Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT US:
What is Top of the World Books?
Do you buy books?
What should I do if I find a new title that I think you should carry?

BOOK COLLECTING:
There are so many books to choose from, how can I focus? What topics are there to collect?
I know what type of books I want to collect, but how do I find out what was written, what is available?
I know what I want to buy, but why are two copies of the same book sometimes priced differently? What factors determine the value of a book?

HOW TO SEARCH:
What is the best way to search the Top of the World Books site?
What are the symbols I see next to some of the items?
What is the format for your book descriptions?
What do the abbreviations mean in your descriptions?

HOW TO ORDER/HOW TO CONTACT US:
How do I order from Top of the World Books?
What methods of payment do you accept?
How can I apply a credit to a new order?
How long does it take for my order to be shipped?
How do I place a backorder?
What happens if I have a special-order request?
Is tax included?
Are prices subject to change?

WEBSITE ORDERS:
How will I know you have received my internet order?
What if I am having problems adding items to my shopping cart?
What if I am having trouble checking out?
Is my credit card safe online?
Is my credit card information safe through regular email?

SHIPPING:
What are the shipping choices within the United States?
What are your Domestic shipping rates?
Can I receive a shipping quote for my order?
What are your international shipping choices and rates?

100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEE:
What is your return policy?

GIFT CERTIFICATES:
Do you offer Gift Certificates?

TOP OF THE WORLD BOOKS CATALOGUE:
What's in the Top of the World Books Catalogue?
How can I get a copy of the catalogue?

EMAIL NEWSLETTER:
What's in Top of the World Books' free email newsletter?
How do I subscribe?
How do I unsubscribe?

EVENTS LISTING and EMAIL NOTIFICATION:
Can you post my event on your Events page?
What's in Top of the World Books' free Events email?
How do I subscribe?
How do I unsubscribe?

PRIVACY POLICY:
What is your privacy policy?

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ABOUT US:
What is Top of the World Books?
Top of the World Books was established in 1989 as an outgrowth of our personal interest in mountaineering and polar exploration literature. Whether you are an active outdoors person or an armchair adventurer, we share your interests. We offer for sale, via this website and our printed catalogue, a wealth of mountaineering, climbing and polar exploration material (books, prints & posters, expedition cards, videos, memorabilia) encompassing the world. Since not all great books have been published in English, we have presented books in over a dozen different languages! If your interests lie in the 8000-meter peaks of the Himalaya and Karakorum (Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak, Shishapangma, Gasherbrum II), the Seven Summits (Everest, Aconcagua, McKinley (Denali), Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Kosciusko, and Carstenz Pyramid), the Alaska Range, Alps, Andes, Caucasus, Rockies, or the Polar Regions (encompassing the Arctic, Antarctic, North Pole and South Pole) we most likely have something to offer you. If we don't have the item you're looking for, we most likely have had it before and can get a copy for you.

Do you buy books?
All the time! Without fresh material coming in we wouldn't have things to offer! We are happy to talk with you about items you may wish to sell, either single volumes or entire collections. Just give us a call or send an email.

What should I do if I find a new title that I think you should carry?
By all means, let us know! We will need the author and title information, at a minimum. The publisher's name is a big help as well. We are constantly searching the world for new titles within our field. One caveat is that if the title has been translated into English, we prefer that edition, unless there is a significant difference between the two books. Non-English language books are also of interest, depending on the makeup and photographic content. Each one is unique. Our customers are a big help in finding new things to share with others who have the same interests.

BOOK COLLECTING:
The following is information we presented at a Banff Mountain Book Seminar. The information is still pertinent today and can apply equally to the fields of mountain and polar literature.

There are so many books to choose from, how can I focus? What topics are there to collect?
The world of mountaineering related literature is indeed vast and can be a lifelong, enjoyable pursuit. It is important, however, to collect books that are of interest to you, that you will read and enjoy. There is no one list of 'the best books', as everyone has different interests, although there certainly are classics in the field. One may wish to focus on a particular geographic area, or first ascents, or the 8000-meter peaks, or a particular time period, whatever appeals to you. There are literally thousands of books out there! Listed below are a number of topics or themes that can be considered. Simply click on the topic to conduct a search for related items.
I know what type of books I want to collect, but how do I find out what was written, what is available?
There are a number of good reference bibliographies that you may be able to find in your local library or in booksellers' catalogues. A listing of mountain bibliographies is contained in Jill Neate's 'Mountaineering Literature'. Some of them are listed below:

Alpine Club Library Catalogue, 1982
Antarctic Bibliography, 1965 - present
Arctic Bibliography, 1953 - 1975
Bent, Bibliography of the White Mountains, 1911
Conrad, Bibliography of Antarctic Exploration: Expedition Accounts from 1768 to 1960, 1999
Cox, Classics in the Literature of Mountaineering and Mountain Travel from the Farquhar, Francis P. Farquhar Collection of Mountaineering Literature, 1980
Farquhar, List of Publications Relating to the Mountains of Alaska, 1934
Fisher, Bibliography of American Mountaineering Ascents, 1946
Gunter, The Alan Rouse Collection of Mountaineering Literature Catalogue, 2000
Krawczyk, Mountaineering: A Bibliography of Books in English to 1974, 1977
National Library of Scotland, Shelf Catalogue of the Lloyd Collection of Alpine Books, 1964
Neate, Mountaineering and its Literature, 1978, 1980
Neate, Mountaineering Literature, 1986
Porter, Books on Mountaineering, 1959
Rosove, Antarctica, 1772-1922: Freestanding Publications through 1999, 2001
Salkeld/Boyle, Climbing Mount Everest: The Bibliography, 1993
Spence, Antarctic Miscellany: Books, Periodicals & Maps Relating to the Discovery and Exploration of the Antarctic, 1980
Stewart, Antarctica: An Encyclopedia, 1990
Washburn, Mount McKinley and the Alaska Range in Literature, 1951
Yakushi, Catalogue of Himalayan Literature, 1984, 1995

I know what I want to buy, but why are two copies of the same book sometimes priced differently? What factors determine the value of a book?
The pricing of out-of-print books is related to a number of factors as listed below.
    Supply/Scarcity
    Demand
    Edition
    Condition (Poor, Good, Very Good, Fine, New)
    Dust Jacket
    Enhancers (Signatures, Inscriptions, Associations, Limited editions, First editions, etc.)
    Detractors (Owner's names, Xlib, Book Club, Remainders, Binding variants, Paperbacks, etc.)
First and foremost is supply and demand. However, this is closely linked to edition and condition. While it may be easy to find a certain book in 'good' condition that was published by a book club it may be much harder to find the same book as a first edition with the original dust jacket. In general, collectors prefer first edition books with dust jackets. Both the book itself and jacket should be in the best possible condition. Although this is a more expensive way to go, than say, ex-library books or paperbacks, they should retain their value, as the supply is limited. Remember, a book's condition can only get worse, not better, so if you value them, treat them well. Bear in mind, too, that some items are 'worth' more to the present owner than they would be to someone else.

HOW TO SEARCH:
What is the best way to search the Top of the World Books site?
Searching our site is easy and may be accomplished in one of two ways:

Basic Search -- In the 'Search' box in the upper right-hand corner of each page simply enter a word relating to your area of interest, i.e. Everest, Messner, Shackleton, etc. The author, title, and description fields for all items will be searched. The result of this search will be all items containing the search word listed alphabetically by author. Using the 'Sort by:' box you may re-sort the results list by 'Date' (oldest to newest), 'Title', or 'Price' (highest to lowest). Note that the search word you requested and the number of returned items is displayed in the upper left-hand side of the results page 'Search Results for:'.

Advanced Search -- We also offer an Advanced Search option. This may be found at the bottom-left of each page. This option allows you to focus your search by Type (book, map, video, etc.), Category (Mountaineering, Polar, etc.), Author, Title, Publication Date, Publisher, Place of publication, Condition (signed, new, etc.), Price (less than, equal to, greater than), or Description (any word used in the book's description). Multiple terms may be used at the same time, for example, Book, Polar, New, Less than $25.

What are the symbols I see next to some of the items?
New - This symbol indicates a new item which has been added to our site within the past 60 days.
signed - This symbol of a hand holding a pen indicates the item has a signature worth noting, either by the author, someone in the book, or is an important association copy.
American Alpine Club Library book - The AAC symbol indicates this is a book from the American Alpine Club Library.
DVD video - The DVD symbol indicates this is a DVD product.
VHS video - The VHS symbol indicates this is a video cassette product.

What is the format for your book descriptions?
The majority of descriptions are formatted as follows:
    Author. Title. Publication Date, Publisher, Place of Publication, Edition, Size, # of Pages, # of Photos, # of Maps, Type of Cover; Dust Jacket condition, Book external & internal condition.
    Description of what the book is about. Reference work cited.
Everything prior to the semi-colon describes the book as printed. Following the semi-colon is the condition of the actual book for sale.

Condition - Dust jackets, if present, are described first and then the book itself. Defects, bookplates, owner's names, inscriptions, library markings, etc. are noted if present. In general, conditions are as follows:

    New - same condition in which the book was published
    Fine - not as crisp as new but no defects unless noted
    VG - a used book showing some signs of wear
    Good - a used book showing greater degree of wear
    Xlib - a former library book, typically with markings as such
What do the abbreviations mean in your descriptions?
    16mo - 5-6"
    12mo - 6-8"
    8vo - 8-10"
    4to - 10-12"
    ~ - near, about
    aeg - all edges gilt
    BOMC - Book Club
    bw - black/white
    ch - chipped
    dec - decorated
    dj - dust jacket
    ep, eps - endpaper(s)
    facs - facsimile
    fep - free endpaper
    fldg - folding
    frontis - frontispiece
    illus - illustrations
    imp - impression
    ltd - limited edition
    nd - no date
    np - no place
    pict - pictorial
    pp - pages
    prtg - printing
    rep - reprint
    sep - separated
    teg - top edge gilt
    wraps - softbound
HOW TO ORDER/HOW TO CONTACT US:
If you'd like to contact us about any aspect of our product offerings or website, simply email us at info@topworldbooks.com or call (802) 482-7287.

How do I order from Top of the World Books?
Placing an order is simple! You may order via:
    Shopping Cart - Simply click on the "Add to Cart" button for secure on-line ordering via PayPal. For more information on web site orders, please see our further information below.
    Email - Send your order request to order@topworldbooks.com including item number, your name, address, shipping method preferred, and payment information.
    Phone - Give us a call at (802) 482-7287 and we'd be happy to help you out! We are open from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Monday thru Friday.
    Fax - Send your fax request to (802) 482-5050 including item number, your name, address, shipping method preferred, and payment information.
    Write - Send your order with check (US dollars please), money order or credit card payment to:

      Top of the World Books
      182 Orchard Commons Rd
      Hinesburg, VT 05461 USA
Please note: As only one copy of an item may be available, it is best to contact us promptly to ensure you get the item you want.

What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), PayPal, and cash/money order/check in US dollars.

How can I apply a credit to a new order?
If you have a credit on file with us, simply email your order and we'll be happy to either send you a PayPal invoice or we can take your credit card number directly.

How long does it take for my order to be shipped?
Our intent is that what you see on our site at TopWorldBooks.com is in-stock. In-stock items are normally shipped within 2 business days. If an item is either out-of-print or out-of-stock we will happily backorder it for you. These items can take several weeks to arrive. Backordered items are not charged to your credit card until they ship. Please see below for additional information on shipping times and your options.

How do I place a backorder?
Occasionally an in-print item will be out of stock and may be backordered. In this case an item will say TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK, MAY BE BACKORDERED following the title. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list for this item, please email us at order@topworldbooks.com and we will create an order for you. When the item is back in stock we can either send you a PayPal invoice or charge your card if you have placed it on file with us. Feel free to inquire any time as to the status of a backordered item.

What happens if I have a special-order request?
We are happy to pursue a title that we do not currently carry as long as it is in our field of mountaineering and polar-related items. Simply email us at order@topworldbooks.com.

Is tax included?
Only if your purchase is shipped to an address within Vermont (6%). Please note: Williston, Vermont addresses incur an additional 1% town tax.

Are prices subject to change?
While prices may change from time to time, you will not be charged more than what you saw on our site. Once you place your order you are guaranteed to not be charged more than the price you were quoted.

WEBSITE ORDERS:
If you have any questions regarding our website, please contact us at info@topworldbooks.com or call (802) 482-7287.

What if I am having problems adding items to my shopping cart? Our goal is to make on-line ordering as simple as possible for our customers. Note that leaving the TopWorldBooks.com site in mid-purchase will empty your shopping cart. If you have not left the site and are still experiencing difficulty putting items in your cart, please contact us at info@topworldbooks.com. Be sure to tell us which items you've been having trouble with so we can assess the problem in detail when you contact us.

What if I am having trouble checking out?
We try to make this process as easy as possible. If you are having a problem checking out, first check your customer information to make sure it is complete and correct. All credit-card information must be typed in correctly for the order to process. This information is checked by PayPal and will not allow partial or incorrect information to process. Note that you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay for an order via PayPal.

How will I know you have received my internet order?
Once you have completed your order you will see a PayPal confirmation page with your order details and order number. Please print this for your records. You can check on your order by calling us at (802) 482-7287 and referencing your order number.

Is my credit card safe online?
Yes! Top of the World Books, first established in 1989, has been conducting business on-line since 1995. We take every precaution to protect the security of your credit card information and believe it is safer to use your credit card via sites with secure internet encryption technology, like PayPal, than to use it in a local store or restaurant.

Our on-line shopping cart system uses the PayPal network, we do not receive your credit card number ourselves. PayPal, an eBay Company, enables any individual with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send payments online. PayPal is a global leader in online payments with 50 million account members worldwide in 45 countries around the world, with the industry's most advanced encryption, fraud prevention, and Buyer Protection Policies.

Is my credit card information safe through regular email?
Our first recommendation is to use our secure on-line shopping cart, although some people do prefer to send us their credit card information directly. While we don't recommend sending a complete number in one email some people do send their card information in two separate messages. For example,
1234-5678 email 1
9876-5432 12/09 email 2

SHIPPING:
What are the shipping choices within the United States?
We will happily ship your order via your preferred method. The majority of our orders ship via either U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, which takes 3 to 5 business days depending on the shipped-to location, or Media Rate Mail, which takes 7 to 10 business days. For orders over $100 our preference is to ship via UPS/FedEx Ground Insured, which takes 5 to 7 business days. Note that street addresses (not PO Boxes) are required for UPS delivery. Second Day Air or Overnight Delivery is also available. It is preferable to use business addresses for these services. Business addresses are easier to track and there is less chance of your item being left at an unattended door. Again, let us know your needs and we will try to accommodate you.

What are your Domestic shipping rates?
Domestic Shipping Charges are US $4.95 Priority, $3.00 Media rate, plus $1 for each additional item. We are happy to quote the shipping charges for Express, Overnight, or UPS/FedEx services. Adjustments will be made for light or heavy items. Insurance is extra. VT residents, please add 6% sales tax.

Can I receive a shipping quote for my order?
Yes! We recognize that not all orders are the same and there are multiple ways to ship, i.e. Overnight, Insured, to Botswana! We are happy to send you a customized quote for your order. Once you have placed items in your Shopping Cart, simply click on 'Shipping Quote' in your Shopping Cart page. The following page will ask for your name and address details. In the 'Additional Information' box please let us know your desired method of shipping or if you would like to know several shipping options and related costs. When you click 'Request Quote' your information and Shopping Cart items will be forwarded to us. Our goal is provide a response to you within 24 hours via email. If you are in the US or Canada and desire a phone response please be sure to let us know.

What are your international shipping choices and rates?
There are a variety of methods to ship your international order - Federal Express, Global Priority Airmail, Parcel Post Air, Letter Post Air, and M-bag Air. Not all are available to every country and different weight limits and insurance options apply to different methods. We are happy to quote you a variety of shipping options and charges and let you select that which works best for you in terms of cost and speed of delivery. Once you have placed items in your Shopping Cart, simply click on 'International Shipping' in your Shopping Cart page. The following page will ask for your name, address, and country details. In the 'Additional Information' box please let us know your desired method of shipping or if you would like to know several shipping options and related costs. When you click 'Request Quote' your information and Shopping Cart items will be forwarded to us. Our goal is provide a response to you within 24 hours (1 business day) via email. If you are in Canada and desire a phone response please be sure to let us know.

100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEE:
What is your return policy?
We want you to be 100% satisfied with your order. You may return an item within 30 days for an exchange, refund, or credit. Please let us know if you are returning an item and pack carefully with a copy of your invoice. If we shipped an item in error then we will reimburse you for media rate return postage charges.

GIFT CERTIFICATES:
Do you offer Gift Certificates?
Absolutely. We understand it can be difficult to find just the right item for the person who has everything! A gift certificate is a great option! They are available in any amount and may be purchased just like any other item. Gift certificates are redeemable by email, phone, fax, or regular mail. To go directly to Gift Certificates, click here.

TOP OF THE WORLD BOOKS CATALOGUE:
Our periodic catalogue lists all items (books, prints & posters, expedition cards, videos, memorabilia) acquired since the last catalogue, plus items of special interest.

How can I get a copy of the catalogue?
The current catalogue, while still in stock, is included with all orders. Recent purchasers will also receive the next several catalogues. If you would like to receive a sample copy simply click on the Request a Catalogue/Newsletter link located at the bottom of each page and enter your information. You may also email, phone, fax, or mail us with your request. If you wish to not receive a catalogue please let us know.

EMAIL NEWSLETTER:
What's in Top of the World Books' free email newsletter?
Our periodic email newsletter is one way you can find out about new items we have recently acquired, whether they are just-published books or a unique signed treasure. The top portion of the newsletter provides a brief summary of the contents. A number of our new items never make it into the catalogue as our newsletter readers snap them up first.

How do I subscribe?
Subscribing is easy, free, and you can choose one of several methods:

Click on the Request a Catalogue/Newsletter link located at the bottom of each page and enter your information. Or, when ordering by email, phone, fax, or mail, simply provide your email address and ask to be added to the email newsletter list.

How do I unsubscribe?
None of us like to receive email we don't want, so we make it easy to unsubscribe. Send us an email at unsubscribe@topworldbooks.com with 'Email Newsletter', 'Events Newsletter' or both in the subject line and we'll remove you from the mailing. Instructions on how to remove your email address from our email list are also located at the bottom of our 'Request a Catalogue/Newsletter' page and each newsletter. You may also email, phone, fax, or mail and ask to be removed from the newsletter list at any time. It is your choice if you wish to receive our Newsletter email notices. You may opt-in or out of these notices as you wish.

EVENTS LISTING and EMAIL NOTIFICATION:
Can you post my event on your Events page?
Sure! Send us the subject, name of the speaker(s), when, where, ticket information, and who to contact for further information. Top of the World Books reserves the right to not post an event which we feel does not relate well to our business.

What's in Top of the World Books' free Events email?
Occasionally we'll send out email notification of upcoming events. This includes information on the event, who is speaking, when, where, ticket price information, who to contact for more information, and who the event benefits, if applicable.

How do I subscribe?
Subscribing is easy, free, and you can choose one of several methods:

Click on the Request a Catalogue/Newsletter link located at the bottom of each page and enter your information. Or, when ordering by email, phone, fax, or mail, simply provide your email address and ask to be added to the email newsletter list.

How do I unsubscribe?
None of us like to receive email we don't want, so we make it easy to unsubscribe. Send us an email at unsubscribe@topworldbooks.com with 'Email Newsletter', 'Events Newsletter' or both in the subject line and we'll remove you from the mailing. Instructions on how to remove your email address from our email list are also located at the bottom of our 'Request a Catalogue/Newsletter' page and each newsletter. You may also email, phone, fax, or mail and ask to be removed from the newsletter list at any time. It is your choice if you wish to receive our Newsletter email notices. You may opt-in or out of these notices as you wish.

Privacy Policy:
Top of the World Books does not sell, rent, loan, or in any way provide your name, address, credit card information, or email address to others. It's that simple!


Best wishes,

Greg Glade
Owner - Top of the World Books
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