esSeF

Science Fiction & Fantasy boeken

esSeF
Condition of books
Detail information about the condition of the books

Quick guidelines
The number of asterisks with the price represent the condition grade in the American grading system as follows:

* = Poor. 'Reading copy' / 'Binding copy' (P)
** = Acceptable / Fair. Used copy with defects (A)
*** = Good. Normal used copy in reasonable condition (G)
**** = Very Good. A book in good condition (VG-, VG, VG+)
***** = Fine. As new in gift quality (F)
****** = Mint. Brandnew and unread, fixed price (M)

Have fun browsing our catalogue!


For those who really wonder what this is all about...

We consider determining the overall accurate condition of a book a serious matter. The number of asterisks with the price represent the condition grade in the Dutch system. This system is more severe in condition grading than the American system (e.g. Lovisi, Canja). For our international customers we have therefore added the condition grade in the American system at the end of the description text, between brackets, e.g. the overwhelmingly present (VG). All books have been graded in the Dutch system. Not all books have been graded in the American system yet. The differences may give rise to a lot of confusion. Therefore you will find a detailed explanation below.

* = Poor. 'Reading copy' / 'Binding copy' (P): Books with prices* are so-called 'reading' or 'binding' copies'. A copy worth reading or re-binding. They have multiple serious defects, such as a split / cracked spine, loose pages, severe spotting, very heavy wear, serious aging etc. Important to know is that almost without exception all novel texts are present, so the buyer will be able to read the full story. In that sense it is better than the American low-end grade "Fair". Also copies modified for library circulation find a place in this grade. There will not be books with insect damage in this grade, because these are destroyed by us, except if unnoticed. You will not find many of these books on this website, but sometimes they are attractive because of price and/or scarcity. Publisher’s remainder marks are acceptable. Autographs and name of previous owner is allowed. American paperback collectors would grade these books as "G" at the best, or "A" or "not collectible, with no value". Basically, this is what I mean with "P": "not collectible, with no value". Exceptions do exist. A few books on this website came with an extremely limited edition and used copies are virtually only known as "ex-library".

** = Acceptable / Fair. Used copies with defects (A): The condition of the books with prices** is used for books with serious condition problems, which do have a residual value. May have general reading wear-creases in spine and covers/shelf/edge wear, scuffing, store stamps, cracked spine, short annotations, browning etc. Publisher’s remainder marks are acceptable. Autographs and name of previous owner is allowed. Paperback collectors would grade these books as "A", "FR" (Fair) or "G" or "VG" in some cases. In vitually all cases there will be notes about the condition in the book description.

*** = Good. Normal used copy in reasonable condition (G): While the collectors term is called "Good", that doesn't mean that these are good books for collectors. They are not, generally. It can be described as follws: *** graded books may have creases, weak spine, discoloration, scuffing, major wear, damage, name inside etc. Severe publisher’s remainder marks are not acceptable. Totally cracked spine is not acceptable. Books in "G" condition will have multiples of problems listed in "VG" or they are more severe and usually more than one. Paperback collectors would grade these books as "G". Could also be "VG-" or sometimes "VG" for instance if there is only one fairly major condition problem and almost no other condition problems. In many cases there will be notes in the description.

**** = Very Good. A book in a good condition (VG-, SVG, VG, VG+) - Solid copies in good condition, book has been read and this can be seen on minor creases on spine and/or cover, scuffing, wear, name inside (short/small), abrasion, etc. Severe publisher’s remainder marks are not acceptable. Paperback collectors would grade these books as "VG" in a majority of cases. Could also be "VG-" or "SVG" or "VG+". Books in "VG" condition can have the same type of condition problems as books in the "G" condition grade, but they are less severe, which make them collectible. With collectible is here understood that their condition is acceptable for most collectors. Critical collectors however, would only go for "VG+" "SVG" (Solid Very Good), "AF" (about Fine) or "F". "SVG" and "AF" are not used on this website. For books from the 1970s and onwards many books of low value which are graded in the **** condition, will actually have condition grade "VG+" or "F" in the American system.

***** = Fine / As new in gift quality (F): Books with prices***** have a condition as new. These very nice solid copies maybe read once, but are in gift quality. Also fit for collection by critical bookcollectors and with critical we mean those who lay great value on the general appearance of their books. Spines are straight and without (or with very light) creases. Publisher’s remainder marks are not acceptable. There are no cover creases and no annotations in the book with ink; no previous owner name inside, but maybe just some light pencil markings. Colours are sharp and bright. These books are almost flawless and have no or very few and small traces of reading. Paperback collectors would grade these books as "F", "NF" or "AF", rarely as "VG+", "SVG", or they would be graded "M" for the more recent books.

****** = Brandnew and unread, fixed price (M): Books with prices****** are brandnew / mint. Publisher’s remainder marks are not acceptable. No writings inside of any kind. This grade is predominantly used for recent books, let's say from the 1990s onwards. whereas "F" is the highest grade for books from the vintage era [1939 - 1969]. Books from the 1970s and 1980s will rarely be graded "M" because paper will age, even if the book has been preserved perfectly. Mint books may have light 'wear' of the sort you may expect if you buy a new book in a store. Paperback collectors would grade these books as "M". "M" can also be used for recently issued books in ***** quality grade, if the appearance is brandnew. Example is when a book has been in rotation, but has evidently never been read because it is stilll in the original shrink film wrapping.

Final remarks
Collectible paperbacks: The term "collectible paperback" says nothing about the condition. They can come in all condition grades. The term is often used for books listed in price guides, which usually only list the "cream of the crop", and then still far from complete. It thus does not mean that books without this designation are not collectible.

Issue date and reprintings: The year of first issue is often mentioned in the book, but the actual copy on sale can be published in a later year. It is not always clear which printing copies have. For some publishers / editions it is clear, others not. We try to be as exact as possible in our item descriptions. If the year of issue of the copy on sale is known it is usually mentioned. If the difference is extremely small (like missing numbers in a numerical sequence indicate a certain reprinting) we often do not mention that detail. Years of reprinting are often simply unknown, especially with American paperbacks, in which case the year of first printing is mentioned in the item description. In rare cases we make estimates, based on author, publisher and cover design.

ASIN's
With books before appr. 1975 (before appr. 1970 books do not have ISBN numbers and up to appr. 1975 ISBN numbers are not always mentioned in the book) you can find an ASIN i.s.o. an ISBN number in the item description. ASIN stands for 'Amazon Standard Identification Number'. Copy and paste the ASIN from our website into an Amazon website and you can find additional information: www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk are good websites. Here you can also compare our prices with other offers! All ASIN's are added manually through web searches. It can sometimes happen that we give an ASIN to a book on sale at essef.nl which has a slightly different cover design (first printings / reprinting's do not always have the same cover), but it does have the same binding (hardcover or paperback / Mass Market paperback). We try to be as exact as possible, but even on Amazon not all editions have item descriptions with cover illustrations. And ASIN's are sometimes merged even though editions are slightly different.

Nation flags: A lot of Science Fiction originally originates from the United States. A distinction is made between American editions and all other English language editions. For the reading pleasure is doesn't really matter where a book is printed, but some collectors have their preferences. UK editions (designated on this website by a British flag) can also be published in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa etc. For most books the country of origin is obvious. For the smaller and more obscure publishers sometimes it is not clear if the book is printed in the USA or somewhere else. For this reason we cannot exclude occasional mistakes.

Remarks about illustrations, our guarantee and terms like 'creases', 'weak spine' and 'cracked spine' which you might encouter while browsing through our catalogue.

Illustrations: The cover scan on this website, is not necessarily made with the copy or copies currently on sale. We use a database for cover scans which we have started in 1999 and maintained ever since.

Creases: Overwhelmingly present in used books and not mentioned or taken notice of for categories * to ****. Creases are not present or very light in category ***** and not present in category ******

Weak spine: A medium severe crease has had a detrimental effect on the solidity of the book, however without severely affecting the integrity of the bookblock. Books with a weak spine are graded as ** to **** depending on the severity of the defect. Most books with weak spines are graded ***

Foxing: A term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth. The name may derive from the fox-like reddish-brown color of the stains, or the rust chemical ferric oxide which may be involved. Cause can also be mildew. Paper so affected is said to be "foxed." in Dutch: "ouderdomsvlekjes" / "roestvlekjes". We tend to destroy really badly affected foxed copies, unless the book has good rest-value e.g. because it's rare and sought-after or if the defect is not uncommon for the age/edition.

Cracked spine: On one or more spots reading creases are severe and pressed on, with the consequence that the glue in the spine has cracked and the integrity of the bookblock is destroyed. These copies are commonly graded as being **

Guarantee: We take pride in honestly and correctly categorizing the condition of all books we sell. However, in case of any discontent about the quality of delivered books, reclamation & return delivery under motivation is always possible. Rejected books generally do not need to be paid and prepayments will be reimbursed. For more details we refer to our Terms of Sale.

Reference books:
Gary Lovisi: Collectible Paperback Price Guide - Krause Publications - 2008 - ISBN 9780896896345
Jeff Canja: Collectable Paperback Books - Glenmoor Publishing - 2000 - first edition - ISBN 0967363926