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Home > The Writings of Zane Grey > Book Condition Guide

Book Condition Guide

How to Grade the Condition of a Book You Are Trying to Sell or Buy

by Paul Schildgen

Paul Schildgen of Yesterday's Memories, and a ZGWS Member, has graciously provided this list of key points on how to determine the condition of First Edition Zane Grey books.

So you want to sell or buy some books and are not sure of what the various grades mean? Here is a paraphrase of the A. B. Bookmansf Grading guide, developed in 1949 and in general use by booksellers today.

As New: As it comes from the publisher. No defects, no markings, no library stamps, etc. Dust jacket if one was issued must be immaculate.

Fine: approaches As New but not crisp. Again no defects, markings, etc. If dust jacket has any minor damage it must be noted.

Very Good: A used book that shows small signs of wear, but no tears of either binding or paper. Any defects must be noted.

Good: The average used and worn book, with all pages and leaves present. Any defects must be noted.

Fair: A worn book that has complete text pages including any maps or plates, but may lack endpapers, half title, etc.
Often the terms gnearlyh gexcepth or gelseh appear in an attempt to further define the bookfs condition. While these terms serve that purpose, the condition of the book is still the next lower level.

Information for Collectors

For the best up-to-date information on first editions and values of books, we recommend contacting one of our member book dealers.


Additional information on First Editions and Book Collecting can be found by following the links below:

Collector FAQ's

Variants for the First Editions:
An Excerpt from Lloyd Rogers' Book, Zane Grey First Editions

Harper's First Edition Codes

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Historical images of Zane Grey used with permission of Dr. Loren Grey
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Historical photos of Zane Grey used with permission of Dr. Loren Grey