My Criteria for an Acceptable Book

I'm fussy about my collection. I'm only interested in books with dust jackets, and both book and dj must be in Near Fine or better condition. I used to say Very Good or better, but everybody else's definition for Very Good seemed to be my definition for good so I upped the ante.

If I can't say "Hey - that's a nice-looking piece!", I don't want it no matter how scarce it is. Well, maybe for The Maltese Falcon... (See, that's why they call it a hobby.)
If you've been collecting a while, you've probably also discovered that "Very Good" means one thing if you're buying and another thing if you're selling. So I'm going to skip all labels and just describe what's acceptable. I'm being very detailed here for the sake of newbies and for folks who may be more liberal in their definitions of book-describing terminology.

Faults that are pretty much OK

     small tear      major fold rubbing, slight chipping   bumped (OK) & cocked (not OK)
If the book has more than four of these, or more than one of the last three, I'm probably not going to be happy with it.

Faults that usually are deal-killers

badly rubbed spine   extreme fading  dreaded cellophane tape stains   rubbing over text
Boni-Liveright books in dust jacket are pretty hard to find. I'm more tolerant of faults in them than in the others; but even here two "deal-killer" faults takes it out of my consideration.

Also see:
AB Bookman's Terms for Describing Condition
My Wings Books Illustrated Glossary of Book Collecting Terms (off-site)

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