“Tootles the Taxi, in mint condition (no spine, missing page 3)”

Ok, I made that one up. But bookselling is now no longer the province only of the professional. Now that books are bought and freely sold on the internet, you’re increasingly likely to come across books that have been mis-described – especially in terms of condition.

Of course, there’s always something subjective about this. One person might feel that a dog-eared page or name on the endpaper are faults bearly worth mentioning. To another collector the same characteristics might be seen as serious flaws. And then there are the overall summaries of book condition: Fine, VG, Good, Poor etc – is there a definitive criteria guide?

I would say that this page gets pretty close to my use of these terms:

Describing book condition

Today I also found these video clips which explain some more jargon used for describing flaws in books – not all relevant to Ladybird Books, but even so.

Video clip: Describing book flaws

and part two: Describing book flaws