Book condition guide

BabelBooks aims at providing pre-loved books to the Australian community, in several languages and at affordable prices.

We collect books from kind donors and then grade each book carefully, so that every time you make a purchase from us you can be certain you’re receiving the same level of quality. Be aware that these books have been read once at least before.

How we categorise our books

  • Quality control is important to us and we want you to know that whenever you buy a book from us you’ll receive it in the condition described.
  • The categories we use are Very good, Good and Well read.
  • Some will also have an extra marking if they were donated by a library, or if they bear an Author autograph or prior owner’s annotations. You will find below a detailed guide about each category.
  • Books that are too old, too annotated or damaged to pass our quality controls are earmarked for paper recycling.

Condition Category Guide

The condition categories are described below, and each condition may contain some or all of the description. Note that in some instances the owner’s name may be written on the first page.

Very Good

  • Minimal amount of creasing to the spine
  • Square binding
  • Minimal or no discolouration to pages
  • May bear the previous owner's name (including library stamps)


  • Slightly crooked spine or slightly torn dust jacket
  • Mild creasing of cover
  • Slightly loose bindings
  • Mild browning
  • Possible earmarked pages
  • Slight highlighting or note taking
  • May have very slight water damage
  • May bear the previous owner's name (including library stamps)
  • Spine may be warped with cracking and scuffing
  • Cover may be discoloured and creasing and/or slightly torn
  • Pages may be browned and warped
  • Markings and note taking do not interfere with reading
  • May have some light water damage or humidity stains on the edges
  • May bear the previous owner's name (including library stamps)

Other information: 

You will find every book on the website has been categorised into one of the three options listed above. A book may also bear an author autograph or may have the following features if donated by a library:

  • library stamps within the first few pages,
  • plastic sleeve around the cover,
  • library stickers on the cover or within.

Book covers

The images on our website are intended as a guide only. Publishers can have various cover designs for one ISBN, so we are unable to guarantee the cover image delivered to you will be that listed on the site.