Words, Words, Words

For those of you who buy, online or in the round, from used book catalogs (I know, I know: you can’t always wait until the end of July), here are a few more definitions of the terms you may find there. These are things you generally don’t want your book to be:SUNNED: If your book has been sitting on a shelf where the sun hits it, the colors will eventually fade. This is especially noticeable with dustjackets on which the basic color is white, and the title and name of the author have disappeared as the seasons change. Um, no, raisin pot pie, smearing the book with sunscreen will make matters worse.

PRICE-CLIPPED: Often, when the book is given as a present, the giver will snip off the corner of the endflap where the price is printed, Many used book dealers did this as a matter of routine for years, knowing that if they charged $10 and the original price was $4.95, somebody was going to complain. Nowadays, people complain if that bit has been clipped off. You can’t win.

BOOK CLUB BLIND STAMP: Some Book Club editions are almost identical to the original, but will have this tiny dot or square stamped into the lower right corner of the back cover. This means you do NOT have the $15,000 first printing.

BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB SLUG: Before couch potatoes, this is what we called someone who was too lazy to go out and buy books, but just ordered them through the mail. No no no: scratch that. This is actually three lines of tiny print which appear on the front endflap of books printed by the Book of the Month-Club. This ALSO shows you don’t have the $15,000 first printing. (This is also why some people swipe dustjackets from first editions…so they can replace the jackets with the nasty telltale marks. Can’t fix that blindstamp on the back, though.)

MARRIED: This is a book which has been enhanced by adding a dustjacket from another copy. Perfectly legitimate if the bookseller has a nice copy of the book in a torn jacket and a rotten copy in a nice jacket. Not so legit if this is to replace the jacket with the BOMC slug.

BOMC: Book-of-the-Month Club, curried cupcake: pay attention.

HIGHLIGHTED: Somebody marked passages in yellow, green, or purple highlighting ink. That somebody is often the last owner of the book, since it goes into recycling when a bookseller sees this.

DINGED: Damaged

BUMPED: Damaged

SIGNATURES LOOSE: Damaged

HINGES STARTING: Damaged

GOOD READING COPY: Damaged

FILLER COPY: Damaged

FAIR CONDITION: Damaged

ELSE FINE: Damaged

SUNFADED, PRICE CLIPPED, HIGHLIGHTED, SIGNATURES LOOSE, SOME SLIGHT PURPLE CRAYON USE: Look, just put it in a banana box and drop it off at the Newberry 

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