Advertisements placed in the binding of the book.
A copy for booksellers and reviewers, either bound in paperwraps or a copy of
the trade edition with a review slip laid in.
See All Edges gilt.
See Autographed Letter.
All Edges Gilt
The top, for-edge and foot of the book are colored in gold.
See Autographed Letter, Signed.
See Autographed Manuscript, Signed.
A suffix denoting a collection of sayings, anecdotes, or other material
regarding a person or subject, i.e., americana, Hemingwayana, etc.
A loose term implying collectible books rather than used books. Refers to old,
rare, and out-of-print books.
Advanced Reading Copy . See Advanced Copy.
A term indicating a given book is in the original condition as published.
A book or pamphlet that has some indication of having belonged to the author or
someone closely associated with them.
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".
A handwritten letter.
Autographed Letter, Signed
A handwritten letter signed by the writer.
Autographed Manuscript, Signed
A manuscript all in the author's hand.
The covering of the book's spine.
See Front Matter and Half-title.
See Book Club.
From the Greek: signifying or pertaining to books.
A destroyer of books.
Having a deep knowledge of books.
A stealer of books.
Many bookdealers and certain collectors.
A lover of books.
A fear of books.
The people behind the booths at the book fairs.
The cover of the book.
A book which needs to be rebound and is worth rebinding.
An impressed mark, decoration, or lettering, not colored or gilded, usually
appearing on the binding.
Books made around the mid 1400's in Germany and the Netherlands in which
pictures and explanatory text well printed from woodblocks.
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.
The stiff binding material for most modern books.
Book of the Month Club. See Book Club.
The entire book sewn together before it is bound.
Edition of a book printed especially for a book club. All books are of a uniform
size and usually produced with cheaper materials.
A label indicating the ownership of a book. Generally smaller than a bookplate.
A pasted-in sign of ownership.
A book with a cover of any type, or a periodical that has a cover other than
it's published wraps.
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.
A single sheet of paper, usually printed on one side only.
Black and white illustrations, photographs, etc.
A tipped-in (i.e., pasted in) page to replace a page removed after a book has
The book is hardbound as opposed to a paperback.
A cheaply printed book of the kind sold by street vendors in the 18th
and 19th centuries.
Used to describe where small pieces are missing or where fraying has occurred on
a dust jacket or the edge of a paperback.
A cloth-bound book. The covering can be linen, buckram or another textile.
Refers to a spine which is angled, so that the boards will not line up evenly
with each other.
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.
An identifying inscription or emblem from the printer or publisher appearing at
the end of a book.
The unsevered second half of a printed page.
Refers to bindings and hand-colored plates (generally of the period when the
book was published) and author inscription (dated the year of publication).
The binding of the book, most particularly the front and back panels of the
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.
Many modern books are smooth-trimmed after binding so that all edges are even,
or flush. This is described as having been "cut".
Check or cash (payment) with order.
Decorated. Often referred to a binding, as in dec. cl.
Another term for uncut or untrimmed edges.
The copy of the book inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is
A printer's ornament. Also an insignia that is the publisher's identifying mark.
This term refers to a book or pamphlet, once bound, from which the binding has
See Dust Jacket.
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.
A 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.
A book approximately 7 to 8 inches tall.
A term synonymous with dustwrapper, indicating the usually decorative paper
wrapper placed around a book to protect the binding.
See Dust Jacket.
Dust Wrapper. See Dust Jacket.
See Edited, Edition, Editor.
The outer surfaces of the leaves of a book.
Prepared for publication.
All the copies of a book printed from the same plates or typesetting.
A person who gathers material for a book oversees a test written by others,
and/or makes the text more readable.
A book about 23 inches tall.
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.
See End Papers.
From the Greek work ephemeron, meaning something that disappears quickly.
Examples are: manifestos, broadsides, programs, menus, tickets, playbills, etc.
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.
A particular copy of an edition.
A term used to indicate a book was once in a library.
A bookplate printed with the owner's name or initials.
A copy of a book into which additional illustrations have been bound.
See Condition - Fine.
F, FF, fol
The end paper that is not attached to the inside front cover. See End Papers.
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
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.
Means not a first edition, but something is new. It may be revised, have a new
introduction by the author or someone else, but 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
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.
Has several meanings: (1) a leaf numbered on the front; (2) the numeral itself;
and (3) a folio-sized book. See Book Sizes.
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 not discernible when the book
Brown spotting of the paper caused by a chemical reaction, generally found in 19th
century books, particularly in steel engravings of the period.
See End Papers.
An illustration at the beginning of a book, usually facing the title page.
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
See Condition - Good.
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.
A group of sheets folded together for sewing or gluing into the binding.
See 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.
A transparent paper dustwrapper.
See Gilt Edges
Paper-cover boards with he spine bound in cloth.
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 Leather.
The page carrying nothing but the title of the book, usually preceding the title
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.
The joint (either outer or inner) of the binding of a book - the part that bends
when the book is opened.
A term indicating the handwriting of the author.
Hors Texte, versos blank (hvtb)
"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.
See Hors Texte, versos blank
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.
Ill, Ills, Illus.
Referring to polychrome illustrations. It usually means an illuminated
A design, picture, plate, plan, diagram, chart, or map printed within the text.
A much misused term, but one that, when accurately employed, means the copies
printed during any given press run.
A term that can refer either to the place of publication or to the publisher.
Books, pamphlets, calendars, and indulgences printed before 1501.
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
An extremely thin, yet relatively opaque paper, used to help reduce the bulk of
what would otherwise be a book of unwieldy size.
Usually indicates a book signed by the author, either with an inscription to a
specific person or bearing some brief notation along with his signature.
A leaf or page is said to be integral when it is one that was sewn and bound
into a book during its manufacture.
When blank leaves alternate with the printed leaves a book is said to be
Synonymous with "state", referring to the priority of copies within
the first edition.
The printed or unprinted cover, usually paper, placed around the bound book.
Sometimes called dustjacket (dj), dustwrapper (dw), dust cover or book jacket.
A smooth, glossy paper, made in imitation of vellum, generally a light tan
Books originally or primarily written to be read by (or to) children.
Work written when an author was extremely young, often as a child.
A letter or other sheet(s) inserted but not glued into a book.
A handmade paper showing parallel lines of the papermaking frame, visible when
help up to the light.
A book that is made with large type for the visually impaired.
A single sheet in a book; each leaf contains two printed pages, one on each
Any book whose publication is deliberately restricted to a comparatively small
number of copies, usually numbered and often signed by the author and/or illustrator.
An adjective describing a flexible binding in suede or imitation leather such as
that used on the early titles of the Modern Library.
See Limited Edition.
A copy of a book whose parts have been assembled from one or more defective
Paper decorated with an imitation marble pattern.
A absolutely perfect copy, as perfect as the day it was issued.
Pages or signatures sewn together in an improper order.
All books which were published in this century.
A work, generally short, dealing with a single subject and usually issued in
A type of leather made from goatskins, especially suitable for book bindings
because of its durability and beauty.
See No Date.
Near Fine condition. See condition - Fine.
No, Nos, #
No date of publication mentioned within the book.
No Place (of publication).
See No Place.
An issue of a periodical.
The right-hand page of a book, more commonly called the recto.
A book of about 5 inches wide and 8 inches tall to about 6 x 9 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 (sixteen
A separate printing of a section of a larger publication; i.e., a periodical.
The transfer of ink from one page to another, either as a printed page or an
Out of Print.
Original. As in original binding.
Out of Print
A book no longer being printed.
Out of Series
Refers to overruns or extra copies of limited editions.
A small separate work issued in paperwraps.
Books in paperwraps published since the 1930's, although it can describe any
book with a paper cover.
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 for those 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 copy only.
... "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 for those 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 copy only.
Stiff cardboard covered in paper.
The practice of publishing novels in separate monthly installments in magazine
The portion of the end-paper pasted to the inner cover of a book.
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.
Describes a book with a picture on the cover.
Any edition of a work issued without permission of the author and without
payment of royalties to the author or copyright holder.
Whole-page illustrations printed separately from the text. Illustrations printed
in the text pages are called cuts.
Distinguishing characteristics, usually errors, that occur within a first
edition and indicate the priority of copies.
Author's introductory statement.
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 disposition.
The price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket.
Used to describe a dust wrapper or paper cover that is only lettered.
Another word for impression.
A company that will supply an individual or trade with printed products
A small press, often operated by one person, usually devoted to the production
of small quantities of finely printed books.
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.
Precede the published book. The normal course of events would be galley proof,
uncorrected bound proof and advance reading copy bound in paper wraps.
A publisher's announcement of a forthcoming book, set, or periodical, with
information about the price, contributors or authors, date of publication, and binding.
The history of ownership or possession of a given book.
Publisher or published.
The data a book is formally placed on sale.
A book with a leather spine. Also see Half Leather.
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 pages).
Implies the books is extremely scarce, perhaps only turning up once every ten
years or so.
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.
A book that has been repaired by getting a new spine and mended hinges.
A book that has been glued back into its covers after having been shaken loose.
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.
Means the book has been repaired preserving the original covers, including the
When a book has ceased to sell, a publisher may get rid of his overstock by
"remaindering" the title.
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.
The rear side of a leaf in a bound book; in other words, the leftt-hand page of
an opened book. Also called the verso.
The end paper that is not attached to the inside rear cover. See End Papers.
See Remainder Marks.
A group of volumes with a common theme issued in succession by a single
A small book, approximately 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall. To make it, each
sheet of paper is folded four times, forming sixteen leaves (32 pages).
An adjective describing a book whose pages are beginning to come loose from the
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.
A cardboard case covered in paper, cloth or leather which holds a book with only
the spine exposed.
The book's backbone, where the signatures are gathered. The spine is covered
with the back strip.
Closely allied to the definition of "issue". State generally refers to
a change other than a correction of a misprint.
A narrow strip of paper usually remaining where a leaf has been cut away.
Faded from exposure to light or direct sunlight.
See Top Edge Gilt or Gilt Edges.
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 editions.
A book in three volumes, almost exclusively used to describe Victorian novels of
the late nineteenth century.
Means the plate, autograph, letter, photo, etc., is actually attached to the
French for "a printing". Usually used for a limited edition, often
numbered and dated.
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 or covers).
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.
See Typed Letter Signed.
Top Edge Gilt
Usually abbreviated teg, it means that the top edges of the pages have been
covered with gold leaf or gilt material.
See Title Page.
See Title Page Index.
The regularly published edition. This term is used to differentiate it from a
limited signed edition of the same book.
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.
The pages of the completed book have not been shaved down to a uniform surface.
The leaves of the book are still joined at the folds, not slit apart.
The pages are not numbered (although each signature may be designated by
Pure, genuine, unrestored, and if a book is so described, it can mean trouble as
far as condition is concerned.
A book that differs in one or more features from others of the same impression,
but a positive sequence has not been established.
A thin sheet of specially prepared skin of calf, lamb, or kid used for writing
or printing, or for the cover.
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.
The volume of the book.
See Condition - Very Good.
Discoloration and perhaps actual shrinking of the leaves or binding.
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, that are of interest to collectors.
The outer covers of a paperbound book or pamphlet. Not to be confused with
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.