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
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
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
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
Joint: The outer join where the cover meets
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
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.