Sikh books in English have only been printed with any seriousness since the 1950s. With the exception of British Raj journals (and of course, the remarkable works of Max Macauliffe), there was very little printed about Sikhism and a scant amount in English. With the dawn of Indian independence, scholarly works on Sikhism finally began to appear in English. However, because of the limited interest in Sikh books, editions were printed in small numbers. This situation persists even today - so when a book is out of print, it is gone forever.
For that reason, many of the books on this web-site have been owned by others before arriving on my bookshelf. Unless a book is specifically marked as new, then it has been previously owned. It is not, however, a "print-on-demand" book unless very clearly stated as such in the description. (See the information page about "Print on Demand Books".) We have made every attempt to represent the condition of the book as accurately as possible, using a standard scale. The condition terms used are defined below:
*New - This is a book that has not been read and has no flaws or marks on it. It is in mint condition
*Very Good - This is a used book, or a new book that has some age flaws, but is still fairly sharp and crisp. Minor rips on the dust jacket, and only a slight amount of spine creasing. There may be some writing on the title pages, but this will be notated. Depending on the age of the book, the pages may be yellowed or brittle.
*Good - This is a book that has been read, and shows signs of moderate wear. The spine may be well creased, the covers and pages may bear some marks, very small tears, or creases, and stamps or writing may be found on the title pages. But the binding will be intact, and no pages will be loose or missing. This is a book that has lived a productive life with dignity.
*Reading Copy - This is a book with multiple flaws, dents, creases, or small tears. Many of the books 40+ years and older are in this condition because they have been read by multiple people, and passed through multiple hands. The book isn't pretty, but the text pages are fully intact, the binding is mostly intact, and every word can be read in its entirety.
*Poor - This is a book with numerous pages loose, a compromised binding, or very soiled. We avoid offering these books unless the title is unusual or rare - with the value of the content overcoming the ugly condition. If a book is offered in "poor" condition, the flaws will be itemized in detail so that you can judge yourself if it is worth buying.
*Ex-Library - Books who have lived their life in a library settling are often in poor condition. However with Sikh books, former library books are often found in quite good condition. They have not been read much, and libraries often offered them for sale when making room for new titles. In the Sikh genre, former library books can actually be a lucky find. But, because of their lowly status in the used-book world, former library books will be clearly marked as such and their flaws will be accurately described. (Don't hesitate to offer them a good home after all their years of abandon in the halls of literature!)