A book that is up to 12" tall. See Quarto.
8vo - A book that is up to 9 ¾" tall. See Octavo.
12mo - A book that is up to 7 ¾" tall. See Duodecimo.
16mo - A book that is up to 6 ¾" tall. See Sextodecimo.
24mo - A book that is up to 5 ¾" tall.
32mo - A book that is up to 5" tall.
48mo - A book that is up to 4" tall.
64mo - A book that is up to 3" tall.
Folio - A book that is up to 15" tall.
Elephant Folio - A book that is up to 23" tall.
Atlas Folio - A book that is up to 25" tall.
Double Elephant Folio - A book that is up to 50" tall.
of a book is usually in the form of VG/VG, Fine/Good, VG/--, etc.
The first part is the condition of the book, the second is the condition
of the dust jacket. If a "/--" is present, it usually
means that the dustjacket is not present.
As New - To be used only when the book is in the same immaculate
condition to which it was published. There can be no defects, no
missing pages, no library stamps, etc., and the dustjacket (if it
was issued with one) must be perfect, without any tears.
Fine (F or FN) - Approaches the condition of As New, but
without being crisp. For the use of the term Fine, there must also
be no defects, etc., and if the jacket has a small tear, or other
defect, or looks worn, this should be noted.
Very Good (VG) - Describes a book that does show some small
signs of wear - but no tears - on either binding or paper. Any defects
must be noted.
Good (G) - Describes the average used worn book that has
all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted.
Fair - Worn book that has complete text pages (including
those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc.
(which must be noted). Binding, jacket (if any), etc., may also
be worn. All defects must be noted.
Poor - Describes a book that is sufficiently worn, to the
point that its only merit is as a Reading
Copy because it does have the complete text, which must be legible.
Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. This copy may
be soiled, scuffed, stained or spotted and may have loose joints,
hinges, pages, etc.
These terms may be arbitrary, but whatever terms are employed, they
may be useless or misleading unless both buyer and seller agree
on what they mean in actually describing the book.
8vo - Octavo.
16mo - Sextodecimo.
ads, advts, adverts - Advertisements placed in the binding
of the book.
aeg - All Edges Gilt.
al - Autographed Letter.
als - Autographed Letter,
ams - Autographed
-ana - A suffix denotating a collection of sayings, anecdotes,
or other material regarding a person or subject. For example: Americana,
ARC - Advanced Reading Copy.
bc, bce - Book Club, Book Club Edition.
bd - Bound.
bdg - Binding.
bds - Boards.
bomc - Book of the Month Club. See Book
b/w - Black and white; usually describes illustrations, photographs,
cwo - Check or cash (payment) with order.
dec, decor - Decorated. Often refers to binding, as indec.
dj - Dust Jacket.
dw - Dust Wrapper.
ed - Edited, Edition,
ep - End Papers.
ex - Example.
F - Fine, as in Book Condition.
F, FF, fol - Folio.
ffep - The end paper that is not attached to the inside front
cover. See End Papers.
G - Good, as in Book Condition.
ge - Gilt Edges.
gt - Gilt Edges.
hvtb - Hors Texte, versos blank.
I - Index.
Ill, Ills, Illus. - Illustrated.
insc - Inscribed.
l, ll - Leaf.
lp - Large-paper edition.
Ltd - Limited Edition.
ms, mss - Manuscript.
nd - No Date.
nf - Near Fine, as in Book Condition.
No, Nos, # - Number.
np - No Place.
op - Out-of-Print.
orig - Original; as in original binding.
pb, ppr - Paperback.
pbo - Paperback Original.
pc - Price-clipped.
pl, pls - Plates.
pos - Prior owner signature.
Prefs - Preface.
pub - Publisher or published.
rem - Remainder.
rfep - The end paper that is not attached to the inside rear
cover. See End Papers.
rm - Remainder Marks.
ser - Series.
teg - Top Edge Gilt or Gilt
tls - Typed Letter Signed.
tp - Title Page.
tpi - Title Page Index.
unpag - Unpaginated.
vol - Volume.
VG - Very Good, as in Book Condition.
wr, wrs - Wrappers.
Advanced Reading Copy
- A copy for reviewers and/or booksellers, usually bound in paperwraps
and usually with either the finished cover art or possibly trial
cover art. Generally, this copy is at it will appear in the stores
and differs from the Uncorrected Proof.
All Edges Gilt - The top, fore-edge and
foot of the book are coloured in gold.
Antiquarian Books - A loose term implying collectible books
rather than used books. Refers to old, rare, and out-of-print books.
Apocryphal - A work whose authenticity or authorship is in
Appendix - Additional or supplementary material generally
found at the end of a book.
As Issued - A term indicating a given book is in the same
condition as when originally published.
Association Copy - A book which belonged to or was annotated
by the author, someone close to the author, a famous or noteworthy
person, or someone especially associated with the content of the
work. Should have documentary evidence of its association, such
as the author's bookplate.
As Usual - A favorite term to describe defects which probably
occur only on copies of the book the particular dealer handles,
such as "lacks endpapers, as usual".
Autographed Letter - A handwritten
Autographed Letter, Signed
- A handwritten letter signed by the writer.
Signed - A manuscript all in the author's hand.
Backstrip - The covering of the book's spine.
Bastard Title - See Front Matter
Biblio - From the Greek; signifying or pertaining to books.
Biblioclast - A destroyer of books.
Bibliognost - Having a deep knowledge of books.
Biblioklept - A stealer of books.
Bibliomaniac - A bibliophile in whom the love of books has
become an obsession; many bookdealers and certain collectors.
Bibliophile - A lover of books.
Bibliophobia - A fear of books.
Bibliopole - The people behind the booths at the book fairs.
Binding - The cover of the book.
Binding Copy - A book which needs to be rebound and is worth
Blind-stamping - [image]
An impressed mark, decoration, or lettering, not coloured or gilded,
usually appearing on the binding. One way that the Book Clubs have
marked their editions when they are otherwise identical to trade
editions is to use a small square, round, or sometimes leaf-shaped
blind stamp in the bottom right corner of the rear board.
Block Books - Books made around the mid 1400's in Germany
and the Netherlands in which pictures and explanatory text were
printed from woodblocks.
Blurb - A comment from a review (often by another author
praising the particular book) printed on the dustwrapper or covers
of a proof copy, or on a wrap-around band.
Boards - [image]
The stiff binding material for most modern books.
Book Block - The entire book sewn together before it is bound.
Book Club Edition - [image]
A book usually printed especially for a book club such as "The Book
of the Month Club" or "The Literary Guild." These copies will usually
have the words "Book Club Edition" printed on the bottom right corner
of the front flap of the dustwrapper. Occasionally, if the book
club does not wish to do a separate edition they will have a publisher
blind stamp the rear board and print a
supply of dustwrappers without a price on the front flap and now
without the bar code data on the rear panel. Book Clubs are not
solely an American phenomenon as there have been numerous British
Book Clubs over the years.
Book Label - A label indicating the ownership of a book.
Generally smaller than a Bookplate.
Bookplate - [image]
A pasted-in sign of ownership. Modern bookplates are pressure sensitive
(peel-and-stick) as opposed to the older bookplates which were made
with water-activated adhesive (lick-and-stick). Some bookplates
from the last century were quite elaborate with engravings.
Bound - A book with a cover of any type, or
a periodical that has a cover other than its published wraps.
Bowed - [image]
A condition of the covers or boards of a hard cover book. Bowed
covers may turn inward toward the leaves or outward away from the
leaves. The condition generally results from a rapid change in the
level of moisture in the air and is caused by different rates of
expansion or contraction of the paste-down and the outer material
covering the board. Breaker - A person who breaks up books
to sell the plates individually, or the book itself when the covers
are so bad that it either has to be rebound or broken up.
Broadside - A single sheet of paper, usually printed on one
Buckram - A heavy linen cloth used
in book binding. It is often starched or coated with some protective
Cancel - A tipped-in (i.e., pasted in) page to replace
a page removed after a book has been bound.
Case-Bound - The book is hardbound as opposed to a paperback.
Chapbook - A cheaply printed book of the kind sold by street
vendors in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Chipped - [image]
Used to describe where small pieces are missing or where fraying
has occurred on a dust jacket or the edge of a paperback.
Cloth - A cloth-bound book. The covering
can be linen, buckram or another textile.
Cocked - [image]
Also shelf-cocked. A condition resulting from storing a book on
a shelf so that it leans and rests against its neighbour or the
side of a bookcase. Gravity deforms the book binding. Cocked also
refers to a book in which the spine no longer remains at right angles
to the covers.
Codex - An ancient volume of manuscript.
Collation - Technically, the examination and notation of
the physical makeup of a book. By checking for the presence of every
leaf or page originally in the volume when issued, a book may be
collated as complete.
Colophon - An identifying inscription
or emblem from the printer or publisher appearing at the end of
a book. Also the emblem at the bottom of the spine on both the book
and dust-wrapper as well as a logo on the title or copyright page.
Comb Binding - A book binding similar to a spiral binding
but using a round tubular plastic piece with many teeth which fit
through small rectangular holes punched into the binding edge of
the book. The plastic piece, if laid flat, would resemble a comb.
Conjugate Leaf - The unsevered second half of a printed page.
Contemporary - Refers to bindings and hand-colored plates
(generally of the period when the book was published) and author
inscription (dated the year of publication).
Corners - [image]
The right angles on the unbound edges of the front and back covers
of a hardcover book.
Covers - [image]
The binding of the book, most particularly the front and back panels
of the book.
Covers bound-in - The original cloth covers, usually including
the spine, bound into the book when a new binding is made. Normally
they are mounted as pages at the end of the book. Also refers to
the covers of books originally issued in boards or paperwraps, but
in these cases the covers are usually bound in their proper positions.
Cut - Many modern books are smooth-trimmed after binding
so that all edges are even, or flush. This is described as having
Dampstained - [image]
A light stain on the cover or on the leaves of a book caused by
moisture such as a piece of food or perspiration. Generally not
as severe as waterstains.
Darkening - [image]
When book covers are exposed to light, the colour darkens or becomes
more intense. See also Fading.
Deckle Edges - Another term for uncut or untrimmed edges.
Decorative Stamped Binding - [image]
A highly detailed impression stamped into the cover and/or spine
of a book.
Dedication Copy - The copy of the book inscribed by the author
to the person to whom the book is dedicated.
Definitive Edition - The most authoritative version of a
Dents - Damage to the edges of the cover of hardcover books.
Device - A printer's ornament. Also an insignia that is
the publisher's identifying mark. Now interchangeable with Colophon.
Disbound - This term refers to a book or pamphlet, once
bound, from which the binding has been removed.
Dog-Eared - [image]
Book pages which have been folded over in the corners. Some people
do this to mark their place in a book.
Dos-a-dos - Two separate books bound together so that each
cover represents the cover for a different title. The Ace paperbacks
or many science fiction books were issued this way.
Dummy- A mock-up of a book used by salesmen in the late 19th
and early 20th century to show prospective buyers what
the book would look like. It usually had a title page, 10 or 20
pages of text, and then blank pages to fill out the rest of the
DuoDecimo (12mo) - A book approximately
seven to eight inches tall.
Dust Jacket - [image]
A term synonymous with Dust Wrapper,
indicating the usually decorative paper wrapper placed around a
book to protect the binding.
Dustwrapper - See Dust
Edges - [image]
The outer surfaces of the leaves of a book.
Edgeworn - [image]
Wear along the edges of hardback book covers.
Edited - Prepared for publication.
Edition - All the copies of a book
printed from the same plates or typesetting.
Editor- A person who gathers material
for a book, oversees text written by others, and/or makes the text
Elephant Folio - A book about 23 inches tall.
End Papers- [image]
The sheets of paper pasted onto the inner covers, joining the book
block to the covers. One side of the sheet is pasted to the inside
cover, the other is left free.
Ephemera - From the Greek work ephemeron, meaning
something that disappears quickly. Examples are: manifestos, broadsides,
programs, menus, tickets, playbills, etc.
Errata - Mistakes or errors. Generally encountered in the
term "errata slip," a small sheet of paper laid into a
book by a publisher who has discovered errors prior to publication.
Example - A particular copy of an edition.
A term used to indicate a book was once in a library. They are usually
identified with one or more markings of the library such as stampings,
card pockets, cataloging numbers, etc. Frequently they are marked
as "discarded" or "withdrawn" when sold by a
Ex-Libris - A bookplate printed with the owner's name or
initials. Latin for "From the library of..."
Extra Illustrated- A copy of a book into which additional
illustrations have been bound.
Fading - [image]
The colour of some book covers fades or becomes less intense when
exposed to light. See also Darkening.
First and Second Printing before Publication - This indicates
the publisher was successful in promoting the book and had more
orders before the actual publication date than the first printing
quantity would cover, therefore a second printing was ordered. Not
a first edition.
First Edition - Generally used
by book dealers and collectors to mean the first appearance of a
work in book or pamphlet form, in its first printing.
First Separate Edition- The first appearance as a complete
book or pamphlet of a work that has previously appeared as part
of another book.
First Thus - Means not a first edition, but something is
new. It may be revised, have a new introduction by the author or
someone else, be the first publication in paperback form, or first
by another publisher.
First Trade Edition - The edition produced for general commercial
sale, as distinguished from a limited edition.
Flyleaf- A blank leaf, sometimes more than one, following
the front free endpaper, or at the end of a book where there is
not sufficient text to fill out the last few pages.
Fly title - See Half-title.
Folio- Has several meanings:
(1) a leaf numbered on the front;
(2) the numeral itself; and
(3) a folio-sized book.
See Book Sizes.
Fore Edge - [image]
The trimmed edge of the leaves of a book; the edge of the page opposite
the spine, bound or back edge of the book.
Fore-Edge painting- The front page edges of the book are
bent back to expose a greater area and a watercolor painting is
applied to this surface. After completion the book is closed and
the painting cannot be seen. The opposite is also true. The painting
is done on the edge of the pages so it can be seen when the book
is closed but is not visible when the book was open.
Brown spotting of the paper caused by a chemical reaction, generally
found in 19th century books, particularly in steel engravings
of the period.
Free Endpaper - See End Papers.
Frontis, Frontispiece- [image]
An illustration at the beginning of a book, usually facing the title
Front Matter- The pages preceding
the text of a book, in the following order:
bastard title or fly title
preface or forward
table of contents
list of illustrations
Full Binding - A binding in which the spines and boards are
uniformly covered with the same material.
Galleys - Sometimes called "galley proofs"
or "loose galleys" to distinguish them from bound galleys.
Long sheets of paper bearing the first trial impression of the type.
Gathering - A group of sheets folded together for sewing
or gluing into the binding.
Gauffered - An 'engraved' design on the edges of a book.
Gilt Edges - The page edges have
been trimmed smooth and gilt, or gold, has been applied. The abbreviation
ge means gilt edges; aeg means all edges gilt; gt means gilt top;
teg means top edge gilt.
Glassine - A transparent paper dustwrapper.
Gutter - The inner margin of a leaf near the spine of a book.
Half Binding - [image]
A book in which the spine and corners are bound in a different material
(frequently leather) than the rest of the covers.
Half Cloth- Paper-covered boards with the spine bound in
Half Leather- A term indicating
that the spine and the corners of a book are bound in leather, while
the rest of the binding may be cloth or paper. Also see Quarter
Half-Title - The page carrying nothing
but the title of the book, usually preceding the title page.
Head - [image]
The upper margin of a leaf, cover or endpaper. Also referred to
as the top.
Headband - A decorative cloth band, sometimes colored or
multi-colored, appearing inside the backstrip at the top (and sometimes
bottom) of the spine of a book.
Headpiece - [image]
A decorative type ornament found at the start of a chapter or division
of a book.
Highlighting - [image]
The use of transparent and brightly coloured markers to draw attention
to particular text. Frequently done by students. See also Underlining
The joint (either outer or inner) of the binding of a book - the
part that bends when the book is opened.
Holograph - A term indicating the handwriting of the author.
Hors Texte, versos blank - "Hors
texte" is French for "outside of the text," and the
term usually refers to plates, without printing on the reverse sides.
The plates may be tipped in to paper of a different stock from that
of the text.
Hypermodern - Collected first editions published within last
ten years or so. Most were published so recently that there is no
track record on author or book.
Illum - Referring to polychrome illustrations. It
usually means an illuminated manuscript.
Illumination - Decoration applied by hand in gold, silver
or coloured paint.
Illustrated - Decorated with pictures
or other graphical material to portray or clarify the text.
Illustration - A design, picture, plate, plan, diagram,
chart, or map printed within the text.
Impression - A much misused term,
but one that, when accurately employed, means the number of copies
printed during any given press run.
Imprint - A term that can refer either to the place of publication
or to the publisher.
Incunabula - Books, pamphlets, calendars, and indulgences
printed before 1501.
Index- An alphabetical listing of names
or topics mentioned in the book, with their page numbers. For serials
and journals, the index is usually published after the volume is
completed and is usually found in the last issue.
India Paper - An extremely thin, yet relatively opaque paper,
used to help reduce the bulk of what would otherwise be a book of
Inscribed - [image]
Usually indicates a book signed by the author, either with an inscription
to a specific person or bearing some brief notation along with his
Integral - A leaf or page is said to be integral when it
is one that was sewn and bound into a book during its manufacture.
Interleaved - When blank leaves alternate with the printed
leaves a book is said to be interleaved.
International Edition - When searching on AbeBooks you may find International Editions. These books are printed outside of the USA and are referred to as "International Editions" or "Low price editions". The content is the same as the normal editions; however, the quality of the book may be lower.
Issue - Synonymous with State, referring
to the priority of copies within the first edition.
Jacket - The printed or unprinted cover, usually
paper, placed around the bound book. Sometimes called Dust
Jacket (dj), Dust Wrapper (dw), dust
cover or book jacket.
Japan Vellum - A smooth, glossy paper, made in imitation
of vellum, generally a light tan color.
Joint - [image]
The exterior junction of the covers and spine of a book.
Juveniles - Books originally or primarily written to be read
by (or to) children.
Juvenilia - Work written when an author was extremely young,
often as a child.
Laid In - A letter or other sheet(s) inserted but
not glued into a book.
Laid Paper - A handmade paper showing parallel lines of the
papermaking frame, visible when held up to the light.
Large Print - A book that is made
with large type for the visually impaired.
Leaf - A single sheet in a book; each
leaf contains two printed pages, one on each side.
Ledgit - A label or memo slip projecting from a book's pages.
Library Binding - Reinforced bindings used by many public
Limited Edition - Any book whose
publication is deliberately restricted to a comparatively small
number of copies, usually numbered and often signed by the author
Limp - An adjective describing a flexible binding in suede
or imitation leather such as that used on the early titles of the
Loose - The binding of a new book is very tight; that is,
the book will not open easily and generally does not want to remain
open to any given page. As the book is used, the binding becomes
looser until a well-used book may lay flat and remain open to any
page in the book.
Made-up Copy - A copy of a book whose parts have
been assembled from one or more defective copies.
Marbled - Paper decorated with an imitation marble pattern.
Marginalia - Notes written in the
margins of a page around the text. Frequently used by students and
others when studying a text. See also Highlighting
Mass-Market Paperback -
The most common paperback book, about four inches wide and seven
inches high. Seen most often as mystery, science fiction and romance
books. See also Trade Paperback.
Mint Copy - An absolutely perfect copy; as perfect as the
day it was issued.
Misbound - Pages or signatures sewn together in an improper
Modern Firsts - All books published in this century.
Monograph - A work, generally short, dealing with a single
subject and usually issued in pamphlet form.
Morocco - A type of leather made from goatskins, especially
suitable for book bindings because of its durability and beauty.
No Date - No date of publication
mentioned within the book.
No Place - No place of publication
listed in the book.
Number - An issue of a periodical.
Obverse - The right-hand page
of a book, more commonly called the Recto.
Octavo (8vo) - A book of about five
inches wide and eight inches tall to about six by nine inches. Octavo
is the most common size for current hardcover books. To make octavo
books, each sheet of paper is folded to make eight leaves (16 pages).
Offprint - A separate printing of a section of a larger publication;
i.e., a periodical.
Offset - The transfer of ink from one page to another, either
as a printed page or an engraving.
Out-of-Print - A book no longer
Out-of-Series - Refers to overruns or extra copies of limited
Owner's Bookplate - See Bookplate.
Page - One side of a leaf. The front side of a leaf
is called the recto or obverse and the back side of the leaf is
called the verso or the reverse.
Pamphlet - A small separate work issued in paperwraps.
Paperback - Books in paperwraps
published since the 1930's, although it can describe any book with
a paper cover.
Paperback Grading - A letter grade system is sometimes used
for describing the condition of a paperback:
- "A" grade. Basically an unread book. No book store stamps
on the edges, inside the front cover, etc. The book is as close
to perfect as possible. These are typically very difficult to
find for older books written in the 1980s and near impossible
forthose in the 1970s and earlier.
- "B" grade. Given to a book that is slightly creased in the
spine. Might have name, initials, light stamp in the book.
- "C" grade. This means that there are creases in the spine
and maybe on the tips of the cover. Basically, it is a reader's
Paper Boards - Stiff cardboard covered in paper.
Parts - The practice of publishing novels in separate monthly
installments in magazine format.
Paste-Down - [image]
The portion of the end-paper pasted to the inner cover of a book.
Perfect binding - Used in paperback books, trade paperbacks
and magazines that have too many pages to be stapled. The page edges
are glued together, then placed in the covers. This is a less expensive
process than traditional book binding and stapling.
Pictorial - Describes a book with a picture on the cover.
Pirated Edition - Any edition of a work issued without permission
of the author and without payment of royalties to the author or
Plates - Whole-page illustrations printed
separately from the text. Illustrations printed in the text pages
are called cuts.
Points - Distinguishing characteristics, usually errors,
that occur within a first edition and indicate the priority of copies.
Preface - Author's introductory statement.
Presentation Copy - A copy of a book actually given by the
author to someone of his acquaintance, usually with an inscription
of some sort testifying to this.
Price Clipped - [image]
The price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket.
Printed Cover - Used to describe a dust wrapper or paper
cover that is only lettered.
Printing - Another word for Impression.
Private Press - A small press, often operated by one person,
usually devoted to the production of small quantities of finely
Privately Printed - This term refers to a book or pamphlet
whose printing was paid for by an individual or a group, and which
is meant for private circulation, not public sale.
Proofs - Precede the published book. The normal course of
events would be galley proof, uncorrected bound proof and advance
reading copy bound in paperwraps.
Prospectus - A publisher's announcement of a forthcoming
book, set, or periodical, with information about the price, contributors
or authors, date of publication, and binding.
Provenance - The history of ownership or possession of a
Publication Date - The date
a book is formally placed on sale.
Quarter Binding - [image]
A book whose spine is covered in a different and generally fancier
material than the covers.
Quarter Leather - A book with
a leather spine. Also see Half Leather.
Quarto (4to) - A book between octavo
and folio in size; approximately 11 to 13 inches tall. To make a
quarto, a sheet of paper is folded twice, forming four leaves (eight
Raised Band - [image]
The raised areas on the spine concealing a cord which is attached
to the covers. In earlier leather books cords were really used.
In some modern books the raised bands are purely decorative and
conceal no underlying cord.
Rare- Implies the books is extremely scarce, perhaps only
turning up once every ten years or so.
Reading Copy - A copy of a book
that is worn or used to such a degree that it is not in good enough
condition to be considered collectible.
Re-backed - A book that has been repaired by replacing the
spine and mending the hinges.
Re-cased - A book that has been glued back into its covers
after having been shaken loose.
Recto - The front side of a leaf in a
bound book; in other words, the right-hand page of an opened book.
Also called the Obverse.
Rejointed - Means the book has been repaired preserving the
original covers, including the spine.
Remainder - When a book has ceased
to sell, a publisher may get rid of his overstock by "remaindering"
Remainder Marks - The publisher
will mark the bottom edges of books sold as remainders with a stamp,
a black marker, or spray paint, which speckles the bottom.
Reverse - The rear side of a leaf in
a bound book; in other words, the left-hand page of an opened book.
Also called the Verso.
Self-Wraps - Wrappers which have vestigial flaps
that imitate a dust jacket. Series -
A group of volumes with a common theme issued in succession by a
Sextodecimo (16mo) - A small book,
approximately four inches wide and six inches tall. To make it,
each sheet of paper is folded four times, forming sixteen leaves
Shaken - An adjective describing a book whose pages are beginning
to come loose from the binding.
Shelf Wear - [image]
The wear that occurs as a book is placed onto and removed from a
shelf. It may be to the tail (bottom) edge of the covers as they
rub against the shelf, to the dust jacket or exterior of the covers
(when no dust jacket is present) as the book rubs against its neighbours,
or to the head of the spine which some use to pull the book from
Sheet - The piece of paper on which the printer prints. The
sheet is folded one or more times to form the leaves of the book.
Signed - [image]
A book which the author has autographed. See Inscribed.
Signature - In bookmaking, this does not mean the author's
name written out in his hand. It refers rather to the group of pages
produced by folding a single printed sheet, ready for sewing or
gluing into a book.
Slipcase - [image]
A cardboard case covered in paper, cloth or leather which holds
a book with only the spine exposed.
Spine - [image]The
book's backbone, where the signatures are gathered. The spine is
covered with the backstrip.
State - Closely allied to the definition of Issue.
State generally refers to a change other than a correction of a
Stub- A narrow strip of paper usually remaining where a leaf
has been cut away.
Sunned - Faded from exposure to light or direct sunlight.
Tail - [image]
The lower margin of a leaf, cover or endpaper. Sometimes referred
to as the bottom.
Tailpiece - Decorative typography ornament on the lower part
of a page at the end of a chapter or a poem.
Thousands - Some publishers in the nineteenth century added
a notice on the title page stating, for instance "Eighth Thousand"
to indicate a later printing. These are not first
Three-decker - A book in three volumes, almost exclusively
used to describe Victorian novels of the late nineteenth century.
Tight - The binding of a new book is very tight; that is,
the book will not open easily and generally does not want to remain
open to any given page. As the book is used, the binding becomes
looser until a well-used book may lay flat and remain open to any
page in the book.
Tissue - [image]
A thin, protective sheet laid over an illustration.
Tipped-in - Means the plate, autograph,
letter, photo, etc., is actually attached to the book.
Tirage - French for "a printing." Usually used
for a limited edition, often numbered and dated.
Title Page - The title page, near
the beginning of the book, lists the title and subtitle of the book,
the authors, editors, and/or contributors, the publisher or printer,
and sometimes the place and date of publication. The title page
information should be used for cataloguing (not the half-title page
Title Page Index - Used in describing
periodicals to indicate that the title page and index are present;
without a title page and index, the volume is incomplete.
Tooling - The decoration of a binding.
Top Edge Gilt - [image]
Usually abbreviated teg, it means that the top edges of the pages
have been covered with gold leaf or gilt material.
Trade Edition - The regularly published edition. This term
is used to differentiate it from a limited signed edition of the
Trade Paperback - A softcover
book which is generally large in size and made of better quality
materials than a Mass-Market Paperback.
Trimmed - An adjective indicating that the pages have been
cut down to a size smaller than when originally issued.
Typed Letter Signed - A
typewritten letter signed by hand.
Uncut- The pages of the completed book have not been
shaved down to a uniform surface.
Underlining - [image]
Using a pencil or pen to underline passages in a book to draw attention
to the underlined text. See also Highlighting
Unopened - The leaves of the book are still joined at the
folds, not slit apart.
Unpaginated - The pages are not
numbered (although each signature may be designated by letter).
Unsophisticated - Pure, genuine, unrestored.If a book is
so described, it can mean trouble as far as condition is concerned.
Variant - A book that differs
in one or more features from others of the same impression, but
a positive sequence has not been established.
Vellum- A thin sheet of specially prepared skin of calf,
lamb, or kid used for writing or printing, or for the cover.
Verso - The second, or rear, side of
a leaf in a book; in other words, the left-hand page of an opened
book. Also called the Reverse.
Waterstain - [image]
Stain on a book cover or leaves from water or other liquids. May
cause discoloration and perhaps actual shrinking.
Worming, Wormholes - Small holes resulting from bookworms
(the larvae of various beetles.)
Wrap-around Band - The band of printed paper the length of
the dust wrapper of a book. Wrap-around bands contain favorable
reviews and are put around some copies of books. Obviously fragile,
they are of interest to collectors.
Wrappers - [image]
The outer covers of a paperbound book or pamphlet. Not to be confused
with Dust Wrapper.
Yapped - Refers to the edges of the cover of a book
bound in paper or another soft material. These yapped edges are
not flush with the pages but extend beyond the edges of the book
and are fragile by nature.