- Japon vellum A smooth cream paper, similar in appearance to vellum. Used in the printing of luxury editions. Also known as Japanese Vellum.
- Joint The outside junction of the board with the spine; this at the front is the upper joint, this at the back is the lower joint. See Hinge.
- Laid in Any loose paper matter which is inserted in the book, not sewn in or permanently glued.
- Laid paper Paper, usually hand-made, which when held up to the light shows a pattern of lines.
- Large paper edition Special edition, often limited or de-luxe, which has been printed in a larger format than this of the trade edition.
- Leaf A single sheet of paper in a book. A page is one side of a leaf; each leaf has two pages. See Recto; Verso.
- Letterpress A relief printing method. A term used for all book printing done from raised type. Obsolete since the invention of offset lithography in the 1970s.
- Limited edition An edition that is printed in a small number of copies only. It is often carries a limitation, i.e. a statement of the number of copies printed.
- Limp cover A binding without boards, made of cloth, leather, vellum. Also known as Limp Binding (limp cloth, limp leather, limp vellum).
- Line block A relief photomechanical printing process. The term is used both for the process and the resulting print.
- Lithograph A planographic printing process using stone or zinc plates. This method is based on the fact that grease repels water.
- Loose Leaves or plates are detached, or the complete text block is coming loose from the binding.
- Made-up A book that has been restored or rebuilt. Also known as Doctored.
- Marbled paper Coloured paper with a pattern reminiscent of marble, made by inserting the paper into a bath of water, on the surface of which are oily dyes combed into a pattern. It is used on boards and as endpaper.
- Margin The margins of a page are called the head, tail (or foot), outer (or fore-edge), and inner (or gutter) margins.
- Marginalia Notes written in the margins of a page.
- Morocco Fine leather, made from tanned goatskin, used for binding.
- Mottled calf Calf leather sprinkled or stained with acid, giving it a mottled effect.
- No date (n.d.) No publication date is printed anywhere in the book.
- No place (n.p.) No place of publication is printed anywhere in the book.
- No imprint No publishing details (publisher, date, place) are printed anywhere in the book.
- Not subject to return Refers to an item, often unique or vulnerable, for which the right of cancellation of the sale does not apply. See With All Faults.
- Offprint An excerpt of a larger publication that has been printed separately. Issued in small numbers, not offered for sale, and rather vulnerable, offprints are often highly sought after by collectors.
- Offset The transference of ink pattern from a page of text or illustration onto the facing page, common in old books. This transference results in a light ghost image on the adjoining page.
- out of print A book that is no longer available through the publisher.
- Panelled A border or a frame, on the spine or on the sides of the binding, which is formed by decorative ruled lines in gilt or blind. See also Compartments.
- Parchment Material made of animal skin (sheep or goat) for bindings or for writing of manuscripts. Fine parchment is called Vellum.
- Paste-down See Endpapers.
- Perfect bound The binding method that is used for paperback books.
- Photogravure An intaglio printing process using photography. Produced on a traditional hand press. Known as Heliogravure. See Gravure.
- Pictorial cloth A cloth-bound book with a rich, colourful picture printed on the cover.
- Planographic Any method of printing from a flat surface, constituted by lithography. See also Intaglio; Relief.
- Plate A full-page illustration by any technique, printed separately from the text pages, very often on a different paper, bound- or tipped-in.
- Pochoir A technique of hand-colouring illustrations through stencils.
- Preliminary pages (prelims) All the leaves, printed or blank, before the main body of the text begins. Include the Half-title, Frontispiece, Title page.
- Presentation copy A book in which an inscription suggests that it was presented by the author to someone else.
- Privilige An early copyright protection in the form of an authorization to print the book for a limited period. Common until the 18th century, it was often signalised by the Latin Cum Privilegio printed on a separate leaf at the beginning of the book. See Imprimatur.
- Provenance The history of a books ownership. Bookplates, autograph signatures, notes, inscriptions, and such may determine provenance.
- Quarter cloth A book in which the spine is covered with cloth, the sides with paper.
- Quarter leather A book in which the spine is covered with leather (calf, morocco, sheep), the sides with cloth or paper.
- Quire See Gathering.
- Raised bands Raised ridges on the spine of a book formed by the binding cords, the bands, which pass under the leather. When not recessed in grooves, the cords will protrude, adding charm to the exterior of the book.
- Reading copy A book whose binding is poor, though the text block is complete and in a reasonably good condition. Meant to be read, not to be collected. In a better condition than a Working Copy.
- Rebacked The book has been restored with a new spine, sometimes with the old spine retained. See Rebound; Recased.
- Rebound The complete original binding of the book has been replaced. See Rebacked; Recased.
- Recased The text block has been taken from the binding and then fixed back, often with new endpapers. See Rebacked; Rebound.
- Relief The oldest of the three printing methods, in which the printing surface stands up from the surface, as in woodcut and wood engraving. See also Intaglio; Planographic.
- Recto The front of a leaf (the right-hand page of an open book. See Verso.
- Reversed calf Suede-like leather used for binding.
- Review copy A copy of a book sent out by the publisher to the press upon publication for review in the media.
- Rule A decorative line, blind or gilt, on a binding, mostly leather.
- Running title The book title, or this of a chapter, printed at the head of each page.
- Shaken A cloth-bound book that is somewhat less firm in its covers, though apart from wobbling when handled is still in tact.
- Sides The binding of a book consists of two boards, upper and lower, which are known as sides. They are joined by a backstrip, known as Spine. See Boards.
- Signature Properly speaking, a gathering, i.e. a group of leaves formed by folding a single sheet of paper. See Gathering.
- Spine The backstrip which joins the two covers of the book. This is the part which is visible when the book is shelved.
- Started A fault that is just "starting" to happen, i.e. some leaves are coming loose from the binding but are still attached, or a hinge is "starting" to crack.
- Stub A strip of paper, stitched-in with the gathering, to which a frontispiece, a plate, or a map is tipped-in separately from the text.
- Sunned The binding or the dust-jacket is faded from exposure to sunlight.
a i | j s | t z