Assessing Book Condition

Use the following guidelines when assigning book conditions.  Be sure to watch the video below for examples. 
Note that 'Excellent' and 'Acceptable/Good' mean that a books is in good enough condition to circulate, while a book in poor condition is not. 

Cover Pages Spine Rating
  • No damage
  • No dirt
  • No sticky residue
  • No dye fading
  • No discolored spots
  • No water damage
  • No markings
  • No markings
  • No torn pages
  • No missing pages
  • No creased pages
  • No water damage
  • Intact
  • Does not crackle when the book is opened

  • Slight damage
  • Minor dirt
  • Slight dye fading
  • Slight discolored spots
  • Minor markings
  • Light markings, but text is legible
  • Tears that have been repaired or are reparable
  • Infrequent folds or creases that have been or can be straightened
  • Slight damage
  • Spine corners  chipped
  • Spine crackles when the book is opened

Acceptable/ Good 

 (any of these conditions would 
downgrade the status of the book 
from Excellent)
  • Obvious water or other damage
  • Unattached or loose covers
  • Dirty or Sticky residue
  • Need to wash hands afterwards
  • Major fading of color
  • Obvious dye discolorations
  • Significant markings
  • Full of markings
  • Some pages not legible
  • Torn pages beyond repair
  • Have folds and creases that cannot be straightened
  • Obviously missing pages
  • Spine is broken or almost broken
  • Residue from spine glue falls out in flakes
  • Pages have come off spine


 (any ONE of these conditions would render the book unacceptable)

Book Condition Video

Thanks to Tony Fonseca of Elms College for producing this video.