I believe that when offering books for sale on the Internet one is obliged to describe all the faults, as the purchaser has no opportunity to see them. Even the use of photographs or scans can inadvertently mislead. All terms used must be subjective and therefore ambiguous, the best a seller can do is to convey a sense of the book's condition to the purchaser, relative to an ideal. I try not to make any allowance for the age of a book, which regrettably can make an older book sound poor, when it is probably a nice copy. Please email me if you have questions.
The following faults will always be noted:
FINE: Very close examination may show slight imperfections e.g. light rubbing to the Dust Jacket but to an initial look - as new.
VERY GOOD: A very nice copy of the book but some evidence of wear. Dust Jacket may be a little worn, have a few small creases or a couple of small tears or tiny chips (all detailed).
GOOD: A nice enough copy of a book that is obviously second-hand - boards worn and bumped, Dust Jacket torn, with perhaps a piece missing (as noted).
PLEASE NOTE: My descriptions do not differentiate between e.g. 'Slightly bumped and worn' and 'Slightly bumped and slightly worn'; 'Worn and slightly bumped' is NOT the same as 'Slightly bumped and worn'. If you have any questions, please contact me.
All book attributions (First Edition etc.) are made to the best of my knowledge and research. Where I'm unsure about the publication issue I have included a '?' to show this. If you have information that would assist, it would be most welcome. First English Language Edition is the assumed default. Alternate titles/authors' most used names are shown in brackets after the title/pseudonym. Known pseudonyms are shown after author's names in brackets. Where a 'House Name' has been used the most-used author's name (where known) is shown in brackets after the Title.
First Edition First Printing indicates First State and will usually be detailed if there is likely to be any known doubt - any other indications e.g. number or letter lines not ending with '1' or 'A' and Printer Codes with interpretation will be noted.
Uncorrected Proof Copies:
Before books are printed, the Publisher often produces a few Uncorrected Proof Copies. These are the book's pages bound (usually) in plain paper or card covers and are used by the Publisher and Author to proof-read the book and make spelling and last-minute corrections (and improvements?). Sometimes a few Proofs are issued to favoured reviewers so they can comment on the book (and favourable reviews get on the DJ) but mostly they are destroyed once they've been used for this checking. Sometines a large number of these proofs are produced for promotional purposes and these may be numbered and signed by the author.
Usually only a couple of dozen Proofs are produced (often less) and they are one of the earliest forms of the book (and are not intended to be sold) and have one of the earliest forms of the text.
For these reasons, they are scarcer than the actual book that is finally produced.
Many editions of a book do not have Proofs at all, because they are being set in print using a previous edition as a master, but a First Edition will usually have a proof, and often the First Edition in a particular country (e.g. the UK) will have a proof (as English and American are a little different)
© Porcupine Books 1999