Book Condition Guide

Here at Global 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 at 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 categorize our books

  • All the books we source arrive in our central warehouse, where they’re carefully checked and their condition categorized 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 bookmarked as Very Good condition 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 discoloration 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 or two you’re likely to get yourself a great price compared to one that is being 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 every 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

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


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


  • The spine may be warped with cracking and scuffing
  • The cover may be discolored and creasing
  • Pages may be browned and warped
  • Markings and note-taking do not interfere with reading
  • May be without endpapers or title page
  • Maybe some water damage
  • Cover slightly is torn


You’ll find every book on the website has been categorized 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

Old & Rare Book Conditions

The details below are for reference only but you will find that each of our books is individually described. If you would like clarification on any term in a particular description, please contact us for further information.

Like New

The book is in the same immaculate condition as when it was published. This could be the description for a book that has been lost in a warehouse for years, never shelved, thumbed, or even opened yet may still be some years old.

Very Good (VG)

Describes a book that shows some small signs of wear on either binding or paper. Any defects will be noted in the product description.

Good (G)

Describes the average used worn book that has all the text present. Any defects will be noted in the product description.


A worn book that has complete text pages. Binding, jacket (if any) will be worn. All defects will be noted in the product description.

This copy may be soiled, stained, or spotted and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.

Binding Copy

Describes a book in which the pages or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or non-existent.

Reading Copy

A copy usually in poor to fair condition that includes all text presented in a legible fashion. The copy is fine to read but nothing more.

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

We’re always happy to help.

Sizes Explained 


Pocket Size 4.5"x7"

half letter 5.5"x8.5"

half letter hardback 5.5"x8.5"

Novel Leatherback

novel hardback

novel paperback

journal 7"x10"