Bowed condition is an industry term referring to books in poor storage or handling that have become misshaped or damaged from being mishandled, making them hard to stack or shelve properly, and an eyesore on bookshelves. Bowed books may also be difficult to open and close properly or contain wrinkled or creased pages, making reading them an impossible feat.
Bowed conditions of books may be caused by improper storage practices such as stacking too tightly or placing them in a humid environment. However, water damage or being dropped or mishandled may also play a factor.
Bowed books may not be considered rare or collectible; however, many collectors seek them out because they offer unique pieces with incredible character and history.
Whenever you find a book with bowing pages, there are several methods you can try to fix it. Gently pressing it flat with your hands may work; for more serious bowed books, you may require something heavy such as another book stack; otherwise, just slightly bowing books can often be improved by rolling in opposite directions to reduce bows.
Book collectors need to remain conscious of the condition of their collections. Bowed books may prove more challenging as their condition varies considerably from other books, yet owning one could add an exciting and special piece to your library.
Condition is vital in the publishing industry because it helps determine its value. A book’s physical appearance plays a part in its condition, with good condition books fetching higher prices than their inferior counterparts; those in poor condition may never sell at all! Collectors place more value on books in good condition than those that don’t, which explains why collectors might pay a higher price for one in good condition than one less desirable.