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Glossary and Abbreviations

Binding: Method of holding the pages together, whether glue, sewing or staples, etc. Also includes the boards of a hardcover book.

Boards: The hard outer material on the outside of a hardcover book, giving it rigidity.

Book Club edition: An edition in different covers printed for large circulation at relatively low cost.

Browning: Change in paper colour due to acid left in the paper, external warmth or other causes.

Dust Jacket or Dust Wrapper ('dw'): The paper sleeve covering the book, often with artistic drawings.

Edition: Shows the history of the book - all copies of an edition are identical. Any changes create a new, later, edition. Subsequent printing runs without changes are impressions.

Engraving: Drawings made from spreading ink on blocks of metal, wood or softer material, previously engraved with the opposite (negative) image of the wanted drawing.

Errata slip: An added piece of paper showing corrections after the edition was printed.

Ex-library: A book with some or all of the following - library stamps, ticket pocket, some pages printed with the library name, covered in plastic, spine label with classification number.

Foxing: Red-brown spots on the paper, often due to rusting iron particles in the paper or rusty staples.

Frontispiece: An illustration on a page facing the title page.

Half-leather: Leather-binding of the spine with adjacent strips on front and rear boards and also all four corners.

Hardcover: A book with hard boards on its outside.

Hinge: The inner join where the cover meets the spine.

Joint: The outer join where the cover meets the spine.

Leaf, plural Leaves: Another name for a single sheet of paper. Each side of a leaf is a Page, giving two pages per leaf.

Pages: ('pp'): Made by folding a sheet of paper larger than the book to give a block of eight ('Quarto'), sixteen ('Octavo'), thirty-two or even sixty-four pages.

Pamphlet: A book with paper or soft covering outside; usually a few pages only.

Proof copy: Copy of book sent out prior to publication for final checking by author, etc. Often in a plain binding.

Reading Copy: A well-worn book, often with grubby, torn or missing pages, weakened joints or hinge; usually wanted just for the information inside.

Rubbed: Wear to the boards removing part of the material.

Softcover: A book with paper or soft covering outside. Also known as a pamphlet.

Spine: Rear strip of book between front and rear of the boards carrying title and author.

Tube: In this context, the American word for a thermionic device (or 'valve').

Uncased: A book which has no spine or covers.

Valve: In this context, the English word for a thermionic device (or 'tube').

Note: All our stock is hardcover without dw unless stated otherwise.