns out the condition was not what I wanted and the sale was cancelled-- a waste of everyone's time. As a result I don't even look at Powell's stock for anything where the condition will matter to me.

Another one is Wonder Book of Frederick MD. Lotsa stuff, great prices; but their fallback description is "Good", which in my experience can cover anything from Poor to Almost New. And on ABE they have disabled the link to Ask the Bookseller a Question. So it's a crapshoot. I wouldn't buy anything pricey from them, but when an item is $3.69 with free shipping what can you lose?

Seashell Books of Florida -- tons of stuff, good prices, but most of their stuff is described as "a wonderful copy with minor edgewear" which again covers a wide range.

By contrast Harvest Books of Pennsyvania and Vashon Island Books are helpful and answer questions, and are reasonably accurate in their descriptions. And with Better World Books and BWB Antiquarian most of their stock is admittedly ex-library, so at least you know where you stand.at

5bookblotter
Sep 29, 2010, 10:31am

#3 & #4 Thanks for your thoughts.

I especially like the "good" guy shops in #4. I'll try them.

What triggered my original note was looking for a couple of older atlases in the $20-$50 range. I really am pretty flexible on cover condition and some bings to edges since they are older books and people that have that kind of book refer to it fairly often. I don't even mind hand inscriptions ("To Uncle Fred on your birthday in the hope that you will get lost"). What I really have a distaste for are marginal notes and underlining (s/b uncommon in this sort of book) or binding issues.

6barney67
Sep 29, 2010, 11:11am

I try for Like New or Very Good on Amazon because I like my books in decent shape. Good usually doesn't make the cut.

7Crypto-Willobie
Edited: Sep 29, 2010, 11:45am

> 5, 6

Top condition on Amazon is one good solution. But restricting it to Amazon significantly narrows your choices, and Amazon third-party sellers can be very sloppy about which edition they're listing, for instance listing a copy from one publisher on the page for an edition from another publisher, or listing a thrid prnting on a page that specifies 1st edition.

By looking things up on Bookfinder.com or ADDALL.com, or on ABE, Biblio or Alibris one will usually get the Amazon results along with a world of other dealers who aren't represented on Amazon. And if one avoids the 'warehouse' dealers like Powells, Wonder Book, Seashell, etc you'll find that most dealers are pretty reliable and accurate in their descriptions, and one can always use deniro's strategy of sticking with things described as Very Good, As New, Near Fine etc. Even the warehouses tend not to over-rate things, describing a Good Minus as Like New or suchlike. And even on Amazon there are over-raters for whom anything not falling apart is 'Very Good'.

I find that the warehouses have their uses, if only because theyre so cheap. Say I'm inching my way into classic weird writers and I want to find out if I like Algernon Blackwood well enough to start collecting him in nice editions. I'd rather pay $4 with free shipping for a maybe-Fair maybe-VG copy of selected Blackwood from Seashell or someone, than pay 12.50 plus 4.00 shipping for a certified VG+ copy from a Good Dealer, and then find out I don't care for Blackwood. Whether I don't like it, or decide I now want nice first editions, I can then donate my $4 copy to the liberry sale or get $0.75 credit at the local used store...

8yolana
Sep 29, 2010, 11:56am

a lot of the sites let you rate the bookseller and read ratings so you can get an idea of how reliable their descriptions are, at least on amazon, abebooks, and alibris. If I care about conditions I deniro's method plus ordering only from sellers with an above 98% rating. Though I do like the warehouses when I'm indifferent to condition, quite often they surprise me by sending something in pristine condition.

9Sugarbeat
Dec 2, 2010, 9:40am

Just to add my 2 cents. I run an online bookstore and I'm also rather meticulous about describing my books. That being said, I have found issues that missed my first inspection and I've had to cancel sales because of it. I list books on Amazon and Abebooks and I up load a CSV file to both sites in order to list the over 2000 books I have for sale. This has worked wonderfully for quite some time, but recently, I've had several instances of books listed incorrectly on the site - placed in the wrong slot as it were. It is impractical for me to check that many listings manually after they are uploaded so I just hope that all the book listings are where they are supposed to be.

Also be careful of buyer reviews of service. I've found that the general public can, at times, take out their bad day unfairly on a hapless Amazon seller :) I have 100% satisfaction, but I've had to pander to the odd pretty unreasonable person to keep it! One notable person complained that a used book in "Good" condition looked like it had been read. They wanted a refund. Enough said.

10Sandydog1
Jan 22, 2011, 9:09am

My purchasing experience has been that book descriptions are extremely conservative, even self-deprecating. I see a lot of condition deflation, eg., excellent quality books are described as "Good".

What a tough, competitive business! Pricing is on the floor. Many titles start at $0.01 plus modest shipping cost, shipping costs are reasonable considering rising energy costs, and still the buyer can't afford the overall price.

I don't know how book sellers do it. It must be like PBS or BookMooch, a labor of love.

11benjclark
Jan 23, 2011, 12:18am

Buy from sellers with professional descriptions and complete return policies. No more confusion and fewer disappointments.

12Keeline
Feb 20, 2011, 5:19pm

Booksellers who value their reputation and want happy and repeat clients tend to be conservative in their grading.

Even still, it can be difficult to visualize terms like "good", "very good", and "fine" with respect to condition grades. I note that most auction houses don't even stand behind their descriptions enough to summarize the condition. (Some don't document the bibliographic points of issue but that's another topic).

Although terms like "mint" and "very fine" might be used for coins, they are not traditionally used in the antiquarian book field. I won't say that no one uses them but the responsible ones do not.

If you can imagine a scale of 1 to 10 where a "10" is a perfect, like-new book that has never been handled by a child, that copy would be "fine". A book in an "8" condition is "very good". A "good" copy is something of a euphemism and about a "6" on this scale.

Of course the book and jacket are graded separately and there is never an excuse given for the age. A phrase like "very good for its age" holds no water in most cases. The book is either "very good" condition for a book that is 10 years old or 150 years old.

Most collectors want to have books in a "7" or better condition grade and this affects the prices people will spend on them. In general it is harder to find well-loved books that are in top condition. Hence, a premium price may be asked and received for them.

Let's say that a book in a "10" ("fine") condition is worth $100. A book in "very good" ("8") condition might be worth half that, or $50. A "good" book ("6") might be very hard to sell at $25.

Prices with and without dust jackets can vary dramatically. Most average books with dust jackets are worth anywhere from double to five times the value of a similar condition copy without a jacket. There are some extreme exceptions such as pre-WWI jackets (especially pre-1900 jackets) and titles like the A. C. McClurg first printing of Tarzan of the Apes which has sold for $1,000 in "very good" condition without a jacket and $50,000 for a very good book in a very good jacket on a couple cases. In this extreme case, 98% (49/50) of the value is associated with the jacket to collectors of this book.

You can begin to see why it pays to protect all jackets in plastic protective sleeves such as the Demco PaperFold or SuperFold or one of the products from their competitors (e.g. BroDart, Gaylord).

Despite this discussion with some mathematical models, there are no simple formulas to the value-condition relationship in books. However, it does pay to have a general understanding of the non-linear nature of this relationship when you look to upgrade a collection over time.

James Keeline

13simon.sayz
Dec 3, 2012, 11:18am

I usually buy "good condition" books because I don't really care if there is some writing, etc.. in the book. Price I pay, 4.95 plus free shipping so, can't complain. ;-)

14fuzzi
Dec 3, 2012, 11:09pm

I use abebooks a lot. One bookseller they use that I avoid would have the word GOOD in all caps in the description, as in something like "GOOD copy, in fair condition".

I noticed tonight that they don't use that wording anymore. However, the same description is used for every book.

The 'ask the bookseller' link is working, too. I've used that often. :)

15staffordcastle
Dec 4, 2012, 4:39pm

I tend to avoid any bookseller whose "book description" doesn't actually talk about the *book*. Lots of the descriptions just talk about the vendor, not the book.

16Keeline
Dec 4, 2012, 7:25pm

15>,

Seller listings should focus on the book instead of the seller. Much of the latter is just like an automatic signature message in an email program. You'll find that every entry they have includes it. Also, it is a feeble effort to prevent other databases from relisting their exact item (with a markup) or using their description for another copy.

How about the ones who copy the entire Wikipedia entry for the author or title? Some even squeeze these copy-pastes into the author field.

I'd rather the used book database listings have photos like the eBay and Bonanza.com listings routinely do. I know it's a time-expense-return decision. However, when there's a book above a certain level, say $200, there really should be a photo. I'd like to see the large organizations like ABAA and ILAB strongly urge their members to list with photos then others would include them to compete. Too often a book I might seek is too vaguely described on the databases so I don't bother to look there when shopping. I can't trust that their 1930 Secret of the Old Clock is not really a 1948 reprint. Without a photo or accurate description, I'm stuck with playing Q&A with the seller, a sometimes slow and disappointing exchange.

James

17.Monkey.
Dec 5, 2012, 8:37am

>15 by staffordcastle, Agreed. I won't even give those "Good condition. Buy from us because we are super awesome and will satisfy!! Dispatched within 48hrs!" a second glance. Ridiculous!

18staffordcastle
Dec 5, 2012, 4:43pm

>16 Keeline:
I quite agree, and am aware of the boilerplate nature of many of these "descriptions."

I greatly appreciate photos, too, but far too often the photo is not of the specific individual volume, but just a generic photo of any copy of the book. While this at least lets you know that it's the right book, it's not helpful in ascertaining anything else about it!

19Africansky1
Dec 9, 2012, 12:57pm

I have found that the Internet has encouraged just too many amateurs to sell books on line often through general dealers where books is just one category. The Internet has had the effect of leveling and spreading knowledge about a book or author (good) but on the other hand too many inexperienced people in books become traders (bad). there is no substitute for years of experience in books .... So I do find that knowing the bookseller and an established reputation is an indicator of likely quality for a particular book.

20fuzzi
Dec 12, 2012, 8:17pm

Here is an example of what I was referring to:

Book Description: Forge, 2008. Book Condition: GOOD. Book in fair condition, good book. We ship everything daily. Buy with confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # 215329626

::muttering::

21Danneeness
Feb 2, 2013, 6:43pm

I work for a used bookstore and used to (I work in a different section now) list tons of books every day. We had a drop down condition options (New/Fine/Very Good/Good/Fair/Poor). About 80% of the books I listed were described as "Good", and the system would fill in "Book in good condition with some overall wear." That's sort of the default used book description: it looks like it has been read, but it's otherwise in good condition. If I noticed anything else (tears, highlighting, stickers, etc), I would describe that as well. The vast majority of books just don't really have anything to describe. It looks good, there's no visible damage, but it doesn't look brand new.

As for the other descriptions, I only listed things as "new" if we had personally ordered them from a publisher, or if it was still wrapped in plastic. "Fine" was if it looked brand new, but we didn't personally buy it from a publisher. "Very good" was if it looked practically new, with a little bit of shelf wear. "Fair" was if it had a crease in the cover or lots of underlining or something. We hardly ever listed books as "Poor" because generally we wouldn't be selling books in bad condition.

In our bookstore we would list hundreds of books a day, so you really can't go into detail on an average book. If there's something wrong with the book, I would describe it. And if it's an expensive book, I'll go into detail, but most of the time it's just not worth it for a $4 or $8 book.

22fuzzi
Feb 3, 2013, 4:32pm

would love to work in a bookstore

23Africansky1
Mar 25, 2013, 2:55pm

Surely a book with underlining should be chucked into the unsaleable pile and ranks as poor, Do people buy books that are underlined ? just ruins the book in my opinion and highlight pens the worst.

24paradoxosalpha
Mar 25, 2013, 3:08pm

> 23

There's a local shop with a $1 bin where I have bought (over a period of years) quite a few scholarly books on interrelated subjects, all of which have been in excellent condition except for frequent pencil underlinings that start at the beginning and rarely extend beyond the first chapter.

I wonder who that previous owner is.

25rocketjk
Edited: Mar 25, 2013, 4:38pm

"As for the other descriptions, I only listed things as "new" if we had personally ordered them from a publisher, or if it was still wrapped in plastic. "Fine" was if it looked brand new, but we didn't personally buy it from a publisher. "Very good" was if it looked practically new, with a little bit of shelf wear. "Fair" was if it had a crease in the cover or lots of underlining or something. We hardly ever listed books as "Poor" because generally we wouldn't be selling books in bad condition."

This is my understanding of the quality descriptions, as well. I own a used bookstore. I have yet to begin selling online, but I fairly often order books from Abebooks as special orders for customers. Depending on the range of pricing, I usually try to skip past even the "good" books and look for "very good" or "near fine." I have found that even "good" can mean lousy depending on the seller. There's little in my day to day work that's more irritating than ordering a book for a customer and having it show up in a condition too lousy for me to even tell the customer it's arrived.

I once ordered a book on abe and when it arrived it was full of highlighting. I began the process for a refund and contacted the seller about the book. They replied with apologies and news that they had put my refund through, then "graciously" told me to go ahead and keep the book. (Gee thanks. Like I planned to spend even five seconds putting that book into an envelope.) What amazed me was that the person then went on in her email to ask me, since they had responded with apology and refund quickly, to help their seller ratings on abe with a "positive experience" report. I went through a couple of minutes of laughter and then of anger (or maybe it was the other way around), and when I was over both replied that I thought her request was pretty darn cheeky.

26muumi
Mar 25, 2013, 8:07pm

>24 paradoxosalpha:. I've often seen the phenomenon of extensive highlighting/underlining in the first chapter only. So often, in so many places, that I've formed the hypothesis that people who need to highlight and/or underline something in every paragraph have such difficulty reading that they seldom get as far as chapter 2. I'll occasionally sell a book with underlining and rarely a book with highlighting if it's otherwise expensive ($200 textbook + 2-10 words highlighted on less than 10% of pages = $50 textbook). Marginalia can be fun though if the previous reader was intelligent and thoughtful.

>25 rocketjk:. That's so odd about the "seller ratings on abe with a positive experiences report", because seller ratings on abe have nothing to do with buyer reports. They exclusively reflect the seller's ability to fulfill orders. I can only imagine that it was another piece of boilerplate from the same mold as "Ships fast! Buy with confidence!" and gets sent out to unhappy customers on abe where it makes no sense as well as amazon where it may be cheeky but at least is not nonsensical.

27rocketjk
Mar 25, 2013, 8:49pm

#26> No, not a boilerplate. This was a personalized email dealing specifically with my order. The seller actually thought that getting a refund quickly and not being exoected to ship the book back would constitute a positive experience for me.

28.Monkey.
Mar 26, 2013, 5:32am

>27 rocketjk: But it doesn't matter if it was positive or not (aside of possibly trying to get you to be a repeat buyer). Abe has no feedback. As Muumi says, the stars are strictly based on seller fulfillment. If people report never receiving, or the descriptions being crap so therefore returning, books, then the seller loses points. If people receive & accept their book without complaint, the seller keeps their points. There is no way for people to comment on an experience being good or bad.

Which, I really super hate that they do, because users are forced to simply trust the stars and nothing else. I want to know if some seller completely lied about the quality of a book in the past before purchasing from them, etc. So stupid.

29paradoxosalpha
Mar 26, 2013, 8:43am

> 26 Marginalia can be fun though if the previous reader was intelligent and thoughtful.

I've actually learned some things reading marginalia in used books. But that probably applies in less than 1% of the cases where the text has been marked.

30rocketjk
Edited: Mar 26, 2013, 12:16pm

#28> Here, in part, is the email in question:

"We sincerely apologize for the condition of your book. I can assure you, sending out sub-par books is not the norm for our company. We have several checkpoints in place to help ensure that the books we send out are of the very best quality possible. Unfortunately, once in a while a bad book will slip through the cracks.

We have issued you a complete refund for this order. Please, keep the book at our expense.

If this solution to our error is to your satisfaction, please be so kind as to post positive feedback regarding your experience with us."


Perhaps muumi is right that this is a boilerplate that they send out to all such requests for refund, etc. If they are selling books on multiple sites, which is likely, that may include sites that do allow for more explicit customer comments. However, the fact that they need a boilerplate to send to unsatisfied customers would be a warning in and of itself.

31Keeline
Mar 26, 2013, 12:10pm

#26, #29>

Marginalia usually becomes important when the person doing the annotation is important. A typical student's notations, unless they later become famous, is not going to help. Here is an interesting book on marginalia called Other People's Books.

This is a little like association copies. A copy of a book inscribed by an author to a person is often worth less than a copy that is simply signed. The major exception is when the person mentioned in the presentation signature is connected with the signer in some important way. Of course, the key here for a collector or a bookseller is to determine the nature of that association.

This copy of Walter James Miller's landmark translation of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was signed and presented to a significant, published translator/artist named Ron Miller on the occasion of their first personal meeting.

Getting back to marginalia, I have a 1966 cheap hardcover reprint of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It was owned by the aforementioned Ron Miller and used for compiling the notations he would use in his own 1988 translation of this title that was published by Unicorn Press in 1988. Normally a copy so marked up would not be valuable. However, when it is someone important and it led to something significant, that changes things.

I agree completely that most marks seriously devalue a book. Imagine what we face as collectors and booksellers of children's books.

James

32paradoxosalpha
Mar 26, 2013, 1:50pm

> 31

Yes, some of the most exciting research I did at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin was via association copies with abundant marginalia. The chances of that sort of thing arising in an ordinary used book purchase are far, far below 1%!

33rsubber
Mar 28, 2013, 9:35pm

I'm a complete novice regarding rare and collectible books. Why do "marks" in a book substantially reduce its value? Obviously, if someone used the book as a blotter while he lathered ketchup onto the french fries, I understand that book is reduced in value.
But if I have a first edition of The Jungle (Upton Sinclair) and somebody did some underlining in it or wrote a few margin notes, why should those marks severely reduce the value of the book?
In other words, I don't mind if there are some marks in the books I own.

34paradoxosalpha
Mar 29, 2013, 9:06am

> 33 I don't mind if there are some marks in the books I own.

I positively appreciate it, if they are minimal and mean that I get the book for a fraction of what I would otherwise pay!

35Africansky1
Mar 29, 2013, 3:24pm

33 to answer your question.. Because underlining, comments, markings by a former (unknown ) owner deface the book, are an irritation and distraction in reading the book and devalue the book as there are not many (hardly any) other book souls out there who would want to own the said marked work. It does not retain its value. Pencil markings not as bad as underlined in ink or highlighted because an eraser can be applied if you wish to spend the time .

36bookblotter
Apr 7, 2013, 10:26am

>34 paradoxosalpha: I'm with you if (1) it isn't a book I'm retaining forever, I just want to read it, (2) it isn't in a condition that would be distracting for reading purposes and (3) the price reflects condition (not to be a cheapskate, but....).

Some books I do retain indefinitely such as atlases, history and architecture related books. Even there, I don't mind paying a bit more, but at some point, price becomes an object. Apparently, I'm not a "collector."

37omargosh
Apr 9, 2013, 5:26am

23 & 35 >
I really don't care about highlighting, underlining, etc. If the book is at a good price, I really just don't care about that stuff. I value a book not for its condition but for its contents. I have a lot of ex-libs, and I don't care too much about the stickers on the spine because they were an unbeatable price (sure, stickerless would be better, but how often will I find the same book for $1?). In terms of the physicality of the book, I guess what would most turn me off are musty smell, yellowing pages, missing pages, broken covers/binding, but I have books that fit those descriptions as well. In some cases it's the only copy I ever saw of the book and the only I ever expect to see again, so if I must take it or leave it, I'll take it.

One man's trash ...

38fuzzi
Edited: Apr 9, 2013, 7:25am

I agree with omargosh's prohibition on musty, but otherwise, as long as it's readable, I will buy it.

39IreneF
May 8, 2013, 6:13pm

I thought there was a fairly standardized definition of terms such as acceptable, good, or very good. I'm not a collector, I just buy a lot of used books.

40Crypto-Willobie
Edited: May 9, 2013, 5:41pm

There is, or should be. The porblem is getting some dealers to understand and abide by them.

I've seen descriptions such as "Very Good. Front hinge cracked, dampstain on back cover, and small tear at top of spine." And then my cat will hear me shouting at my monitor, "Well it's not Very Good then, is it???"

41Keeline
May 9, 2013, 3:05pm

Phrases like "acceptable" seldom are so. They were introduced to the market by Amazon and eBay for non book people to list as many books as possible.

James

42paradoxosalpha
May 9, 2013, 3:39pm

"non book people" are also often unacquainted with the formal criteria for descriptors like "very good." I expect some of them think "fine" means "passable."

43IreneF
May 9, 2013, 5:07pm

I just ordered a book from Amazon Marketplace that was described as "new" but missing the jacket. It arrived without the jacket, all right, but with a sticker that said "used" and a ring stain on the back from someone's coffee mug. Plus the boards were starting to separate.

What I like about Amazon is that it's so easy to return things.

44fuzzi
May 10, 2013, 7:50am

I ordered several books from Thriftbooks last week.

The book listed as "Acceptable" was in better shape than the book listed as "good".

I emailed Thriftbooks about it, and they are sending me another copy of the "good" book. I told them it was just a question about the rating system, and not a request for a replacement, but they are sending it anyway. Their customer service seems to be pretty good.

45Crypto-Willobie
Edited: May 10, 2013, 4:56pm

Because of the pennies these warehouse dealers pay for their books, and the sheer quantity they stock, it's cheaper for them to just replace a book whenever there's a complaint than it is for them to spend payroll hours grading them properly.

46IreneF
May 10, 2013, 2:22pm

>44 fuzzi:

I used to order from the late Seashell Books, and I had the same experiences--the condition notes often had nothing to do with the actual condition of the book.

Thriftbooks is pretty good but I haven't ordered from them lately. Other than swaps, I've cut way back on book acquisitions. Ran out of room.

47fuzzi
May 10, 2013, 10:43pm

IreneF wrote Thriftbooks is pretty good but I haven't ordered from them lately. Other than swaps, I've cut way back on book acquisitions. Ran out of room.

Running out of room doesn't stop some of the members here...

;)

48IreneF
May 10, 2013, 11:43pm

Fuzzi--I want to clear off the dining room table. All of the available space is taken up by you-know-whats.

49fuzzi
May 11, 2013, 6:17pm

Why? A table is a great surface for many things...

...you can eat with your plate in your lap!

50IreneF
May 11, 2013, 6:57pm

I want to make some clothes. Need to lay things out.

51fuzzi
May 11, 2013, 8:26pm

Okay, the clothes win, the books lose...

52bookblotter
Edited: Nov 14, 2013, 10:42pm

Recently I bought an obscure book copy written in 1925 and described as 'New' from an online used bookstore. "Oh, sure, I'll bet that it's new," I thought!

It came and darned if didn't appear to be new. It was tightly wrapped in a tan/brown paper which appeared quite old and the page paper was a rough textured paper and I had to actually separate the pages at the top as I read them. The book was quite pristine.

The cost including shipping was about $10. Eighty-eight years of holding a book. I do realize, of course, that this book had probably passed through many hands over the years. Such are the economics of used book sellers...

53fuzzi
Nov 14, 2013, 10:04am

bookblotter, I'm not sure if I'd want to open something that pristine and precious.

You are going to read it, right? :)

54bookblotter
Nov 14, 2013, 11:58am

>53 fuzzi:

I have read it and found it to be quite interesting, actually. It isn't quite in the Gutenberg Bible or a Shakespeare's own hand written play category. I do, however, know 2 other people, not, LTers, that own it, maybe we can corner the market? Oh, yeah, there has to be demand, as well as supply. Sigh!

56brycenesbitt
Mar 22, 2021, 4:45pm

So, bottom line on this old thread:
What field in LibraryThing is best to use for the condition of the book?
Is there a way to enter a standardized generic condition (e.g. "New, Fair") in addition
to a comment ("Obviously spit on by lemurs, with a wasp nest from page 15 to 35")?

57lilithcat
Mar 22, 2021, 4:51pm

>56 brycenesbitt:

What field in LibraryThing is best to use for the condition of the book?

Comments or private comments, as the condition will be relevant only to your copy of the book.

58brycenesbitt
Mar 22, 2021, 5:05pm

"Comments or private comments, as the condition will be relevant only to your copy of the book."

Excellent. And sort of back to the original topic, how do I rate a book that's in perfect condition, showing only signs of age like yellowing or light foxing. Books that are otherwise new for example, and would clearly be Very Fine, except they're 40 or 50 years old?

59brycenesbitt
Mar 22, 2021, 6:20pm

From
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/brycenesbitt

Going to
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/sfzclibrary

I see:
Member: sfzclibrary
You share 574 books with sfzclibrary.

Yet I have only 370 total books.

---------------------
What accounts for the count mismatch? Is this a bug?

Why is this statistic so strangely located? Is it in share/discover/community or some other place as well?

60anglemark
Edited: Mar 23, 2021, 6:13am

>59 brycenesbitt: You share books with them, not works. Their library has multiple copies of a huge number of books, probably due to hiccups when importing records. So 574 of the books listed in their library are also in yours.

61smirks4u
Mar 23, 2021, 4:40am

Bought five heavy books at a yard sale without flipping through them adequately. Once home, one had a huge cutout where the owner had formerly stashed a handgun.

62melannen
Mar 23, 2021, 5:12pm

>56 brycenesbitt: I want a book with a wasp nest in it now! What title would be good for that...?

64melannen
Mar 24, 2021, 8:02pm

>63 anglemark: Possibly too on the nose, but I like it. Maybe Archivist Wasp?