12moA book that is up to 7 ¾" tall. See Duodecimo.
16moA book that is up to 6 ¾" tall. See Sextodecimo
18moA book that is up to 6 1/2" tall. See Octodecimo
24moA book that is up to 5 ¾" tall. See Vicesimo-quarto
32moA book that is up to 5" tall. See Tricesimo-secundo
48moA book that is up to 4" tall See quadragesimo-octavo
4toA book that is up to 12" tall. See Quarto.
64moA book that is up to 3" tall See sexagesimo-quarto
8voA book that is up to 9 ¾" tall. See Octavo.
aThe front or recto side of a leaf of a book. It is called "a" when the leaves rather than the pages are numbered. The back or verso side is referred to as 'b'. See also: FOLIATION
a.e.g.All edges gilt.alledgesgilt
aa'sChanges from original copy or instructions; Author's Alterations.
aberrant copya copy of a book that has unmistakable binding and/or printing errors and not merely simple defects.
abstractA short summary of a book or article.
accordian-pleated foldendpapers folded so that the pleat provides a hinge at the inner joint of the cover.
accordion folda series of parallel folds, each opening opposite the next.
acid-free leatherLeather manufactured without the use of acids. Usually leather from which as much acid as possible has been removed.
acid-free paperPaper which contains no free acid and have a pH value of 6.0 or greater.
adhesive bindingA text block structure in which the leaves are held together at the spine edge by adhesive. Most commonly, the leaves begin as loose sheets of paper, but some adhesive-bound text blocks are composed of signatures. In the case of the latter, the signatures are usually either pierced through the fold or notched laterally across the spine edge to allow the adhesive to reach the inner folios. The adhesive binding we do in-house is the type called "double-fan" or "quarter-joint". also called Perfect Binding.
adsSee advertisements bound-in
advance copiesCopies of a new book sent to reviewers before the publication date;also called Review Copies.
advance review copysee arc
advertisements bound-inadvertisements have been included in the binding of a volume bound from parts or issues, or in the rebinding of a volume, usually a serial publication.
advertssee advertisements bound-in
agenda formatA narrow book format where the height of the book is disproportionately greater than its width approx. 3 :1 or greater.
agingthe natural degradation of paper, adhesives, leather, and other archival materials, while in storage.
airmail paperA lightweight paper made for printing publications such as newspapers that are to be sent by airmail.
alkaline paperNon-acid paper that has a high degree of permanence;also called Acid Free Paper or Neutral pH Paper.
alkaline reserveA buffer of alkaline pH, added to paper for the purpose of not only stabilizing the pH of the paper at the time of treatment but also to neutralize acid to which the paper might be exposed in the future.
all edges giltthe top, for-edge and foot of the book are colored in gold. alledgesgilt
all-over styleA finishing style where the entire cover is decorated by a single motif,multiple motifs, or a decorative roll.
annotatedincluding critical and explanatory notes.
apocryphala work which is of doubltful authenticity or authorship.
appendixthe additional or supplementary material sometimes found at the end of a book.
arabic numeralsnumerical symbols 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, as distinguished from the Roman I, X, L, etc.
arca copy for booksellers and reviewers, either bound in wraps or a hardcover trade edition possibly with review material laid in.
archival materialsarchival materials
archival paperAcid-free paper made to resist disintegration.
archive tapespecial repair tape which is acid free and safe for long term use with books. also includes safe heat-set repair tape used to close small tears.
armedhaving an heraldic device on the cover of a book.
art bindinga book that has been bound by a master craftsman using only the finest materials available.
as issueda given book is in the original condition as published.
as newA book is in the same condition in which it was published. There can be no defects in either the book or the dust jacket. Books that are As New are crisp, tight and fresh.
association copya book or pamphlet that has some indication of having belonged to the author or someone closely associated with them.
atlasA volume consisting of maps, with or without descriptive material, which is issued to supplement or accompany a text, or is issued independently.
atlas foliothe largest of the folios, with dimensions of approximately 25 or 26 x 17 inches. See also: ELEPHANT FOLIO .
authorthe original writer or composer of a book, or document.
author's alterationsSee: AA's.
author's copiescomplimentary copies of the first edition of a book given to the author by the publisher.
autographthe author's signature, typically found on the title page or flyleaf of a book.
backSee: SPINE
back edgeThe left-hand or gutter of a RECTO , corresponding to the right-hand edge of a VERSO. The opposite edge is the back edge of publications that read from right to left.
back flapThe back inner fold of a dust jacket;often contains a photograph and brief biography of the author.
back matterMaterial printed at the end of a book, such as appendix, addenda, glossary, index, bibliography.backmatter_edited-1
backing1. The process of shaping the spine of a text block. 2. The process of raising a joint on a book to be casebound;occurs after rounding and before lining.
backliningThe material, paper or fabric, pasted on the inside of the spine (backbone) of a book case.
backstripthe covering of the book's spine.backstrip
backstrip labela label printed with the title of the book, sometimes also the name of the author, which is affixed to the backstrip. the label may be leather or paper.
backward broadside pageA page on which the text runs sideways. The book is turned counter-clockwise to read it.
bandsThe cords or thongs on which the sections of books are sewn.
bastard sizeAnything of a nonstandard size.
bastard titleSee: Half-title.
bc, bcesee book club.
bdsee bound
bdgsee binding.
bdssee boards
between bandsThe spaces on the spine of a book between the raised bands, also referred to as panels.
bevelled boardscovers of a book which have been angle-cut to create a sloped edge.
bibliosignifying or pertaining to books.
bindTo join pages of a book together with thread, wire, adhesive or other means;to enclose them in a cover when so specified.
bind marginThe gutter or inner margin, from the binding to the beginning of the printed area;also called Gutter Margin or Back Margin.
binder1. One who binds books. 2. Short for perfect binding equipment. 3. A detachable cover, into which loose pages or bound books and pamphlets are inserted on rings or posts;contents are easily removed.
binder's stampThe stamp or label applied to a book indicating the bindery that bound the book, and sometimes the month and year in which the book was bound. It is generally located on the inside tail edge of the lower cover. sellerslabel
binding1. v. Fastening printed sheets together into books. 2. n. The covers and spine of a book.
binding copyA book where the pages are perfect but the binding is poor or no longer present.
binding edgeThe edge of the gathered leaves or sections that is sewn, or otherwise secured.
binding variationsDifferences in the bindings of books issued in the same edition by a publisher.
biopredationan attack to books by living matter, which may include insects or mildewbiopredation
blankAn unprinted page.
blind embossingA design which is stamped without gold leaf or ink, giving a bas-relief effect.
blind finishingtechniques of decorating a binding by tooling without the use of gold or coloring materials.
blind folioA folio (page number) which is counted, but not printed.
blind stampA design which is impressed (stamped) by the die alone, without foil or ink. Usually a remainder mark on the bottom rear or a hardcover book. blind
blurba comment from a review printed on the dustwrapper or cover.
boardscardboard used in the making of hardcover books. Early published books (c. 1600) often used actual wooden boards for binding, binder board
bomcbook of the month club. see book club.
book blockthe entire book sewn together before it is bound.
book clothCotton cloth, sized, glazed or impregnated with synthetic resins, used for book covers;comes in different weights and weaves. The quality of the cloth is determined by the number of threads per inch and the tensile strength of the threads.
book cluban edition of a book printed especially for a book club. Usually produced with cheaper materials,sometimes they are identical in binding to the first edition except for a small blind stamp. the dustjackets are reproduced with no retail price on the flap.
book sizesthe traditional terms in use for describing book sizes are derived from early printing methodology and the size of early hand made sheets of paper. when two leaves (four pages when printed on both sides) were printed on a sheet so that it could be folded once, collated with other folded sheets and bound, the size of the volume was a folio. when four leaves (eight pages) were printed on the same size sheet, which would later be folded twice, the size of the resultant volume was a quarto (four leaves). the term octavo relates to the sheet having eight leaves printed on it.
bookletA small book of not more than 24 pages.
bookplateA label placed in a book to indicate ownership.bookplate
bookworman organism, sometimes a literal worm, which harms books by feeding on their binding or leaves.
bottom marginThe margin at the bottom of a page;also called Foot Margin or Tail Margin.
breakera book whose covers are so bad that it either has to be rebound or broken up to sell the plates individually,
broadsidelarge sheet of paper printed on one side only.
buckramA book cloth which can be identified by heavy, coarse threads;available in a number of grades;normally used for library bindings or large, heavy books.buckram
bumpedreferring to corners of a book that has been damaged by being carelessly banged.bumped
calfbook binding leather from a calf hide or cattle hide
calfskina leather made from the skin of an immature bovine animal.
cambricA fine, closely woven white linen fabric, used in library binding for hinges, spine linings, extensions, etc.
canceldue to errors or defects in printing, a book may have one or more pages sliced out of the text block after it has been bound. the new printed matter pasted on to the resulting stub is referred to as a "cancel" or "cancellans".
caseThe outer enclosure of a book, whose primary functional duty is to protect the text block. It is also commonly referred to as the "cover".
casebindingThe method of bookbinding in which the case of the book is completed and covered before being joined with the text block, as opposed to after, as in craft or fine binding, also called Edition Binding or Hardcover Binding.
caseboundSee: clothbound.
casing inThe operation of applying paste or glue to the endsheets of a book, inserting the sewn and trimmed text into the case(cover) and building-in using hydraulic presses to secure the books while drying.
cedar oilcolorless to pale yellow essential oil distilled from the wood of various cedars,used by some restorers in a mixture of anhydrous lanolin, beeswax, and hexane. as a leather dressing.
celluloseA fibrous substance obtained from cotton, linen, hemp and wood;used to make paper.
chain linesThe widely spaced watermark lines parallel to the shorter sides of a sheet of laid paper, caused by the wires to which the finer laid wires of the mold are attached for support. also chain marks.
chained booksBooks that in the past were attached to shelves, reading desks, pulpits, pews, etc., by means of chains to prevent them from being stolen.
chapbooksmall, inexpensive books produced in the 17th century and continuing into the 20th century, sold by chapmen, peddlers, and hawkers
characterA letter, number, punctuation mark, space or special graphic used for the production of text.
chippedwhere small pieces are missing or where fraying has occurred on a dust jacket or the edge of a paperback.
circa(c) an approximate date when actual date is unknown.
clsee cloth.
closed teara tear with no material missing.
clotha cloth-bound book.
cloth hingesCloth reinforcement strips added to end sheets to increase their strength and which minimize the problem of books breaking at the hinges.
clothboundA book bound with a hard (stiff) cover;also called Hardbound or Casebound.
cockeda spine which is angled, so that the boards will not line up evenly with each other. occurs from having been opened repeatedly and read, poorly stored, or cheaply bound.
codexAn ancient book composed of leaves of writing material fastened together so as to open like a modern book.
collating marksMarkings (a rule, rectangle or similar mark) on the outside of the fold of each signature. When signatures are collated, these marks align diagonally. A missing mark indicates an omitted signature;two side by side represent a duplication.
collationthe 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.
colophon (1)1. A statement found at the end of a book giving information about the typography and printing methods used in the book. 2. an identifying inscription or emblem from the printer or publisher appearing at the end of a book.colophon
comb bindinga plastic strip on the spine from which curved prongs extend. They are inserted into holes punched into the leaves to be held.
conjugate leafthe unsevered second half of a printed page.
copyrightLiterary, dramatic, artistic and musical property protection for the author as authorized by the U.S. Constitution,securing for the author, for limited times, the exclusive rights to his or her work.
copyright noticeA notice required by law to protect publicly distributed information. It must include the symbol C and the word copyright.
copyright pageThe book page containing the copyright notice and copyright information, usually the back of the title page..
coversthe binding of the book, most particularly the front and back panels of the book.
covers bound-inthe original cloth covers, usually including the spine, bound into the book when a new binding is made.
crackedhinges are cracked when the spine of the book is starting to come apart and the cover is beginning to hang loose. see starting.
craft bookbindingthe binding of individual books for specific customers
cutmany modern books are smooth-trimmed after binding so that all edges are even, or flush. this is described as having been "cut".
dampstaineddiscoloration from water or excessive humidity. a much lesser degree of "waterstained" dampstain
deacidificationthe removal of acid from, or the reduction of the acidity in, a material, such as paper.
decdecorated; as in dec. cl.
deckleThe removable, wooden frame forming the raised edge of the wire cloth of the mold used in making paper by hand.deckle2
deckle edgeuneven edges and uncut edges, often found on books printed on hand-made paper and not trimmed by the binders.deckle
dedication copycopy of the book inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.
dentellelace-like pattern applied to edges of cover of inside border of book bound in leather.
descenderThe portion of a lower case letter that extends below the main body, such as in g, j, p, q, and y.
desiderataa listing of books desired.
devicea printer's ornament; an insignia that is the publisher's identifying mark.
dimplean indentation on covers or pages. A defect if not part of decorated covers.
dinga small bump or dent leaving an impression, caused by careless handling or storage.
dingbatA typographical symbol or ornament;most common use is for decoration.
disbounda book or pamphlet from which the binding has been removed.
djsee dust jacket
dog-earedworn or ragged,referring to edges of pages and binding. corners of pages turned down like a dog’s ear.
dos-a-dostwo separate books bound together so that each cover represents the cover for a different title. (ex. Ace sci fi paperbacks)
double elephant folioA Book that is up to 50" tall.
doublureAn ornamental inside lining of a book cover@ it is usually of leather or (watered) silk, generally with a leather hinge and is often very elaborately decorated.
dummya mock-up of the 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 binding.
duodecimoA book that is up to 7 ¾" tall (12mo)
dust jacket, dustwrapperA decorated paper wrapped around books to protect their cloth. The absence of a dust jacket on a book that was originally issued with one lowers its value. Also referred to as the "wrapper."
dw(dustwrapper) see dust jacket
e.p.see End Paper
ed.see Edition
edgesthe outer surfaces of the leaves of a book.
editionall the copies of a book printed from the same plates or typesetting.
edition bindingSee: Casebinding.
elephant folioA book that is up to 23" tall.
embossingdecorations raised above the surface of the material.
end paperthe 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 (pastedown), the other is left free(free endpaper), end sheets
end sheetsA group of leaves added to both the front and back of a text block, each bearing a cloth hinge for reinforcement.
endp.see End Paper
epsee end papers.
ephemerasomething that disappears quickly. examples are: manifestos, broadsides, programs, menus, tickets, playbills, etc.
errataAn acknowledgement of a printing error.
errata sheet, errata slipA loose page with revised text to correct technical, typographical or other errors. Inserted loose in books prior to distribution, or sent later to be inserted , erratum
ex-libsee ex-library.
ex-librarya book that was once in a library.
ex-librisliterally "from the books" of john doe, etc. from a private library, as opposed to a public library.
Fsee - fine.
fsee folio.
facsimileAn exact reproduction of the original copy;sometimes abbreviated as "facsm" or "fax."
FAIRa book that is very worn, but all important parts of book and jacket must be present. may be soiled with tears, endpapers missing.
false bandsimitation raised cords (bands) found on some books.
ffsee folio.
ffepthe end paper that is not attached to the inside front cover(free end paper) . see end papers.
fig.see figure.
figureAn illustration. This may be a drawing, a photograph, a diagram, or a chart.
figure legend.See: Legend.
finea book that has no defects in book or jacket, but not as crisp as it was when new.
first and second printing before publicationNot a first edition. The publisher had more orders before the actual publication date than the first printing quantity would cover, therefore a second printing was ordered.
first editionThe first published appearance of a book.
first thusmeans not a first edition, but something is new. it may be revised, have a new introduction by the author or someone else, the first publication in paperback form, or first by another publisher.
first trade editionthe edition produced for general commercial sale, as opposed to a limited edition.
flapThe portion of a dust jacket which wraps inside the front and back covers and is made visible by opening the cover.
flat backA binding on which the spine (back) is not rounded;also called Square Back.
flexible bindingsee limp
flip booksee dos-a-dos
flush coverA book cover that has been trimmed to the same size as the text pages.
fly leafA leaf or leaves at the beginning and end of a book not pasted to the covers of the book.See also free end paper.
fly leafThe leaves of end sheets which are not affixed to the boards but left free. Sometimes used in singular form to refer only to the first leaf inward from and adjacent to the paste-down.
fly titlesee half-title.
folsee folio.
folioAs the term applies to text block construction, a sheet of paper, folded in two.
folio (1)1. a folio-sized book. up to 15" tall. 2. a leaf numbered on the front 3. Sometimes used to refer to a sheet that has been folded once.
foot marginThe margin at the bottom of a page;also called Bottom Margin or Tail Margin.
footnoteReference material usually at the foot of a page, set within the text area and usually two points smaller in type size than the text.
fore edgeThe edge of a book opposite the spine edge.foredges
fore-edge paintingThe 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 not discernible when the book was open.
forewordA statement forming part of the front matter of a book, often written by an expert, other than the author, to give the book greater promotability and authority.
formatThe size, style, type page, margins, printing requirements, etc., of any magazine, catalog, book or printed pieces.
fortyeightmoapproximately 4 inches high.(48mo)
foxedsee foxing.
foxingOrange brown spotting caused by a reaction of the decay in the paper with normal moisture generally found in 19th century books, particularly in steel engravings of the period. foxing
free endpapersee end papers.
french foldA sheet folded twice, with the second fold at right angles to the first, that imitate a dust wrapper with their vestigial flaps.
french spacingIn typesetting, putting extra space after the punctuation and before the start of the next sentence.
frontThe edge of a book, opposite the binding edge;also called Thumb Edge or Trim Edge.
front coverThe face of a book; also called Cover 1.
front flapThe inside fold on the front of a dust jacket.
front matterThe pages preceding page 1 of a book. See: Preliminaries (Prelims).
frontissee frontispiece.
frontispieceA plate or illustration at the front of the book, usually facing the title page. Frontispieces are often of much higher quality than the rest of the illustrations in a book. The absence of a frontispiece sometimes indicates a later printing of the book.
full bindingA book which is covered entirely in the same material.
Gsee - good.
galley, galley proofTypeset material before it has been arranged into page form.
galleysgalley proofs or "loose galleys" to distinguish them from bound galleys. long sheets of paper bearing the first trial impression of the type.
gatefoldA four page insert, having foldouts on either side of the center spread.
gathering1. Collecting, by hand or machine, the signatures of a book in the sequence in which they are to be bound;also called Collating. 2. a group of sheets folded together for sewing or gluing into the binding. also called Signature.
gauffered edgesa pattern tooled on gilt edges of book.
gaufferingdecorative deckle edged pages
gesee gilt edges.
gilt edgesthe page edges have been trimmed smooth and gilt, or gold, has been applied. GE:gilt edges; AEG:all edges gilt; GT:gilt top; TEG:top edge gilt.
glossy boardspictorial hardcovers that are shiny, as in later children's books (easy to wash).
glued-on coverA paper cover fastened to the text with glue.
gluing offThe process of applying glue to the spine of a book to be casebound, after sewing and smashing, before trimming.
gold leafused in bookbinding is generally 23 to 23 1/4 karat, the remaining 1 to 3/4 karat being silver and copper
gold toolingThe art or process of lettering and/ or decorating the spine and covers of a book with GOLD LEAF.tooling
gooda book, or jacket in average used, and worn condition – complete. note all defects in descriptions.
gradingguidelines used to properly describe condition of books.
grainThe orientation of the fibers of paper, cloth, or board.
grain directionThe direction in which the greater number of fibers are oriented in paper or board. As applied to cloth, the term refers to the way the fibers are woven. In any case, the orientation of fibers tends to make the material stiffer in the direction parallel to those fibers, and more flexible and likelier to curl in the direction perpendicular to them. The former is the grain direction; the latter is the cross direction.
grain longIndicating that the grain direction runs the larger dimension of a piece of material.
grain shortIndicating that the grain direction runs the smaller dimension of a piece of material.
gtsee gilt edges
gutter1. The junction of two leaves of a text block at the spine edge. 2. In binding, the blank space where two pages meet;the inside margin at the binding edge;also called Back Margin or Bind Margin. 3. In multi-column composition, the blank space between columns on a page.
gutter marginThe margin at the gutter edge of a page of text.
half bindingthe spine and corner leather occupy only approximately half of the top edge, see Three-Quarters Binding
half clothpaper-cover boards with the spine bound in cloth.
half leatherthe 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 leather.
half-titleA page bearing a short title only and preceding the full title page, sometimes called Bastard Title.
hand tipTo attach a leaf, foldout, etc. to a signature or bound book by hand operations of gluing and placement of the item. see also Tipped In
hard spine bindingA binding whose case has a spine liner of board or card instead of paper.
hardcover, hardboundSee: Casebinding.
head marginThe white space above the first line on a page;also called Top Margin.
headbandA functional and/or ornamental decorative strip of silk or cotton used at the top and bottom of a casebound book, to fill the gap normally formed between the spine of the book and the cover.headband1
hingeThe point at the spine edge of the board's inner surface where the paste-down and fly leaf meet. When the paste-down separates from the board, the hinge is said to be loose or shaken. See joint.headband1
hollow backA binding having a space between the spine of the text block and the spine of the cover. The covering material is only attached at the joints and not glued to the spine of the text block.
hypermoderncollected first editions published within last ten years or so.
isee index.
ills, illust (s)see Illust(s)
illustratedcontaining illustrations.
illustrationa design, picture, plate, plan, diagram, chart, or map printed within the text.
imitation leatherA coated fabric, rubber or plastic composition, or absorbent paper, manufactured to resemble genuine leather.
impressionthe copies printed during any given press run,see Printing
imprintThe identifying name of a publishing company carried on a published book.
incunabulabooks, pamphlets, calendars, and indulgences printed before 1501.
indentTo begin a line with a given amount of white space, such as paragraph indentation.
indexan alphabetical listing of names or topics mentioned in the book, with their page numbers. In serials and journals, the index is usually published after the volume is completed and is usually found in the last issue.
inferior characterA letter, numeral, or symbol written below the baseline and to the right of another character, usually in a smaller type
initial letterA large capital or decorated letter used to begin a chapter section or sometimes a paragraph.
in-line coveringCovers applied on gathered and glued signatures in one continuous process. See also: Perfect Binding.
inscsee inscribed.
inscribedindicates a book signed by the author, either with an inscription to a specific person or bearing some brief notation along with his signature.
insertIn printing, a page, etc., that is printed separately and then placed into or bound with the main publication. (3) In typesetting, copy to be added.
inside marginSee: Gutter Margin.
interleavingSee: Slipsheeting.
inverted pageAn upside down page.
IOBAindependent online booksellers association.
isbn numberThe International Standard Book Number assigned by the publisher, under a system administered by the R. R. Bowker Co. It uniquely identifies the particular book. This number should appear on the copyright page.
issn numberSimilar to ISBN Number, but issued for journals only.
issuestate, referring to the priority of copies within the first edition.
issue pointssee points
jacketSee: Dust Jacket.
jog upTo align the edges, usually of a stack of paper.
jointThe flexible hinge where the cover of a casebound book meets the spine, permitting the cover to open without breaking the spine of the book or breaking apart signatures;also called Hinge.
jointThe points at which the boards of a case hinge.
juveniliawork written when an author was extremely young, often as a child.
kerningIn typesetting, adjusting the spacing between two characters so they appear closer together.
kettle stitchIn sewn text blocks, the stitch at each end, where the sewing of one signature concludes and that of the next begins.
lsee leaf.
laid ina letter, review slip or relevant material inserted but not glued into a book.
laid paperPaper which, when held up to the light, shows fine parallel lines (wire-marks) and crosslines (chain-marks).
large printa book that is made with large type for the visually impaired.
leafa single sheet in a book; each leaf contains two printed pages, one on each side.
leafOne of the sheets of paper in the text block of a book, inclusive of both sides of the sheet. Though commonly referred to as a page, the latter refers to only one side of a sheet.
leansee cocked
leather dressingSubstances applied to leather bookbindings to prevent or retard deterioration, preserve, and, to limited extent, restore flexibility to leather. A simple, economical, and certainly widely used, dressing consists of a mixture of 60% neat's-foot oil and 40% anhydrous lanolin, or 60% lanolin and 40% neat's-foot oil, depending upon the temperature and relative humidity in the area of use. This dressing offers some important advantages over many other preparations. It is (relatively) less expensive, easy to prepare and apply, non-toxic, non-flammable, and contains nothing, insofar as is known at this time, that could possibly damage the leather.
letterpress bindingrefers to the binding of books intended to be read, as distinct from books used for written records, i.e., books meant to be written in, called stationary binding.
limited editionany publication that is deliberately restricted to a comparatively small number of copies, usually numbered and often signed by the author and/or illustrator.
limpa flexible binding in suede or imitation leather.
loosea book has become loose and sloppy in its binding.
lplarge-paper edition.
ltdsee limited edition.
made-up copya copy of a book whose parts have been assembled from one or more defective copies.
manuscript (mss)the original pages of an author’s work written in the author’s hand or type, which the typesetter follows as a guide in setting copy.
marbledpaper decorated with an imitation marble pattern.marbelledpaper
marginal headsHeadings in the marginal area of a page, outside the text page area.
marginaliaMaterial in the marginal area of a page, outside the text page area;sometimes handwritten, marginal notes
marginsThe white space around the printed matter on a page.
mildewA growth caused by micro-organisms, whose spores, in a moist, warm environment, become molds
miniatureA book smaller than 16mo (32mo, 64mo, etc.), generally up to 3 inches in height.
mint copyan absolutely perfect copy, as issued.
misboundpages or signatures sewn together in an improper order.
modern firsts
monographa work, generally short, dealing with a single subject and usually issued in pamphlet form.
moroccoa type of leather made from goatskins, especially suitable for book bindings because of its durability and beauty
mottled edgesproduced by daubing color lightly over the edges of a book,by means of a sponge.
ms, mssmanuscript.
mullthe cloth which reinforces the hinges and is pasted directly to the body of a book and is hidden by the spine.mull
n.d.No publication date indicated.
n.p.No place of publication indicated.
ndthe publishing date is not obvious
nfnear fine condition. see - fine.
nipA crease-like line at the joint of a casebound book.
no datesee n.d.
no placeno place(of publication).
nom de plumesee pseudonym
npsee no place.
oblonga book of a width greater than its height.
obversethe right-hand page of a book; (recto).
octavoA book that is up to 9 ¾" tall (8vo), the size of the average hard cover novel, roughly 9" x 6". Also describes book in which pages are printed "eight-up" and the sheet folded twice. This is the most common format and is therefore often omitted in descriptions.
offsetthe transfer of ink or acidity from one page to another, as in the case of an ink inscription touching the facing page. see Offset Lithography.castoff
offset lithographyThe most common form of lithographic printing, in which the image area and nonimage area exist on the same plate, separated by chemical repulsion. To print, ink is "offset" (transferred) from the plate to a rubber blanket and then to the paper.
onion skina durable lightweight paper that is thin and usually nearly transparent.
op, oopsee Out-of-Print
open teara tear which and may have some material missingopentear
origoriginalas issued. as in original binding, or paperback original.
out-of-printBooks that are no longer printed and are no longer available from the publisher.
owner’s inscriptionwords written by previous owner of book, also known as "previous owner’s inscription."
p/csee price-clipped.
pageOne side of one of the sheets of paper composing the text block of a book. Each sheet, inclusive of both sides, is a leaf.
palimpsesta manuscript consisting of a later writing superimposed upon the original writing, which was first removed to the extent possible.
pamphleta small separate work issued in wraps.
paper boardsstiff cardboard covered in paper.
paperback, paperboundbooks in wraps published since the 1930's, although it can describe any book with a paper cover. Also called softcover.
paragraph indentionThe amount of space, usually one em, preceding the first word of a paragraph.
parchmentthe skin of a sheep, goat, etc. prepared as a surface for writing or as a binding material.
part titleA right hand page containing the title of a part (section) of a book;usually backed by a blank page.
paste-downthe portion of the end-paper pasted to the inner cover of a book.
pbsee paperback.
pen-namesee pseudonym
perfect bindingA binding method which uses flexible adhesive to hold each page in place, used in paperback books, trade paperbacks and thick magazines
perfect boundsee perfect binding
pictoriala book with a picture on the cover.
pictorial bindingsbindings with pictorial decorations, generally executed in one color, and usually on a black or colored background.
pirate editionany edition of a work issued without permission of the author and without payment of royalties to the author or copyright holder.
plsee plates.
plastic comb bindingA type of mechanical binding using a piece of rigid vinyl plastic sheeting diecut in the shape of a comb or rake and rolled to make a cylinder of any thickness. The book is punched with slots along the binding edge, through which this comb is inserted.
plateA page of illustration(s) usually printed on a different paper or by a different printing method from the remainder of the book.
plateswhole-page illustrations printed separately from the text. illustrations printed in the text pages are called cuts.
pointsdistinguishing characteristics, usually errors, that occur within a first edition and indicate the priority of copies.
points of issuesee points
PoorPoor describes a book that is sufficiently worn 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.
prefaceauthor's introductory statement.
prefssee preface.
presentation copya copy of a book actually given by the author to someone of his acquaintance, usually with an inscription of some sort.
price clippedthe price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket.priceclipped
printingRefers to all copies of a book printed in one production run.
private pressa small press usually devoted to the production of small quantities of finely printed books.
privately printeda book or pamphlet whose printing was paid for by an individual or a group, and which is meant for private circulation, not public sale.
proofreader's marksThe standardized symbols used by copy editors and proofreaders in the correction of proof.
proofsprecede the published book. In order: galley proof, uncorrected bound proof and advance reading copy bound in paperwraps.
provenancethe history of ownership or possession of a given book.
pseudonyma name used to protect the anonymity of an author.
pubpublisher or published.
publication datethe date a book is formally placed on sale.
quarter bindingA style of casebinding in which the backbone of the case is cloth or leather and the sides are paper or cloth.
quarter leathera book with a leather spine. also see half leather.
quartoAn oversized bookA book that is up to 12" tall (4to), beyond 8vo but nearing the size of a folio. Also refers to a book in which pages are printed "four-up" and the sheet folded twice.
ragged leftIn typesetting, type that is justified to the right margin, unjustified on the left.
ragged rightIn typesetting, type that is justified to the left margin, unjustified on the right;also called Unjustified.
raised bandshorizontal bands across the back (spine) of a book. such bands were once the result of the method of binding using cords, see false bands
rarea book that is extremely scarce.
reading copy, readers copya 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 but still readable.
reading creasea crease down the spine of a book
rebackeda repair. where the original spine or backstrip has been removed, spine replaced and possibly with the original reglued on top.reback1_edited-1
rebounda repair, where the entire binding has been replaced by a new one.
recaseda repair, where a book is taken apart and put back together using original pages, cloth and endpapers. usually done to tighten the sewing or to wash pages, etc.
rectoA right-hand page of a book; usually odd numbered.
rehingedA book that has had a strip of linen attached across the hinge from the flyleaf onto the board paper, so as to reinforce a torn or broken hinge.hingerepair
rejointeda book has been repaired preserving the original covers, including the spine. reback2_edited-1
remsee remainder
remainderA remainder is a book that is sold in bulk by a publisher once its sales fallen off. Publishers often mark remaindered books by stamping or slashing an edge with a marker. First editions with remainder marks are collectable but of lesser value. Remainders may also be referred to as publisher over runs.
remainder marksthe publisher will mark the top or bottom edges of books sold as remainders with a stamp, a black marker, or spray paint, which speckles the bottom. remaindermark
reprintTo print again, from standing negatives, with or without corrections.
reversethe rear side of a leaf in a bound book; in other words, the leftt-hand page of an opened book. also called the verso.
reviewer's copysee arc
rfep(rear free end paper) the end paper that is not attached to the inside rear cover. see end papers.
rmsee remainder marks.
roman numeralsNumerals made up by letter combinations, such as iv for the Arabic number 4;often used for numbering preliminary pages in a book.
rounding and backingIn case binding, the process of rounding gives books a convex spine and a concave fore-edge. The process of backing makes the spine wider than the rest by the thickness of the covers, thus providing a shoulder against which the boards of the front and back covers fit (i.e., the crease or joint).
rubbedwhere color has been worn from portions of the binding or dust jacket by frictionrubbed
saddlestitch (ss)A binding method which inserts sections into sections, then fastens them with wires (stitches) through the middle fold of the sheets. The limiting factor in this type of binding is bulk (thickness);also called Saddlewire.
self-covercover printed on the same stock and in the same format as the text, when the sheet is folded they will appear as the upper and lower covers of the book.
self-wrapsaka french folds, extended folds on the ends of wraps covers that fold and give the appearance of a dustjacket.
selvedgeA margin of waste on the outer edges of cloth which serves to prevent it from fraying.
sersee series.
sewing stationsIn sewing a text block through the folds of signatures, those points at which sewing reverses direction from "in" to "out".
sextodecimoA book that is up to 6 ¾" tall (16mo) but still larger than a miniature book. About half to three- quarters the size of a 12mo. Also refers to a book in which the pages are printed "16-up" and the sheet folded four times.
shakena book whose pages are beginning to come loose from the binding.
sheetsthe pages which have been printed buy not yet folded, sewn, or gathered together for binding.
shingleTo vary the gutter margin according to the position of the page in the signature, and the paper bulk;done on larger signatures;most commonly used for saddle stitched books where signatures are inserted.
short runA press run from 100 to 2000 copies.
signaturethe group of pages produced by folding a single printed sheet, ready for sewing or gluing into a book. see also gathering. signatures-2
signatureA group of folios composing the text block of a book.
signedsigned with name only.
signed bindingsBookbindings signed by the binder with a stamped name, mainly on the inside edge of the lower cover, but also at the tail of the spine,inside the upper cover, on the inside of the front hinge or lately in ink at the edge of one of the flyleaves.
silk pulla ribbbon or string attached inside a slipcase that makes it easier to remove the book safely.silkpull
sixtyfourmo (64mo)approximately 2 inches wide and 3 inches high.
slipcaseA decorated slide box in which a finished book or set of volumes are inserted so that the spine(s) remains visible.slipcase-272x300
slip-sheeting1. Placing blank pieces of paper between folded sections prior to trimming four sides, to separate completed books. 2. Inserting blank paper between printed sheets as they come off press, to avoid wet ink transferring;also called Interleaving.
softcovera paperbound or paperback book. see wraps.
spinethe book's backbone, where the signatures are gathered. the spine is covered with the backstrip.
spine inlayA paper reinforcement applied to the spine of a case or text block.
spiral bindingA binding in which wires in spiral form are inserted through holes punched along the binding side.
squareThe outer edges of the boards of a book's case which overhang the text block.
square backSee: Flat Back.
staple wrapssee stapleback
staplebackWrappers without a spine and bound with staples rather than glue.
startinghinges/joints beginning to show signs of becoming loose through wear.startinghinge
statesimilar to "issue"; generally refering to a change other than a correction of a misprint.
sticker damagea price sticker has been roughly removed resulting in surface damage to underlying paper/scuff, paper peeling, etc.stickerdamage
sticker marksee sticker damage
stiff wrapsWrappers of above average thickness.
stippled edgecolor sprayed on book’s external edges.
sunnedfaded from exposure to light or direct sunlight.sunned
super (also: crash, mull)In casebinding, the strip of cloth which is affixed first to the spine of the text block, then to the boards of the case. Along with the cloth hinges of the end sheets, it represents the case-to-text block attachment; the part that holds the book together. (This is providing the book is of a binding structure which uses a super, which not all do.) The term perhaps more properly describes the cloth from which it is made, rather than the part of the book made from it, but is nonetheless used throughout the manual to mean the latter.
teg, t.e.g.see top edge gilt or gilt edges.
text blockThe total of a book's leaves, which is bound into the case.
three quarter bindingbook has a leather spine and corners which occupy approximately three quarters of the space along the top edge of the cover. the remainder is covered with marbled paper,plain paper, cloth, different leather, etc.
three-piece caseA case made with three separate pieces of material, usually one kind of material for the spine and a portion of the front and back of the case and a different material used for the balance of the front and back of the case. There is a slight overlap where the pieces meet;also called Quarter Binding.
three-quarters bindingA book in which the spine and corners (or spine and fore-edge) is covered in the specified material, usually cloth, calf, morocco (i.e. goatskin - one of the best book leathers).
tightbook hinges are holding firm.
tilt, tiltedsee cocked
tip-in, tipped-ina plate, autograph, letter, photo, etc., is actually attached to the book after publication. tipped-in
tissue overlayA thin, translucent paper placed over artwork for protection;also may be used to indicate instructions, color break and corrections.tissue1
titleThe name of a book or other printed matter.
title pageThe page bearing the title of the book, the author, usually the publisher and date.
toolingthe decoration of leather bindings.raisedbands_edited-1
top edge giltThe top edges of a book's pages have a thin layer of gold leaf.
top marginSee: Head Margin.
tpsee title page.
trade editionAn edition of a book intended for sale through bookstores to the general opposed to those meant for private distribution
tree calfa form of cover decoration consisting of a smooth, light-colored calfskin treated with chemicals in such a manner as to represent a tree trunk with branches.
tricesimo-secundoapproximately 3 inches wide and 5 inches high. (32mo)
turn-inThe portion of material used in making cases, which comes over the edges of the boards onto the inside of the boards, thus covering the board edges and completing the case;usually 5/8".
turn-inA margin of cover material which is folded onto a board surface other than that which will show the face side of that particular piece of cover material. For the cases of books, the turn-ins are normally folded over onto the surface opposite the show side, at the top, bottom, and fore edge. In the case of clamshell boxes or other three-dimensional cloth covered enclosures, some of the turn-ins are folded onto the board surface 90 degrees from the show side.
twentyfourmoapproximately 3 and a half inches wide and 6 inches high. (24mo)
two-piece caseA case made with two different materials applied to the binder boards separately. A standard case is made with a single piece of material. A second material is added over the first, covering the complete spine and partially wrapping around the front and back of the case.
two-piece coverA cover for mechanical binding consisting of separate front and back covers.
typoShort for typographical error.
unbounda book that has never been bound,a "book" in sheets, signatures, or gatherings.
uncorrected proofa pre-publication printing intended for editorial use, or occasionally to be sent out for review.
unopenedthe leaves of the book are still joined at the folds, not slit apart.
unpagsee unpaginated.
unpaginatedthe pages are not numbered.
vanity presspublishers that publish books at the author’s own expense.
varianta book that differs in one or more features from others of the same impression.
velluma thin sheet of specially prepared leather used for writing or printing, or for a binding.vellum
versoA left hand page, the back side of the leaf, usually even numbered. used in refering to the back of the title page.
very goodvery light wear to book, and/or jacket no large tears, or major defects.
VGsee very good.
vol.the volume of the book, like vol. 1, vol i, vol one.
warpinga distortion of the covers of a book to the extent that the covers do not lie flat against the text block.
watermarka faint identifying design, usually in quality paper.watermark
waterstaineddiscoloration and perhaps actual shrinking of the leaves or binding.
whipstitchingto sew a book’s leaves by passing the thread over and over the spine.whipstitching
woodcutillustrations produced when the original printing plate was engraved on a block of wood.woodcut
wrsee wraps
wraparound covera soft cover used for pamphlets consisting of one folio that forms the spine as well as the two covers.
wraps, wrappersThe outer covers of a paperbound book or pamphlet, also wrappers.
yappeda binding featuring a cover that overlaps the three edges of both upper and lower covers continuously. The covers are always limp or semi-flexible, and are sometimes fitted with a zipper,

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