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Glossary Page R

Page history last edited by Gwen Foss 15 years, 5 months ago


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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rag paper. paper made of cotton or [linen] fibers rather than wood pulp. Commonly used in newspapers and books of the mid 1800s and earlier. Rag paper is much more durable than paper made of wood pulp, does not become brittle over time, and, apart from [foxing], does not normally turn brown (like the pages of books and newspapers of the late 1800s and most of the 1900s, which are mostly made from wood pulp).


raised bands. a common feature of leather bound books of the mid 1800s and earlier, being narrow, horizontal ridges across the [spine] of a book, usually evenly spaced, showing where the leather has  covered thick turns of twine. See also [false bands].


rare. extremely uncommon, perhaps only turning up once every five to ten years. More uncommon than [scarce]. This term has started to go by the wayside with the advent of internet used-book shopping.


ratty. extremely worn and chipped, usually referring to the [dust jacket].


rayograph. type of photograph invented by Man Ray in the 1930s by laying an object on a sheet of photographic paper and exposing the setup to light. Some of his rayographs (always spelled with a small R) were auctioned by Christie's in May 2006 and fetched upwards of $100,000.


reader. a type of book, often a school book, with very simple words and sentences, for individuals learning to read, often published in a graded series with the first book in the series being a [primer].


reading copy. refers to a book so worn it is not in good enough condition to be considered [collectible]. Such a book will show a great deal of wear but should not have anything missing, unless so noted.


real photo / RP. a term usually applied to [postcards], meaning that the postcard was made with an actual photograph developed on photographic paper.


rear free endpaper / rfep. that part of the rear [endpaper] that is not attached to the rear cover.


rebacked. repaired by putting on a new [backstrip] and mending the [hinges].


rebound / rebinding. the [textblock] has been placed in all new covers and [endpapers], and the old covers have been discarded. Sometimes called remboitage. See [covers bound in].


recased / re-cased. 1. taken out of its binding for repairs, then bound back together. 2. glued back into its covers after having come loose.


recto. front side of a [leaf] in a bound book; in other words, the right-hand page of an opened book. Normally, the first recto is page 1, and page numbers of rectos are normally odd numbers. Also called obverse. The opposite page is the reverse or [verso].


reinforced binding. another name for [library binding].


rejointed. the [hinges] have been repaired and the original covers and original [backstrip] have been kept as part of the book.


relief. another term for [embossed], as in "title in relief on front."


remainder / rem. a new book sold by the publisher at a price well below wholesale, usually due to it not selling as fast as projected. When a book has ceased to sell, a publisher may get rid of the additional stock by remaindering it. Some distributors and some bookstores sell only remainders. Also called a cutout, overstock, or publisher's mark-down. See [remainder mark].


remainder mark / RM / rm. identifying mark on the exterior of a book sold as a [remainder]; usually appearing on the bottom edge, or sometimes on the top or fore-edge, as a line or dot made with an indelible marker, or a stamp of the publisher's logo, or an evenly speckled pattern of spray paint. Not all remainders have a remainder mark. Such books are marked mainly to prevent them from being used fraudulently as returned books; see [return stock credit fraud]. See also [machine cut].


repaired. work has been done to mollify or eliminate flaws. Examples are [rebinding] and [rejointing].


reprint / rpt. a new printing of a previously published work. Sometimes called a [later printing], although this term is not always interchangeable. Some reprints are exact copies of the original work; see [facsimile], [stereotype edition]. Some reprints are combined with other previously published works; see [omnibus edition.] Some reprints have minor changes, but when substantive changes or revisions are made to the main text it is not a reprint but a new [edition]. See also [thousands].


residue. small piece or pieces of material, sometimes accompanied by a stain or discoloration, left behind from a removed sticker or adhesive tape. Compare [ghost].


return stock credit fraud. the unethical practice on the part of some new-book dealers to acquire [book club] editions, [remainders], or pristine used copies of a particular title, then return them to the publisher or wholesaler claiming they are standard [trade editions] which the dealer had previously purchased from them, and receiving full credit for them. This type of scam is the primary reason publishers began inventing systems to distinguish trade editions, which sell for full retail price, from discounted remainders and book club editions.


reverse. see [verso].


review copy. another name for [advance review copy].


review slip. a press release or brief letter promoting a soon-to-be-published book. See [advance review copy].


Rexine (brand name). a type of [imitation leather], patented in 1911, mainly used in upholstery and, less frequently, to bind books.


ribbed cloth. finely woven cloth having small parallel ridges, used for some better quality hardcovers. Compare [corduroy].


ribbon pull. (n.) a strip of sturdy ribbon or cloth with one end affixed to the inside of a [slipcase], underneath the book, and the other end of the ribbon exposed, making it easy for the book to be pulled out.


rice paper. thin but very tough Japanese paper made from mulberry trees. Made by hand, rice paper is acid free and able to withstand folding a thousand times more than acidic paper. The Japanese name is washi.


ringbound. another name for [spiral bound].


rippled. 1. referring to pages: slightly wavy but not creased. 2. referring to cloth over boards: bunched up or wrinkled.


RM / rm. [remainder mark].


roll. (n.) line or repetitive ornament hand-impressed by a small metal wheel. Usually seen on leather bindings.


rolled. (adj.) a type of damage that can be slight or extreme, where a [paperback] has been held open with the front and back covers held against each other. If rolled vigorously, the [spine] of such a book will be drastically distorted or concave and have many creases along its length.


rotogravure. color printing process common from about 1900-1930, in which photos or illustrations were printed in a single color other than black. The most common tones were brown, blue (cyan) or green. Seen in some books; most commonly found in newspapers.


rough cut. refers to the [textblock] of a book in which the page edges were not evenly opened, often found in older books in which the pages were sloppily opened by the [owner]. See [unopened].


RP. see [real photo].


RPD / rpd. rear [paste-down]; another name for the half of the rear [endpaper] pasted to the inside rear cover of the book.


rpt. see [reprint].


RPPC. [real photo] [postcard].


rubbed. showing slight friction wear to the surface, often with some discoloration; a fairly common defect and not always serious. Commonly found on [dust jackets] and on the bottom edges and back covers of books.


rub-through. a type of wear in which the outer material has been completely worn away and the underlying [board] can be seen. Commonly found at the [tips].


rule. ornament consisting of a simple, straight line.


running head. word or phrase at the top of a page indicating the first or last entry on that page, often seen in reference books. Compare [headline].


Russia (brand name). a type of calf or cowhide used for bookbinding, traditionally dyed red.



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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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