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Glossary Page B

Page history last edited by Gwen Foss 15 years, 1 month ago


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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backbidder. auctioneer term for the previous bidder, the individual who was one increment below the winner.


backstrip. outer covering of the [spine] of a [hardcover] book. In some cases, the backstrip of a book may be detached while the spine itself is intact and all the pages are attached.


backstrip label. [label] affixed to the [backstrip], usually made of leather or paper, often printed or stamped with the title and/or author of the book.


bad girl comics. a genre of [comic books] featuring extremely tough, sometimes evil, woman protagonists.


balloon cloth. a thin, strong, finely woven cloth, usually cotton, having a reflective finish, used in aircraft and balloon construction, and sometimes in bookbinding.


bar code. inventory and price data encoded in a series of thick and thin black bars, readable by a computer scanner, printed on the book or [dust jacket] by the publisher for the benefit of the retailer. Bookstore bar codes usually appear on the rear jacket of a [hardcover] or on the inside front cover of a [paperback].


bastard title. another name for [half title]. Some books, most commonly those printed prior to the 1930s, have two half titles, in which case the bastard title is the one that precedes the [frontispiece]. Sometimes called fly title.


BC / bc / BCE / bce. see [book club edition].


bd. 1. [board]. 2. [bound].


bdg. [binding].


bds. [boards].


beige. a very pale tan color. Also called ecru.


bendable. flexible.


beveled boards. angle-cut [boards] that have a sloped edge.


bib / bibliog / bibliography. 1. a list of sources used in writing the book. 2. a list of recommended further reading. 3. a list of all the books by one author, or all the publications of a certain type (such as time travel romances) or all the publications on a certain topic (such as Kentucky archaeology). Bibliographies of this type commonly give detailed information on [editions], [printings], and [variants], and sometimes provide current values.


biblio- (Greek: books). signifying or pertaining to books.


bibliopegy. the art and science of bookbinding.


bibliophile. lover of books.


biblioscat. general term for [ephemera] left in a book by a reader and found later by a new owner of the book. Examples: business cards, photographs, pages ripped out of magazines. Term promulgated by Edward Feldmann. The term is both singular and plural.


bichrome. printed in two colors, usually referring to [illustrations].


bi-fold. general name for any piece of [ephemera] with two folds and three panels, such as a [brochure].


Big Little Book (brand name). a popular type of small children's book, published in Wisconsin by Whitman, measuring 3 5/8" x 4 1/2" and usually 1 1/2" thick. First appearing in 1932, Big Little Books commonly have left-hand text and right-hand illustrations on every [spread]. Now collectible, the stories involved current heroes from popular culture, such as Tarzan, Mickey Mouse, and the Lone Ranger. Similar books have been put out by many other publishers. Abbreviated BLB.


binding. (n.) outer cover of a book or [periodical]. Most bindings can be classified as [hardcover] or [softcover]. The term is often found in a description of the firmness of the attachment of the pages, as in "binding tight." Some other specific binding types are [comb], [French covers], [limp], [looseleaf], [saddle stitch], [self-wraps], [side stitch], [spiral], [Velo-bind], and [Wire-O Binding].


binding copy. book that is complete in its text but the [covers] are badly damaged or missing.


bioephemera. general term for [interfoliants] of an obvious organic nature. Term invented by bookdealer Lee Kirk, who said it applies to "the bits of bugs and other things you sometimes find in books: wee empty carapaces, dismembered little legs, bits of wings . . . scraps of leaves . . . curls of human hair."


biopredation. damage caused by [bookworms], insects, rodents, [mildew], or any other living organism.


bk. book.


bk.pl. [bookplate].


blank form. a type of [ephemera], often consisting of a list or [table], printed with blank areas intended for the [owner] to fill in; for example, an application blank.


BLB. [Big Little Book].


blind-stamp. (n.) uncolored impressed mark, either decoration or lettering, usually appearing on the [binding]. Common on both leather and cloth. Uncolored handmade impressions on leather are generally called "blind [tooling]."


block book. a book in which whole pages of text and/or pictures are printed from hand-carved woodblocks. The first block book was printed in China in the year 868; they appeared in Europe in the late 1300s and were superceded in the late 1400s by books printed with movable type. Also called a "xylographic book." See [incunabula].


blotter. a type of [ephemera] consisting of a small piece of blotting paper (heavy paper) designed for absorbing excess ink. Commonly used in the days of pen and ink writing, blotters were often printed with some advertisement on the back, thus they are now collectible.


blueprint. see [cyanotype].


blurb. quotation from a review, or text written by the publisher, praising the book or giving a summary of the contents, usually printed on the [dust jacket] or in ads for the book.


board / boards. 1. cover or [covers]; that is, any stiff material used for the exterior of a [hardcover] book. The term is often used when referring to defects; as in "front board scuffed, rear board dented." 2. A book "in boards" refers specifically to a [hardcover] with covers decorated with paper, rather than cloth or leather. Boards today are usually made of heavy cardboard covered with paper or cloth. Note: The term does not generally refer to actual wood; few books with wooden boards were produced after the 1700s.


board book. a type of children's book in which all the pages are made of extremely thick glossy cardboard. Made for very young children, board books are usually small in size, have less than twenty pages, and are frequently [die-cut] into a recognizable shape.


bodice ripper. romance novel; pejorative term.


BOMC / bomc. 1. Book of the Month Club; one of many commercially operated [book clubs]. 2. an [edition] printed especially for this book club.


bond. general term for any paper having an ordinary, semi-porous, non-glossy surface.


bonded leather. a type of inexpensive [imitation leather] manufactured from pulverized leather scraps reconstituted with latex. Also called [mission leather].


bonkbuster. romance novel; pejorative term. A British term, based on the slang word bonk (to have sex). Bookdealer Sean O'Donoghue defines it thus: "a very thick -- in all manner of ways -- novel which mixes lots of sex with a daft love story."


book block. another name for [text block].


book club / book club edition / bc / bce. 1. copy or [edition] printed especially for a book club; usually, but not always, produced with cheaper materials. Such books are not normally collectible. 2. book club. a commercially managed mail-order operation providing members with books, usually offering the most popular current titles, usually at prices below retail.


book ferret. an exceptionally good [book scout].


book label. [label], much smaller than a [bookplate], indicating ownership of a book.


booklet. 1. very small book with few pages. 2. any book with [saddle stitch] binding. Compare [pamphlet].


bookplate. ownership [label] usually pasted on the front [endpaper]. Ordinary bookplates are about 6 x 9.5 cm (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"), but sizes vary. Compare [book label].


book rate. a shipping service that is inexpensive but can be slow. Such services have various names, including economy, ground, surface, and media mail.


book repair tape. see [library tape].


book scout. one who seeks out and finds good used books for resale. An exceptionally good book scout might be referred to as a [book ferret].


Books on Demand (brand name). publishing service operated by University Microfilms in Michigan in which one copy of an [out of print] title is photocopied and [bound] on request of a buyer. Such books generally cost five to ten times more than the book when it was regularly published.


book tape. tough transparent adhesive tape placed along the spine of a book for protection and reinforcement. Compare [library tape].


bookworm. 1. any small larval organism happy to eat holes through the [bindings] and pages of books. See [wormed]. 2. humorous term for a book lover.


bounceback. publisher term for a business-reply postcard, usually postage-paid, placed inside new books, asking the buyer for information about which book they purchased, and other pertinent info, the purpose of which is market surveying and also to get the customer's address to send them catalogs for the publisher's other books.


bound. 1. describes a book having a [binding] of any type, such as [hardbound] or [softbound]. The opposite is [unbound]. Compare [disbound].


bound galleys. [galley proofs] which have been [bound] as a book.


bound in. refers to a page or item that was made part of the book during the original binding process, or when a book is [rebound], such as a color glossy illustration included on a special page. Compare [tipped in], [laid in].


bound periodical. an issue or group of issues of a [periodical] put together into one volume, usually retaining all the original covers. A bound periodical usually contains a full run of [issues] from one year and is usually a [hardcover].


bowdlerize ("BOH-dlurr-ize"). to remove all "immoral" or "obscene" passages from a particular written work. Named for Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) who published highly sterilized -- "bowdlerized" -- editions of Shakespeare and Gibbon. The actual editing was done by his wife. See also [castrated edition].


bowed. slightly warped or curved. Usually refers to one or both [boards].


brd. [board].


breaker. 1. one who breaks up or dismantles books to sell the [plates] individually. 2. a book in such poor condition that its only value is the [plates].


bright. clean and crisp, without fading or soiling.


brittle. so fragile it breaks when bent. Usually refers to very [browned] pages.


broadside. single sheet of paper, traditionally 37 x 55 cm (15" x 22") both often other sizes, usually printed on one side only and not folded, similar to a poster but typically bearing news or announcements rather than advertising. Broadsides were commonplace up until the mid 1900s and are now collectible. Also called a broadsheet.


brochure. 1. [pamphlet]. 2. [leaflet].


BroDart / brodart (brand name). clear plastic sheath into which a [dust jacket] is inserted to protect it. Most dealers use some form of protective cover for the jackets of their more valuable books; the jacket is not damaged by the sheath. Sometimes used as a verb; for example, "all jackets brodarted."


broken. 1. refers to a book with extremely damaged [hinges]. 2. refers to a book that is completely [disbound]. See [breaker].


browned. discolored with age, usually said of the pages or the outer surfaces of a book. Also called aged, sunned, tanned, or toned.


b/s. backstrip, the covering of the [spine] of the book; often a synonym for spine.


btm. bottom.


buckram. a heavy cotton or linen cloth stiffened with gum, starch, clay, or other nonfibrous material to give it a smooth or pebbly finish. Very thick and sturdy; often used for school yearbooks and [library bindings].


bulked. pages are permanently swollen from moisture or [water damage].


bulked up. printed on thick paper to give a more bulky appearance to the book. Usually indicates a book of inferior quality.


bumped / bmpd. wrinkled or dented, usually referring to the [corners].


bundled. 1. refers to a book plus one or more non-book items that compliment each other, marketed and sold together by the publisher. Examples: [textbook] with CD-ROM; songbook with music cassette; children's book with record. Such bundled sets are often described as a "book and CD set," "book and record set," etc. 2. refers to a group of books or printed items that relate to each other and are being sold together, such as a set of orchestral parts for a single musical work. Compare [lot].


butterfly. another term for [sharkfin].


b/w. 1. black and white, as in [illustrations], photographs, etc. Also spelled b&w. 2. bound with, referring to [doubles].



A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ E ~ FG ~ H ~ I ~ J ~ K ~ L ~ M


N ~ O ~ PQ ~ R ~ S ~ T ~ U ~ VW ~ XYZ


This glossary was written and compiled by Gwen Foss of Alan's Used Books with thanks to the many independent bookdealers of TomFolio.com




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