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Glossary of Terms



[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [k] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

A


Advanced Reading Copy: This is a copy that would be distributed to booksellers and reviewers for their concideration. This copy would generally be bound in paperwraps with the final cover art or a cover that is being considered. This is not to be confussed with the Uncorrected Proof.
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Age Discoloration: This is when the pages have a discoloration, from age. It is sometimes found around the edges of the pages and sometimes the whole page is discolored.
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Archival Cover: This is a cover used to protect the book and dust jacket, as you would see used in libraries. Generally these are clear and transparent.
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B


Backstrip: The material, which may be a natural material (such as leather) or a man made material, that covers the books spine.
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Binding: Refers to the cover of a book.
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Board Books: A book thats cover and pages are paper covered boards with illustrations and / or text. These are generally childrens books.
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Boards: A stiff binding material used to compose the cover for hardbound books.
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Book Label: This is a label showing book ownership. It is also smaller than a Bookplate and a Ex-Libris Plate.
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Booklet: Smaller publications, generally published in paperwraps and often held together with staples at the spine.
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Bookplate: Pre-printed label (often stating from the Library of) with an adhesive back. The bookplate un-like the Ex-Libris plate does not have the owners name pre-printed on it. The modern bookplates have the peel-and-stick backings, unlike the older ones which have the water-activated adhesive backing. Some of the older bookplates dating into the last century have become collectible. I have seen books sale, not for the book, but rather for the plate adhered to the inside.
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Bound Galleys: Bound Galley Proofs.
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Bowed: A condition of the boards or covers of a hardbound book. The boards / covers make turn inward or outward. This generally happens when there is a rapid change in the level of moisture in the air or rapid atmospheric changes.
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Broadside: A single sheet of paper, generally printed on one side only. But not always.
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Bumped: This happens when the book is bumped against something hard or dropped and indents the book. This is commonly found on the corners
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C


Cat Eared: When the corners of pages are bent over, to mark a readers place. This is also refered to as Dog Eared.
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Chipped: This is when small pieces are missing or where fraying has occurred on a page, dust jacket or the cover of a paperback.
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Closed Tear: This is generally a small tear, that that lays and fits together.
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Cocked: This happens when a book is not properly stored or shelved. The book is no longer squar in its binding, it appears to be deformed and the spine no longer remains at right angles to the covers.
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Comb Binding: The binding of a book similar to a Spiral binding, except it is made of a tublar plastec piece with many teeth which fit through holes puched into the binding edge at the spine of the book to secure the pages / leaves to the binding.
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D


Darkening: This happens when book covers are exposed to light. The color may darken and / or become more intense.
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Deckle Edges: A term used for Uncut or Untrimed edges.
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Dedication Copy: A book that has been inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.
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Dents: This is damage done to the edges of the hardbound cover. Not to be confused with Bumped.
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Disbound: This refers to a book, booklet, or pamphlet, that was once bound and from which the Binding has been removed.
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Dog Eared: When the corners of pages are bent over, to mark a readers place. This is also refered to as Cat Eared.
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Dust Jacket: This is a paper wrapper, usually decorative with the title, publisher, and authors name printed on it, is placed around the book to protect the binding. This is on the book when the book is bought new. Often through the years these get lost or destroyed, in which has made some of the older dust jackets collectible. These are not to be confused with Dustwrappers.
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Dustwrapper: This is a wrapper put on a cover to protect the binding. Not to be confused with a Dust Jacket.
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E


Edgeworn: Wear along the edges of hardbound book cover.
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Elephant Folio: A book measuring approx. 23 inches long.
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End Papers: The sheets of paper pasted onto the inner covers (front and back), joining the book block to the covers. You will have one side pasted to the inside of the cover and the other side free. As a general rule the end paper will be found to be blank.
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Ephemera These are items that are not kept and disappear over the years, in which they become Ephemera and collectible. Examples are as follows: programs, tickets, menus, playbills, matchbooks, and the like.
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Errata: Errors in a book. Sometime you will find in the book a Errata Slip, which is a small sheet of paper making note of the errors. This is generally done by the publisher before the book goes to publication.
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Ex-Library: This book may have all the normal Ex-library markings inside, such as a library card pocket, catalog numbers, and library stamps with the name of the library. Also they may be stamped discarded or withdrawn on the inside. The dust jacket may have the normal library stickers, along with a clear archival cover.
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. Ex-Libris: A Bookplate with the owners name pre-printed.
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F


Faded / Fading: The color of some book covers or dust jackets fades and becomes lighter or discolored, because it has been exposed to light for a duration of time.
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Flyleaf: A blank page / leaf, sometimes more than one. These can be found following the front free endpaper and / or at the end of the book.
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Fore Edge: The edge of the pages / leaves of a book, that are opposite the spine, or back edge of the book.
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Foxing / Foxed: Brown spotting on the pages caused by a chemical reaction, mostly found in 19th century and previously printed books and other paper items. This is also found in steel engravings of the same era.
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Fraying / Frayed: This is when the threads unravel from the cloth covering the boards of a hardbound book. The term fraying may also be used for books covered in other materials. This often happens as a result of rubbing .
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Full Binding: Where the cover, spines and boards are covered in the same material, uniformly.
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G


Galley Proofs: Long sheets of paper with the first trial impression of type. This is not to be confused with the Bound Galley.
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Gilt Edges: When gilt or gold has been applied to page edges.
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Glassine: A paper transparent Dustwrapper.
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H


Half Binding: This is when a covers spine and corners are bound with a diffrent material (often leather) than the rest of the cover.
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Half Cloth: When a hardbound book is paper-covered with the spine being covered in cloth.
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Half Leather: This is when a books spine and corners are bound in leather.
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Hardbound: This is when a book is bound / published in covered boards. They may be covered in cloth, leather, paper, vinyl, or other material.
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Highlighted / Highlighting: This is when brightly colored tranparent marker (called highlighter pens) is used to mark text. At one time yellow was the only color, now there are many diffrent colors of highliter pens on the market.
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Hinge: The inner or outer joint of the book at the front and the back, at the spine. This is the joint that allows the book to open and close freely.
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I


Illustrated: A book that has photographic illustrations, pictures, drawings, or other such graphics to portray or clarify the text or story line.
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Illustration: A picture, drawing, design, plate, diagram, map, chart or the like that is printed within the text of the book.
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Inscribed: A book that is signed by the author with an inscription to a specific person or a short notation accompanied by the signature.
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J


Juvenile Books: Books written for children (to be read by or to).
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K


L


Lamination / Laminated: This is a clear plastic coating used on some paperback and hardbound books. It may also be used on some dust jackets.
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Large Print: Material printed with larger than normal lettering / print, to put less strain on the readers eyes.
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Leaf: A single sheet in a book, that is printed on both sides.
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Library Binding: This is a reinforced binding used by some libraries.
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Limited Edition: A book which is published, restricted to a certain number of copies. These books are generally numbered and in some cases signed by the author and / or illustrator.
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Limp: This is sometimes used to describe a binding that is flexible. Generally made of suede and imitation leather.
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Loose: This sometimes will happen when a book has been well read. With a new book the binding is very tight when opened. As a book is read the binding tends to loosen, so the book opens easier.
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M


Made-up Copy: A book that is made up from one or more parts, taken from other defective copies.
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Marbled: Marble patterned paper.
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Marginalia: Notes and footnotes written in the margins of a page.
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Mass-Market Paperback: A very common paperback book. Generally found in paperback subjects such as mystery, romance and science fiction.
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Miniature Books: These are books that are printed in full text, only in much smaller form. The diffrent miniatures are as follows:
Macro-Mini 3 - 4 inches
Miniature: 1 - 3 inches
Micro-Mini 1/4 - 1 inch
Ultra Micro-Mini: less than 1/4 inch.
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Misbound: A book that is bound together in improper order.
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N


Numbered Pages: When pages in a book are numbered.
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O


Offset: When ink transfers from one page to another page.
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Out of Print / OOP: A book that is no longer being printed.
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P


Page: A single side of a leaf.
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Pamphlet: Smaller publications, generally published in paperwraps and often held together with staples at the spine.
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Paperback / Paperbound: Books published in paperwraps. These first began being mass published in the 1930's.
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Paper Boards: Cardboard that is thick and stiff, covered in paper.
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Parts: When a artical / story in a magazine is broken up to be published over several issues.
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Paste-Down: The end-paper that is pasted to the inner cover of a book.
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Plates: Full page illustrations printed separately from the text in the book.
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Preface: Introductory statement by the author.
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Presentation Copy: A copy of a book given by the author to someone that the author knows (i.e. friend or relative). Generally the book will have an inscription, of a personal nature showing that the author knows the other party in which the book is inscribed too.
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Price Clipped: This is when the price has been clipped from the dust jacket. Generally it will be a corner cut.
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Printed Cover: A dust jacket that only has lettering and no illustrations or pictures of any kind.
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Private Press: A small press, often operated by a single person or a small group of people. In which produce a small quantities of finely printed books.
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Privately Printed: This is a book or pamphlet in which the printing was paid for by and individual or group. Often these printings are meant for private circulation and not public sale.
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Proofs: The proof would procede the published book.
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Q


Quater Binding: When a books spine is cover in a diffrent material. Generally more elaborate than the material on the covers.
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Quater Leather: When a books spine is leather.
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R


Raised Band: When the spine is produced with raised areas. In older books a cord was attached to the covers, which produced the raised band. In newer books the bands are decorative and no cord is used.
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Rare: A book that is very scarce and hard to find.
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Reading Copy: When the condition of a book is so worn or used that it is considered not to have a collectors value, but still can be read and enjoyed.
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Re-backed: When repairs have been made to a book by repairing the hinges and replacing the spine.
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Re-cased: When a book has come loose from the covers and has been glued back into the covers. Remainder: When a book has not sold or become as overstock. The publisher may get rid of or sell this overstock by Remaindering the title.
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Remainder Marks: A publisher will mark the bottom or top edges of the books sold as Remainders with a stamp, black marker, or a paint which will appears as speckles.
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Rejointed: A book that has been repaired using the original covers, and spine.
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Rubbing / Rubbed: This can happen in a number of ways, but generally happens when a book has been slid on and off a shelf. The material will show signs of wear along the edges and the spine. Rubbing can also cause fraying.
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S


Series: Volumes of books with a common theme issued in succession by one publisher. Often numbered.
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Sextodecimo: A book that measures approximately six inches tall by four inches wide. These books generally consist of 32 pages.
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Shelf Wear: This happens when a book is placed and removed from a shelf, by dragging bottom of it along the shelf or dragging the top of the book along the bottom of the shelf above it. Also included in this description is the damage done when a person uses the head or tail of the spine to pull the book from the shelf. Shelf Wear can be used to describe the dust jacket and / or the covers.
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Signed: A book in which the author has signed his or her name.
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Slipcases: A cardboard case covered in a variety of materials in which a book is slipped into, only to show the spine.
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Spine: The backbone of the book, where it is sewn and gathered together. It is then covered with a material of one form or another, called the Backstrip.
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Spiral Binding: The binding of the book is a metal spiral wire woven through punched holes at the binding edge to secure the pages / leaves to the binding.
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Stub: A narrow strip of a page / leaf remaining, where said page / leaf had been cut from the publication in question.
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Sun Faded / Sunned: This is when a book has been exposed to light or direct sunlight, in which fading has occurred.
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T


Tail: This is the lower margin of the cover, endpaper, or leaf. Also sometimes referred to as the bottom.
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Tailpiece: Decorative ornament printed on the lower part of a page at the end of a poem and/or chapter.
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Thousands: In the nineteenth century some publishers added on the title page "Five Thousand" (for example), to indicate a later printing.
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Tight: When a book is new or un-read, it will not open easily and will not remain open. As the book is read, it becomes looser. When the book is well read it may lay flat and remain open to any given page.
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Tissue: A thin sheet laid over an illustration, to protect said illustration.
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Tipped-in: This is when a photograph, picture, letter, autograph, ect...... is attached to the endpiece, page, leaf, and/or cover.
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Title Page: This is the page found in the beginning of the book, which list the title, subtitle, authors, illustrators, editors, publisher, printer, and on some older books the place and date of publication. When cataloging a book, this is the information generally used.
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Title Page Index: This is used in describing periodicals, which indicates that the title page and index are present, without the title page and index, the volumes are incomplete.
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Tooling: Is one form of the decoration of a binding.
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Top Edge Gilt: This is when the top edges of the pages have been covered with gold leaf or gilt material. This may also be abbreviated by TEG.
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Trade Edition: This is a term used to differentiate the same book from a limited, signed, and/or numbered book.
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Trade Paperback: This is when a softcover book is of a better quality material and generally larger in size than the Mass Market Paperback.
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Trimmed: This is a term used when the pages have been cut down, (for one reason or another) to a size in which is smaller than when originally printed / issued.
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U


Uncut: The pages of the completed book have not been shaved down to a uniform surface. The edges of the page will be rough and uneven.
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Underlining: This is when a pen or pencil has been used to underline sentences, passages or words in a book.
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Unopened: The leaves / pages of the book are still joined at the folds, not slit / cut apart. When cutting the folds, great care should be taken, as to make the cut smooth and even.
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Unpaginated: This is when the pages are not numered, although the pages may be designated by letters.
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V


Variant: A book that is diffrent in one or more ways, from other books in the same impression. [Back to the Top]
Vellum: Leaves / pages made of prepared skins of calfs, lambs, or other such animals, used for writting, or printing. Vellum is also used for book covers.
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W


Waterdamage: This is caused by liquids (including water). The effect of such damage may be one or all of the following: warped boards, shrinkage, the material that covers the boards may shrink, bubble, blister, wrinkle, or lift from the boards. The color of the cover may bleed onto the pages and the pages may have a wave effect.
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Waterstain This is staining on the cover and/or pages/leaves cause by liquids (including water). This will cause a discoloration.
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Worming, Wormholes: This is damage done by bookworms (the larvae of various types of beetles). The bookworm will feed and burrow through a book, causing holes and running trenches.
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Wrap-around Band: This is a band of printed paper, that is the length of the dust jacket. The Wrap-around bands generally have printed favorable reviews and are placed on some books. Since these generally get lost, torn, or trashed, they have become of interest to collectors.
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Wrappers: The covers of a paperbound book, booklet, or pamphlet.
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X


Y


Yapped: This refers to the edges of a paperbound book or a book bound in other soft material, where the cover is not flush with the pages. What is referred to as Yapped are the edges that extend beyond the edges of the book. The Yapped edges are generally easily torn as they are fragile with no support, unlike a book thats cover is flush with the pages.
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Z


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