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Glossary Page L

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


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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L / l. see [leaf].


label. strip or square of paper or leather, usually affixed to the [cover] or [backstrip] of a book, usually with the title and/or author printed on it. Compare [paste-on].


lacking. missing; without.


laid down. said of a map or other piece of [ephemera] that has been pasted onto a cloth backing in order to preserve it over a long period of time. When an item is pasted onto a piece of [card stock] it is said to be [mounted]. See also [lifting].


laid finish. having a surface texture with light, closely spaced lines or ridges, in imitation of [linen] cloth.


laid in. inserted in, but not attached to, the book. Items laid in may have been published with the book or may have been laid in by the previous [owner]. Compare [tipped in].


laid paper. handmade paper faintly showing the narrow parallel lines of the papermaking frame.


Lakeside Press Classics. a collectible [series] of books issued one volume per year by R. R. Donnelley, beginning in 1903. Every 25 years the cloth color is changed and the typefaces are updated, otherwise the books are uniform. Subjects are invariably American history, such as memoirs and journals of explorers.


lambskin. a leather used for bookbinding, common in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s.


laminated. covered with a layer of tough heavy protective transparent plastic bonded to the surface. Also called [plasticated]. Compare [coated].


lap card. advertising card [laid in] a [periodical] by the publisher, so called because it is designed to fall out into the reader's lap.


large paper edition. refers to a book printed on oversized paper, usually with broad margins, for readers who tend to make a lot of margin notes, or so that the book may be trimmed down to the size preferred by the purchaser. Such books were common in the 1800s and early 1900s, and were usually on historical or scientific topics. Does not refer to size of the letters. Compare [large print].


large print / large type / giant print. refers to a book printed with extra-large letters, as an aid for the visually impaired. A large-print edition of a book will have the same text as the original.


later printing. general term for any [printing] or [edition] that is not a [true first]. For example, a 1st edition, 6th printing may be described simply as a later printing. See also [reprint].


law sheep. sheepskin tanned with vegetable oil, once commonly used for binding law books.


layflat binding / lay-flat binding. 1. general term for any type of binding that will allow the book to lay flat when opened, such as spiral binding. 2. a fairly new form of [softcover] binding in which the [textblock] is glued in the same manner as a [perfectbound] book, but the [backstrip] is attached only along the [hinges]. The book will lay flat when opened without the spine being creased or broken. Used mainly for reference and music books. Also known by the brand name Otabind.


LCCN. Library of Congress Control Number. A catalog number assigned by the US Library of Congress,

often printed on the [copyright page] of US books. The first two digits (prior to the year 2000) indicate the

year in which the book was cataloged by the Library of Congress and do not necessarily match date of

publication. Sometimes called call number, catalog number, or card number.


leaf (plural: leaves). one half of a single [sheet] in a book; each leaf contains two printed pages, one

on each side. Compare [page], [sheet].


leaflet. 1. a single-sheet item, either folded or unfolded, as distinguished from a [pamphlet] which has multiple leaves stapled or bound together. 2. an [unbound] volume with fewer than five pages (Library of Congress definition).


leans. (adj.) another term for [cocked], as in, "book leans," "spine leans."


leather. 1. calfskin. 2. the skin of any animal. Leather book bindings are derived mainly from sheep, cattle, goat, and calf, but sometimes from other animals. Some common terms relating to bookbinding leather are [full], [half leather], [levant], [morocco], [three-quarter bound].


leather backed cloth. a phrase meaning that the book is bound with leather over the [spine] and cloth over the [boards].


leatherette. general name for any cheaply manufactured [imitation leather] made from either paper or cloth. In use as early as 1879. Compare [Fabrikoid], [vinyl].


leatheroid. another term for [leatherette].


legend. an explanatory list of the symbols used on a map, chart, or diagram.


lenticular illustration. a type of animated [illustration] that is covered with a ribbed sheet of transparent plastic; when the surface is tilted back and forth the picture changes or appears to move. Often used on children's toys, video packaging, and occasionally on book covers.


levant / lev. 1. a supple, loose-grained [morocco] leather made from the skin of the Levant goat, usually used for very high quality, expensive bindings. 2. crushed levant: morocco which has been applied to a book then subjected to slight pressure, giving it a smooth appearance with a delicate, cobweb-patterned grain.


libel. negative statements made in print which may cause defamation or insult to the person being referred to. Compare [slander].


library binding. a type of binding having very tough cloth, usually [buckram], and having sturdy hinges with extra reinforcement; in other words, a binding designed for years of heavy use. Also called reinforced binding, Gibraltar binding; such a book is also called a library edition. Not necessarily the same as copy from a library: compare [ex-library].


library copy. see [ex-library].


library edition. see [library binding].


library tape. colored, heavy adhesive tape placed along the spine of a book for protection and reinforcement. Often has a cloth-like texture. May be of cloth or vinyl. Also called cloth tape or book repair tape. Compare [book tape].


lifting. removing the cloth backing from a [laid down] item and restoring the item to its original form.


limitation notice. statement, often on the [copyright page], that the book is a [limited edition].


limited edition / limited. a book whose publication is deliberately restricted to a small number of copies, usually numbered and often signed by the author and/or illustrator, sometimes sold privately. Not all limited editions are genuine: some books, particularly certain titles from the early 1900s, contain [limitation notices] but were actually printed in quantities exceeding the amount stated, which constitutes a form of fraud. Abbreviated ltd ed, ltd.


limp. refers to a kind of flexible binding other than paper, such as soft leather, faux leather, or [suede].


line engraving. see [engraving].


linen. 1. any cloth made of flax rather than cotton or other fibers. 2. paper with a [laid finish] in imitation of linen cloth.


Linenette (brand name). coated paper with a [laid finish] in imitation of linen cloth. Some children's books of the early to mid 1900s were printed on Linenette pages.


liner. another term for [endpaper].


lino cut. a type of illustration similar to a [woodcut] but made from a carved linoleum or [vinyl] plate.


lipped clamshell box. see [clamshell box].


lithograph / litho. a type of color printing in which the original illustration is prepared on a flat block of limestone. Invented about 1790, lithographs were used extensively by Currier and Ives and by many other illustrators in the 1800s. True lithographs are generally of greater value than ordinary illustrations. See also [chromolithograph].


LL / ll. leaves. See [leaf].


loose. 1. completely detached. 2. nearly detached and possibly hanging by threads.


loose galleys. see [galleys].


looseleaf binding / loose-leaf. a form of binding consisting of an exterior case or shell with a [spine] and two [boards]; inside the spine are metal rings, usually three, that open up by means of a mechanical lever, or simply by pulling them apart, and hole-punched pages can be added or removed, then the rings closed. This form of binding is not usually used for commercial publications but rather for business reports, student workbooks, and the like. See also [screw-post binding].


loss leader. a type of promotion in which a popular or commonly-purchased item, such as steak or the latest John Grisham novel, is priced below what the store paid for it, in hopes of garnering sales of other items purchased by customers who came to the store to purchase the popular item. The British term is [key value item].


lot. a group of items, such as a run of [periodicals] or a batch of novels by the same author, placed together by a dealer, priced and offered for sale as a group. Compare [bundled].


Louvain vellum. a fine quality paper much used in printing quality [brochures], [pamphlets], etc. See [vellum].


lozenge. diamond-shaped ornament.


LP / lp. 1. large paper. See [large paper edition]. 2. long playing record, a type of recording produced from the 1940s to the 1980s; some are now collectible.


lt. light, an adjective often used in describing defects, such as light wear, light soiling.


ltd. limited. See [limited edition].



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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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