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The Decorative Arts of the Forties and Fifties
 The Decorative Arts of the Forties and Fifties
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  How We Grade Our Books
We grade our books with care and attention to detail. We use the system of the IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association). Theirs derives from the grading system defined by the AB Bookman’s Weekly in 1949, who set the standard at the time for antiquarian booksellers. It still remains valid today, despite the regrettable demise of AB in 1999. Thus the IOBA standards are comparable to those of AB Bookman, except in their slight expansion - the addition of a "+" or "–" to a grade. In our opinion, this allows for a bit more specificity.

Condition is usually shown as: __/__ ( i.e. F/F = Fine/Fine, indicating firstly the book condition followed by the condition of the dust jacket). If you encounter notations that leave you unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification. And we are happy to provide you with additional digital images to further aid you in making selections.

AS NEW (AN) or VERY FINE (VF): Without faults or defects, in unread, immaculate, “just published” condition. (Note: even "new" books may not qualify for this grade, as many times there will be rubs/scuffs to the dust jackets resulting from shipping, or bumped lower spine ends/corners from shelving). Optos Books uses VF or the words ”as new”, rather than ”AN”.

FINE (F): Approaches the above, but not unread. May have been carefully read, dust jacket may be slightly rubbed or spine ends slightly affected from shelving/shipping, but no real defects or faults.

*NOTE: From here on, the symbols "+" or "–" may accompany a letter grade. These designate that a title is either above the grade, but not quite up to the next higher grade or it is below the grade noted but not quite to the next lower letter grade.

NEAR FINE (NF): Also a used title (although not part of the AB Bookman definitions), this denotes a book or dust jacket approaching FINE but with a couple of very minor defects or faults, details of which will be noted.

VERY GOOD (VG): A used book showing some small signs of wear on either binding or dust jacket. Any defects/faults will be noted.

GOOD (G): The average well-used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects within this grade will be described.

FAIR (fair): A worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title page, etc. (which will be noted). Binding, dust jacket, etc. may also be worn. All defects/faults will be described.

POOR or READING COPY (poor or reading): A book that is sufficiently worn to the degree that its only merit is the complete text, which is fully legible. Any missing maps or plates will be noted. May be soiled, scuffed, stained, or spotted, and may have loose joints, hinges, loose or torn pages, etc. All defects/faults will be described.

EX-LIBRARY: Will always be designated as such, in addition to the condition of the book/ dust jacket if present. The specifics of a title’s ex-library (public or private) status will be enumerated (e.g.: call numbers on spine, library binding, labels, tape, stamps, pockets, etc.).

BOOK CLUB EDITION: Will always be noted as such, no matter the condition of the book.

BINDING COPY: A book in which the pages or leaves are perfect but the binding is very bad, loose, off, or non-existent.

Always, if issued with one, the lack of a dust jacket or slipcase will be noted.

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