Train Chef New and Used Cookery Books Personal Currency Assistant




The following are some of the terms used throughout the booksellers industry.

These terms are commonly used when describing our books.

ads, advts. adverts. Advertisements placed in the binding of the book.

Advance Copy. A book sent to reviewers, wholesale customers, and the media. Usually they are in wraps and inexpensive bindings. Used to get quotes for publicity and leads for advance sales. The precede the printed copies that are sold to the public.

a.e.g. Standard abbreviation for "all edges gilt," referring to the gilded edges of the text-block in a bound work.

As Issued. A term indicating a given book is in the original condition as it was published.

As New. A book that is in the same immaculate condition as when it was published, perfect without defects.

As Usual. A term used to describe normal defects related to ex library books, i.e., endpapers removed, pockets & library stamps.

Backstrip. The covering of the book's spine.

bc, bce. A book club edition (book of the month club). Books printed for a book club.

Bel. The back end loose page(s).

Bep. The back end paste-down.

Brds. Boards (covers of a hardcover book).

Binding. The cover of a book, usually, but not always, leather or cloth.

Binding Copy. A book whose binding is missing or in poor condition and will require rebinding.

Blind-stamp. An impression stamped into a book cover that is not coloured with ink or gilt. When the page of a book has been blind-stamped, the stamp is usually that of a previous owner.

Blurb. A comment from a review (often by another author praising the particular book), printed on the dust jacket or covers of a proof copy or on a wrap-around band.

Bmp. Bumped, usually pertaining to the corners or edges of a book.

Boards. The front and back covers of a hardcover book. So called because many early book covers were originally wood boards.

Bookplate. A label pasted in indicating ownership.

Browning. The aging of a book that creates a brown looking page. This process is most noticeable in older books with some degree of acid content within the book. This detracts from a books appearance and value.

Buckram. A heavy linen binding cloth often heavily starched or otherwise coated with protective material.

Bumped, bmp, bpd. Corners or edges of boards bumped or dented, usually in careless handling.

b/w. Black and white illustrations, photographs, etc.

Calf. Calfskin with a smooth finished used in binding. It may be decorated in various ways by mottling and staining. Tree calf is a stained calf with a painted grain.

Chapbook. A small, usually paperback, book of poetry or a religious tract or some such.

Chipped. A condition in which small pieces of the dust jacket have been chipped away at the edges.

Cloth. (Clothbound). A textile binding material.

Cocked Spine (spine cock). The spine of a book which is angled so that the boards of the book no longer line up evenly (usually from shelf wear).

Colophon. The leaf at the end of many private press and artist books providing information on edition size, manufacture etc.

Condition: The physical state of a book. While descriptive terminology offers a general indication of condition, such terminology is inherently subjective. Unfortunately, not even a photograph adequately portrays the condition of a book as a whole. Therefore, most reputable booksellers offer their books on approval.

The following terms to describe its books (if a description has two such terms, as in "Fine/Good," the first term refers to the condition of the book, and the second term refers to the condition of the dust jacket):

Very Fine (VF). The condition of a book that is flawless in every respect. Clearly unread and unused. Some booksellers use the terms "mint," "as new," and "very fine" interchangeably.
Fine (F). The condition of a book that is nearly flawless and that shows only slight signs of age. Generally reserved for books that are unread and unused, and which are clean, crisp, and very nearly new in condition.
Very Good (VG). The condition of a book that is clean and sound, showing very little wear. Usually such a book has been read, perhaps several times, and is not as crisp as a new book, but it is nonetheless collectible. Generally the highest grade given to books printed before 1900, and thus highly desirable to collectors of antiquarian books.

Good (G). The condition of a book that shows signs of wear and ageing, but is generally sound and free from major defects.
Fair. A book that is in less than good condition, showing wear and perhaps defects.

Poor or Reading Copy. A book with major defects, could be missing its covers, needs to be rebound, and is usually too ugly to put on your book shelf. Incidentally the rule of thumb on getting a book rebound is that it should be worth three times the cost of binding.

Contemporary. A contemporary binding is the original binding of a book, and is thus highly desirable.

Copyright. The right granted by the government to protect ones work for exclusive publication. The copyright page holds the notice of copyright and is usually on the reverse of the title page.

Covers. The front and rear surface of a binding, as opposed to the spine. These may be composed of card, wood or other materials, covered by cloth, paper or leather.

Dampstain. Very light stain caused by moisture (perspiration, a piece of moist food, etc.). Usually not as severe as waterstains.

dec, decor. Decorated.

Deckle Edge. Rough edges which a sheet of paper has after it has left the deckle, but before it is trimmed in the papermaking process.

Dedication Copy. A copy of a book inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.

Device. A printer's ornament or an insignia which is the publisher's identifying mark.

Disbound. A book or pamphlet or ephemera which has been removed from its binding.

dj, Jacket (Dust jacket, wrapper). The book jacket or dust cover (usually made of paper or plastic) designed to protect the book. Jackets are removable and tend to become misplaced over time.

ed. Edition

Engraving. The preparation of a printing surface by cutting or etching the surface.

Endpaper. Sometimes called "endleaves," an endpaper is the double leaf at the very front and back of a book, half of which is pasted to the inside of the boards, the other half of which makes up the front and back free endpapers.

Ephemera. From the Greek work ephemeron, meaning something that disappears quickly, i.e., manifestos, programs, menus, tickets, playbills, etc.

Errata. Mistakes or errors, usually 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.

Etching. The chemical treatment of a printing surface to incise a design or lettering.

Ex-Libris or Ex-Library (ex lib). Latin. "From the library of...." (what used to be a library book). A books that has been circulated within a library. Dealer listings should carry a notice of ex-libris if a book has indications of library stamps, card pocket, or similar designations.

Facsimile. A reproduction of a book. Many facsimiles have some designation on them to distinguish them from the book they are replicating.

First Edition. The first time a book has been typeset and printed.

First Thus. Not a first edition, but something new, revised, having a new introduction by the author or someone else, but the first publication in its new form or by a new publisher.

Flyleaf. A blank leaf (or leaves) inserted during the binding process between the free endpaper and the beginning or end of the printed pages.

Fore-edge. The front edge of the text block.

Format. The format of a book is the number of times a sheet of paper is folded to make the book's pages. Though often used to designate the size of a book, the size of various formats can vary greatly, and format should be understood as only a general indication of size. The formats, with their common abbreviations, are:
Folio (Fo.). The format created by folding a sheet of paper in half, usually making a book in the shape of an upright rectangle. As a general indication of size, a folio tends to be the largest of the formats.
Quarto (Qto. 4to). The format created by folding a sheet of paper twice, generally more square in shape than a folio. Quartos can range in size from a book larger than a copy of your local Yellow Pages to a book only half that size.
Octavo (Oct., 8vo). The most common format of a book, an octavo is created by folding a sheet of paper three times, resulting in a book in the shape of an upright rectangle.
Duodecimo (12mo). The format of a book generally smaller than octavo and larger than sextodecimo.
Sextodecimo (16mo). The format of a small book created by folding a sheet of paper four times.
Vicesimo-quarto (24mo). The format of a small book generally smaller than a sextodecimo and larger than a tricesimo-secundo.
Tricesimo-secundo (32mo). The format of a small book created by folding a sheet of paper five times.

Quick Reference: Books Sizes:
Sizes are measured by how many folds make a leaf. Use the following to estimate book size:
32 mo. - a book 4 to 5 inches in length.
16 mo. - a book 5 to 6 inches in length.
12 mo. - a book 6 to 7 inches in length.
8 vo. (octavo) - an average book of 7 to 10 inches in length.
4 to. - a book 10 to 12 inches in length
Folio - a large book 12 or more inches in length.

Elephant Folio - a book that is up to 23" in length

Atlas Folio - a book that is up to 25" in length

Double Elephant Folio - a book that is up to 50" tall

Foxing. Light tan or brown spots usually caused by the ageing of a book's paper or binding over time. Foxing is often more severe in books housed in humid climates.

Frontispiece. An illustration, usually a full page, opposite the title page.

Fel. The front-end loose page(s).

Fep. The front-end paste-down..

Front Matter. The pages preceding the text of a book.

Galley Proof (Author's Proof). Copies of the book (usually in an inexpensive binding) intended for the author, editors, and proof readers to correct.

ge, gilt. Gilt edges.

Glassine. A transparent paper dustwrapper.

Gutter. The inner margin of a page (near the spine) of a book.

Half Cloth. Paper covered boards with a cloth spine.

Half Leather. A book whose spine and corners are bound in leather while the rest of the binding is either cloth or paper.

Hinge. The interior junction between the covers and text-block.

Half-title. The extra page of a book sometimes found preceding the title page, and bearing the title of the book. The half-title originated as a "cover" for the protection of the true title page in the time when books were sold as unbound leaves which were then bound to the buyer's specifications.

hb. A hardback (hardcover) book.

hc. A hardback (hardcover) book.

Holographic. An inscription written in the hand of the person who signed it.

Hypermodern. Collected first editions published within the last ten years, or published so recently that there is no track record on the author or book.

il, ills, illus. Illustrated.

Impression. All copies of a book printed at one time from the same set of type or plates. An edition may have several impressions. Synonymous with printing.

Incunabula (incunabulist, incunable). Books printed before the year 1501.

Index. An alphabetical listing of names or topics mentioned in the book with their page numbers.

Inscribed, insc. A book, or other printed piece, with a hand-written and signed statement usually written for a specific named person (s) and often located on the endpaper or title page; when "inscribed" is used to describe a book, unless otherwise stated, it is implied that the author has written the inscription. When used to designate the recipients of a book as a gift from the author (or publisher), it is called a "presentation inscription".

Interleaved. When blank leaves alternate with the printed leaves of a book.

Joint. The exterior junction of the covers and spine of a book.

Laid In. Something relating to the book or the author and/or illustrator, unattached but laid inside the book and included therewith.

Large Print. A book that is printed with large type for the visually impaired.

Leaf. A piece of paper that makes up one page of a book on the recto, and one page on the verso.

Library Binding. A reinforced binding.

Limited Edition. Issued in a stated, usually small, number of copies.

Limp. A flexible binding in suede or imitation leather such as that used on the early titles of the Modern Library.

Lithography. One of a class of processes termed planographic, in which the printing surface (stone, zinc or a similar smooth-surfaced material) is not incised but instead treated with a medium that selectively absorbs (or repels) printing ink.

Marbled Paper. Decorative paper made by dipping the paper into a bath of multicoloured paint, leaving swirled marble-like designs on the paint, which are often then manipulated with a comb or other instrument into a variety of patterns. Used today primarily as covers or endpapers in luxurious books issued by fine presses.

Modern First. A first edition of a book published within this century.

Monograph. A work, generally short, dealing with a single subject.

n.d. This abbreviation means "no date" provided in the imprint.

orig. Original, as in original binding.

Out-of-print. No longer available from the publisher (o.p. or op).

Parchment. The split skin of a sheep or goat specially treated and used like paper for calligraphy and printing.

Pastedown. The half of an endpaper that is pasted to the inside cover of a book.

PC, Price Clipped. The price has been clipped from the corner of the dust jacket.

Pictorial. A book with a picture/illustration on the cover.

Plate. An illustration (s) printed on a separate sheet of paper (usually heavy and better quality than the text pages) and added to the book during the binding process (pl, pls.).

Preface, prefs. Author's introductory statement.

Presentation copy. A copy of a printed item inscribed and signed by the author (or publisher) and provided as a gift; see "inscribed" above.

Printed Cover. A book whose dust jacket or paper cover is only lettered.

Printing. Another word for impression.

P., pp. Pages.

Private Press. A small press, often operated by one person, usually devoted to the production of small quantities of finely printed books.

Privately Printed. A book or pamphlet whose printing was paid for by an individual or group and 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 paper wraps.

Pub. Publisher, published.
Publication Date. The date a book is formally placed on sale.

Raised Bands. On a cord-bound book, the horizontal raised bands on the spine, usually of a leather binding. Not often used in books published today, except for quality leather-bound editions.

Rare. A book that is extremely scarce.

Reading Copy. A book which has little or no value as a collectible item, but has complete text.

Rebacked. A book that has had the backstrip (part of a cover that covers the spine) replaced.

Rebound. A copy of a book which has had the original binding removed and a new binding attached; when there is no need to resew or trim the book, the term "recased" is sometimes used to indicate that a new binding and new endpapers have been added.

Recto. The front side of a leaf, which becomes the page on the right side of an open book.

Rejointed. A book which has been repaired preserving the original covers & spine.

Remainder Mark. A mark designating that the book did not sell at the published price. Leftover books were remaindered to wholesaler for discount sales. The mark is usually a stamp or a marker line across the bottom page edges.

Shaken. A defect in condition resulting from loosening of the sewing of the binding.

Signed. Refers to a printed item on which the author (or illustrator or publisher) has written their name, usually on the endpapers, title page, or in the case of pamphlets on the wrappers.

Slip case. A protective box that holds a book or set of books to provide for additional protection. Usually found on more expensive books and those from specialty publishers.

Spine. The back portion of a book's binding which is visible when a book is shelved in a bookcase; the portion which is attached at the joints to the front and rear covers.

Sunned (sun fade). Faded from exposure to light or direct sun.

teg. Top edges gilt.

Tipped-in. The plate, autograph, letter, photo, etc. is actually attached to the book.

Title Page. The leaf found in most books bearing the title, author, publishing information etc.

Trade Edition. An edition intended for publication and release to the public for sale in book stores and other outlets. Editions other than trade could include, limited, book club, library, and reprint books.

Trimmed. Pages of a book have been cut down to a size smaller than when originally published.

Uncut. Text block not trimmed by the binder.

unpag. Unpaginated.

Vellum. Specially treated calfskin, kidskin, or lambskin used like paper for printing and calligraphy, and sometimes used for binding. The most common material used in medieval manuscripts, it is generally seen today only in a very few luxurious books published by fine presses.

Verso. The back side of a leaf, which becomes the page on the left side of an open book.

vol. The volume of a book.

Waterstained. Discoloration and perhaps actual shrinking and/or wrinkling of the pages or binding.

Wood Cut. A method of illustration in which a block of wood is carved with special tools to prepare a raised printing surface. This is the oldest of all techniques for reproducing illustration.

Wood Engraving. A process somewhat similar to the wood cut in which a design is incised as a series of fine lines . This technique is of later development and is capable of far more detailed effects than the woodcut.

Worming. Small hole in the page of a book left by a book worm.

Wrappers (wraps). The cover of a paperback book.

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