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Book Condition Guide


Here at World of Books our goal is to get more books into the hands of more readers, and we do this by helping as many pre-loved books as possible find happy new homes.

We work in an ethical and sustainable way that creates positive benefits for both book suppliers and book lovers.

When books arrive to us we assess and then grade each one carefully, so that every time you make a purchase from us you can be certain you’re receiving the same level of quality.

Read on to find out more about how we source and assess our books, or go straight to the Condition Category Guide.

How we source our books

  • We source much of our stock from charity shops, buying the titles they don’t want or haven’t got space for.
  • This prevents the charity from having to pay to destroy the books, and also means that when you buy books from us you’re helping to support good causes - a great win-win!
  • We also buy books via a website called Ziffit that’s managed by our company group. It’s a free service in the UK that people can use to have their books valued and sell them if they like the offer.
  • Other sources we use to find our wonderful pre-loved books include libraries and book banks.

How we categorise our books

  • All the books we source arrive into our central warehouse, where they’re carefully checked and their condition categorised by our eagle-eyed team.
  • Quality control is vitally important to us. We want you to know that whenever you buy a book from us you’ll receive it in exactly the condition described.
  • The categories we use are Very Good, Good and Well-Read, and some will also have an extra marking on of Ex-Library. There’s a detailed guide below about each category.
  • Any books that are just too old to pass our quality controls are sent away for recycling.

About our very good books

When you buy a book graded as Very Good you can expect to receive a copy that’s almost as good as new.

Generally books in this category will have been read only once, and will always be very well looked after.

If you check the book over you should find very little if any creasing to the spine, a square binding, little or no discolouration to the pages, and it will be in its original dust jacket.

There are a few other Very Good reasons to be happy about buying your nearly-new book from us.

Because it’s already had another owner you’re guaranteed to pay at least half the price it would be if sold new, and by buying from us you’ll also know you’ve done your bit to help the environment.

All that’s left to do now is to find a quiet place, relax and enjoy your Very Good read!

Condition Category Guide

You’ll find that very book on our website has its own page with an Additional Information section that lists the book’s Condition Category and whether or not it’s an Ex-Library copy.

The Condition Categories are as follows:

Very Good

  • Minimal amount of creasing to the spine
  • Square binding
  • Minimal or no discolouration to pages
  • Dust jacket present

Good

  • Slightly crooked spine or slightly torn dust jacket
  • Mild creasing of cover
  • Slightly loose bindings
  • Mild browning
  • Slight highlighting or note taking

Well-Read

  • Spine may be warped with cracking and scuffing
  • Cover may be discoloured and creasing
  • Pages may be browned and warped
  • Markings and note taking do not interfere with reading
  • May be without end papers or title page
  • May be some water damage
  • Cover slightly torn

Ex-Library

You’ll find every book on the website has been categorised into one of the three options listed above. And if it’s also Ex-Library this will also be detailed in the Additional Information on the book’s web page.

Ex-Library books may feature some or all of the following:

  • Library stamps within the first few pages
  • May come with a plastic sleeve around the cover
  • Possibility of library stickers on the cover or within

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here please check our FAQs or contact us.

We’re always happy to help.