About our Store
Caterwaul Books is an internet-based rare and gently used book business owned by J. Jeff Ungar and operated online since 1998.
Why Caterwaul Books?
Often I am asked the question, "Why is the store named 'Caterwaul Books?'" Well, it's actually named after my daughter, sort of. Yes, we do own cats (or rather they own us); but the idea for the store name came after my daughter, Caitlin, was born in 1992. Caitlin had a mighty set of lungs and a will to be spoiled; so when she hollered, we started calling it her "Cait-er-wail." Upon opening the bookstore, it just seemed to fit with the cats and the fact that often when customers would call, a kid could be heard wailing in the background. The kids are grown now and have moved away but the echo remains in the name.
Are there really cats at Caterwaul?
Yes! The Cats of Caterwaul Books, though fewer in number than in years past, are now: a large orange Maine Coon named "Gus" (aka "Gus-Gus", aka "Gustav Mahler") -- who is quite the conversationalist; and a mild-mannered rescue named "Chance" (aka "Chance Pants Revolution") who loves nothing better than drinking from a drippy faucet.
How are books graded and described?
Our book grading policy:
Generally our books are graded according to the following descriptions:
As new--As New is As New. A bright, solid, fresh copy with no flaws.
Fine--- Fine is a very close synonym for Like New with . Any flaws are listed in the description. A book without a cover, several pages, with highlighting or notations or with tears will not be graded as fine. Our average fine copy will be bright, clean, and solid. Minor flaws such as remainder marks, light rubbing, or any previous owner inscriptions will be noted.
Very good--in levels of VG+, VG, and VG-. Very good books are books that will be not as bright and crisp as a fine copy. They may have overall wear, sun fade, tanning to pages or cover, have cover creases etc. They will always be intact books with covers and pages. Distinguishing flaws will be noted in the description. For books graded VG without listed flaws, it means the book shows some general signs of wear. The difference between + and - is again the overall appearance of the copy, taken into consideration with any flaws present.
Good--in levels of G+, G, G-. These copies usually show heavier wear than the VG copies. The rubbing will be more pronounced, there is spine creasing, dust jackets may have tears, soiling and chipping. The book is in intact, readable condition---it does look more 'well-loved.'The difference between the + and the - again is decided by the overall presentation of the copy taken into consideration with any flaws.
Fair to Poor- We usually do not list books in fair to poor condition; on the occasions when they are the flaws are disclosed in detail. The book will still be a readable copy and have a cover; though the cover will certainly show moderate to hevay wear.
Highlighting and notations-- We try to avoid listing books with highlighting or notations in the margins; however on occasion if a book like this is listed, the highlighting and notations are minimal and are listed in the description.
Do you buy books?
We are always buying books! We try to offer an eclectic inventory with something for everyone, from the die-hard collector to the voracious reader. We are always looking to add to our stock; so if you have books to sell or trade, please email us for guidelines of what we normally purchase or give Jeff a call at 814/ 861-5640 in the evenings.