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Glossary Page M

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


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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machine cut. refers to a small notch cut into the upper edge of a book when it is [remaindered]. Mostly done in the 1960s, this was a practice used only by a few publishers. Such notched books are sometimes called cutouts.


MackinBound (brand name). [paperback] book that has been [rebound] as a [hardcover] for library use. The generic term is [prebind].


made-up book / made-up copy. copy of a book whose parts have been assembled from the good parts of one or more defective copies. The term for an [antiquarian] made-up book is [sophisticated].


Manga (singular and plural). Japanese comics book(s). Not necessarily for children.


manuscript. (Latin: handwriting). document written by hand, not printed. See [illuminated manuscript]. Compare [typescript].


marbled / marb. decorated with a multicolor imitation marble pattern. Marbled paper over [boards], and marbled [endpapers], are common features of high quality bindings.


marbled leather. a type of patterned leather, the pattern created by careful application of acid.


margin. blank area surrounding the text on a page.


marginalia. items printed in [margins] as part of the original book, including [headlines], [catchwords], and [side notes].


margin notes. items written in [margins] by a previous [owner]. Compare [marginalia], [side notes].


mass market paperback / mass market / mm / mmpb. inexpensive, standard size paperback measuring (10 x 18 cm) 4" x 7"; sometimes called pocket-sized paperback or dimestore paperback. "Mass market" means cheap and widely distributed. The first mass market paperbacks were published in 1877 but the term generally applies to paperbacks from about 1935 to the present. See also [paperback].


masthead / nameplate / flag. title of newspaper or magazine, often printed across the top of page one, or on or near the front page, containing vital information about the publisher.


matte finish. dull surface, not shiny. The opposite is a [glossy] finish.


mechanicals. general term for [pop-ups] and animated [illustrations].


melainotype. common name in Europe for an [ambrotype].


memorial. publication in honor of someone deceased, usually published soon after their death, often containing eulogies and words of praise.


menu. a type of [ephemera] listing the food consumed at a specific meal, often celebratory, or the food items available at a particular eatery.


mezzotint. a type of colored etching in which the [illustration] is prepared on copper or steel plates by scraping and polishing rather than etching with acid. Invented in 1642. Compare [aquatint].


MIB. Mint in Box. A term used to describe non-book items such as toys and model kits when the item and its original box are both present and in perfect condition.


mildew. general term for any type of strong-smelling fungus that can infest books. Mildew thrives in conditions of dampness, heat, and lack of ventilation. Heavily mildewed books are of no value; such seriously damaged items should be disposed of, not offered for sale. A colony of mildew is [mold].


mildew scar. area of discoloration caused by a patch of [mildew].


mimeograph / ditto. 1. a relatively inexpensive copy-making process involving typing on a special sheet or paper (called a mimeograph master or ditto master) then placing the sheet inside a hand-cranked rotating-drum machine and using it as a stencil. This printing method was often utilized by publishers of newsletters having a very narrow focus and low circulation. Copies were printed in a purple tone and were often difficult to read. The mimeograph machine was patented 1876, was in common use from the early 1900s, and was made obsolete by [photocopy] machines in the 1970s. 2. a reproduction produced on a mimeograph machine, also called a ditto.


miniature book. see [size terms].


mint. (adj.) an absolutely perfect copy, as perfect as the day it was published. Technically, "As New" rather than mint should be the term used to describe flawless books, since books are printed, not minted. See [condition terms].


MIP. Mint in Package. A term used to describe non-book items such as toys or playing cards when the item and its original package are both present and in perfect condition.


MISB. Mint in Sealed Box. See [MIB].


misbound. (adj.) this term indicates that some error has been made during manufacture of the book; for example, pages or [signatures] have been sewn together in an improper order, or the [textblock] has been bound upside down. Unlike in coin or stamp collecting, such erroneously-made books are not collectible and are not considered valuable. See [misprint].


misg. missing.


misprint / defective copy. general term for a book with a serious printing error or [misbound]. Unlike in stamp or coin collecting, where a misprinted stamp or mis-struck coin can be insanely valuable to collectors, misprinted books are invariably worthless. Types of misprints include: pages bound out of order; pages unprinted; pages from another book bound in; textblock bound upside down; duplicate pages. (One dealer who used to run a print shop says misprints have value for only one thing: testing the settings on the cutter.)


missal. prayer book.


mission leather. another name for [bonded leather].


ML. Modern Library, a division of Random House. Some Modern Library editions of classic literature are [collectible].


MM / mm / mmpb. see [mass market paperback].


MO / mo. money order.


mo. part of 12mo, 24mo, etc. See [size terms].


MOC. Mint on Card. A term used to describe non-book items such as toys and action figures when the item and its original blister pack (or bubble pack) and original backing card are both present and in perfect condition.


modern first. collector's term for any [first edition] published in the past one hundred years. Compare [hypermodern].


moire (mo-RAY). 1. unintentional wavy, zig-zag, or checkered appearance of a photo after it has been digitized by a computer scanner. This occurs due to the resolution (number of dots per inch) of the original being different from the resolution of the scanner image. 2. see [moire cloth].


moire cloth. finely woven cloth having small shiny areas in imitation of small pools of shimmering water, used for some high quality bindings.


mold. a colony or large outgrowth of [mildew] (fungus), which tends to grow best under conditions of dampness, heat, and lack of fresh air. Moldy books should be treated as hazardous material; they should be thrown out, not offered for sale.


monochrome. in one color, usually referring to [illustrations] printed in some solid color other than black. The opposite is [polychrome].


monograph. a [nonfiction] work, generally short, dealing with a single subject, often issued as a [booklet].


morocco / mor. 1. fancy goatskin, tanned with sumac, having a firm texture and a distinctive natural grain pattern, especially suitable for bookbinding because of its durability and beauty. See [levant]. 2. any goatskin leather. 3. any leather [embossed] to imitate the grain of genuine morocco. Morocco is so named because, in former times, the best leather for bookbinding came from Morocco.


moroccograne. yet another term for [imitation leather], obviously meant to sound like "morocco grain."


mottled. 1. printed with a speckled or uneven pattern; also called stippled or sprinkled. 2. spotted due to [water damage].


mount. piece of [card stock] or backing card onto which a small item, usually a photo, has been affixed.


mounted. pasted on (see [paste-on]). When an item is pasted onto a piece of [card stock] it is said to be "mounted." See also [laid down].


movables. general term for [pop-ups] and animated [illustrations].


MS / ms. see [manuscript].


MSS / mss. [manuscripts].


mull. a cloth strip used in [hardcover] binding; it is used to reinforce the [hinges] and is covered by the [backstrip].


musical example. a brief section or excerpt from a musical score, printed to be informative rather than as decoration.


musty. (adj.) strong-smelling. See [odor].


Mylar (brand name). see [polyvinyl].



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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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