To Search This Site Enter Key Words Into Text Field On The Right and Hit The Search Button
Terms and Definitions.

Book Sizes.
(measured in height).

15" to 17" folio.
14" to 15" smfolio. (small folio).
13" to 14" lge4to. (large 4to).
11" to 13" 4to
8" to 11" 8vo.
7" to 8" 12mo.
6" to 7" 16mo.


1st printing: The very first time the book was published.

1st edition: Any printing of the original book without any significant changes, corrections or additions. A book can have many printings, 10, 20 or more and they are all still the first edition. Only when the original text is revised, expanded or in some other way significantly changed, would the book become a second edition.

Note: when a bookseller advertises a book as being a 'first edition', what they actually mean is that it is a 'first printing'. First printings of first editions are usually considered to have more value than later printings. A first edition, third printing, for example, is just a reprint, pure and simple.

1st thus: The first time a variant version of the book was published.
The first printing of the Illustrated Night to Remember would be an example of a first thus.

aeg: all edges gilt (edges of pages gold colored).

b/w: black and white.

bds: boards (hardbound).

cvr: cover(s).

dec: decorated.

ed: edition, or sometimes editor.

endppr: endpaper(s). The blank sheets of paper at the beginning and end of a book.

errata (or erratum) slip: A slip of paper which corrects errors in the text that were not noticed until after the book was printed. An errata slip is often glued onto a page of the book, or it can be laid in (q.v.) or tipped-in (q.v.).

ex-library: (also xlib). Ex-library books are books that have been in a public library and have had 'horrible things' done to them. Often dust jackets have been permanently affixed to the book, library numbers have been inked onto the spine, and library labels have been pasted onto the front and/or rear endpapers. Copies of books that are ex-library have a fraction of the value of non ex-library copies.

flat-signed: A copy signed by the author, but not inscribed to any particular individual.

frontis (plate): The plate opposite the title page at the front of the book.

illus: illustrated, illustration(s).

inscr: inscribed, inscription.

laid in: Any page or slip of paper loosely slipped into the pages is considered 'laid in', i.e., not attached to the book.

limited edition: A special printing, usually (but not always) of the first printing, which has a finite number of copies and is somehow different from the regular edition. Limited editions are sometimes on better quality paper, might be signed by the author, etc. Limited editions are often numbered, and the earlier the number in the series the higher it's perceived value.

In order for a limited edition to be meaningful as a collectible, the number of copies must be relatively small, say 500 to 1,000 copies, for example. A 'limited edition' of 10,000 copies cannot really be considered 'limited'. (and before you ask, yes there actually are books limited to a mere 10,000 copies).

n.d.: no date (of publication).

n.p.: no place (no publisher).

pastedown(s): The sheets of paper attached, or pasted down, to the inside of the front and rear covers.

paste-on: A photo or illustration glued, or pasted, onto the covers of a book, usually paste-ons are found only on the front cover.

pp: pages.

port: portrait. Usually a picture of the author or subject of the book. The portrait is often the frontis plate (q.v.).

pr: printing.

prof: profusely.

review copy: A copy of the regular first printing sent by the publisher to book reviewers so they can read the book and have their review ready for print when the book is officially released for sale. Review copies usually are considerd to have a bit more value than other copies, as they were in circulation before the book was available for sale to the public.

Review copies are identified by a letter or pamphlet (or both) of material from the publisher which usually details what the book is about, why it is something special, and when it will be available.

remainder: i.e., remainder mark. A remainder mark is often a dot or slash of color, usually found on the bottom edges of the book's pages, although it can also be found on the top or even front edges of the pages. Books so marked have been remaindered - that is, the publisher had more copies on hand than expected and has dumped the extra copies very inexpensively to clear out the remaining stock. That is why remainder books are always so relatively inexpensive.

Remaindered books are perceived to have less value than nonremaindered copies.

stiff wraps: A softbound book, but with stiffer card covers. see 'wraps'.

t/b: top and bottom.

teg: top edge gilt (top edge gold colored).

tipped-in: An extra page or slip of paper which has had it's edge glued into the book. Also, any plates where the photo or illustration has been glued onto a page would be considered to be 'tipped-in'. Many art books have tipped-in illustrations.

w: with.

wraps: softbound (paper covers).