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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of terms,  used by Auld books to describe book conditions

Very fine
A near flawless copy,  and probably never read. These are few and far between. Sometimes abbreviated to 'VF'
A copy with no real defects, but is not  pristine. It may have been read, but with care. Any flaw, such as a bumped corner, a slightly sunned spine, rubbing, slight soiling, or a very tiny tear, will be noted. (Example: 'slightly rubbed, else fine'.). Sometimes abbreviated  'F'
Very Good
A copy with one or more small defects. It may be rubbed, have a small tear, a dinged corner, or other minor defect. Defects will be noted in our description. Most of our books are Very Good or better. Abbreviated 'VG.'
denotes a copy with some obvious, larger flaws. There may be a larger tear in the dustjacket, a large gift inscription, be very sunned, have a creased spine, or have other defects. Makes a good reading copy. All defects will be noted.

Poor/Fair indicates a copy with very serious defects. It may actually have some loose pages, underlining or highlighting, or be very soiled. These books are generally below the standards set by  'Auld Books' and we do not, except in exceptional circumstances, sell books in Poor condition, on our website.

Types of Book Editions

Edition / Printing: Edition refers to the copies of a book printed from the same setting of type. An edition may go through several press runs, or printings.

First edition: The common meaning of this term is the first printing of the first edition of a book. Though technically the 'first edition' of a book may go through additional printings, book collectors consider only the first printing of the first edition to be a true first edition.

Second (or later) edition: This refers to a book which has been, revised, updated, or for which the type has been reset from that of the first edition.

First thus: The first edition published in the present form. Often used to denote a book that was published previously by a different publisher.

Limited edition: The books publication was limited to a certain number of copies. The statement of how many copies were published often appears on the colophon page, and occasionally elsewhere. Often each copy of a limited edition will be numbered. Some limited editions are also signed by the author.

Identifying a First Edition

General Guidelines for Identifying a First Edition

There are many ways that publishers identify their books as a first edition. Some common ones are:
'First Edition,' 'First Printing,' 'First Published' 'Published,' or 'First Impression' appears on the copyright page. A number line such as 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, or something similar. (See below.) The date on the title page is the same as the date on the copyright page.
There is no designation for a first printing, but later printings are noted on the copyright page. Number lines have been commonly used in the post-World War II era.
The line commonly is a series of numbers (ex: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 or 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2. Occasionally a letter line is used (ex: a b c d e). Generally speaking, if the '1' is present, the book is a first edition (first edition, first printing).For the second printing, the '1' is removed, so the '2' is the lowest number present. For example, a number line that reads 5 6 7 8 9 indicates a fifth printing

Book Bindings

Hard cover is self-explanatory. The actual covers are sometimes referred to as 'boards', which may be covered in paper, cloth, or occasionally leather.

Wrappers refers to a paper binding. The terms soft cover, paperback, and wraps also refer to a paper binding.
Mass market paperback is the format in which most popular fiction is published.
Trade paperbacks are larger in size, often about 6 x 8 inches or so. Literary fiction is often published in this format.
Library binding. Lending libraries sometimes re-bind books into a heavier, more durable binding (often buckram cloth-covered boards) which will stand up the heavy use to which library books are often subjected. The author, title & call number is often printed or embossed onto the spine & sometimes the cover. Collectors usually avoid library-bindings, since the book has been drastically altered.

Signed Books

Signed means signed by the author, or occasionally by the editor or illustrator.

Inscribed (sometimes referred to as a presentation copy) means the author has signed the book to a particular person, and may have written some additional lines.

Dedication copy indicates the author has inscribed the book to the person to which it was dedicated.

An association copy is one which has been inscribed by the author to another author, a well-known person, or someone else associated with the author. It can also be a copy (not necessarily signed) which was owned by another author.
(Gift) inscription simply means that someone, not the author, has written something on the book before giving it to someone else as a gift.

Holograph means something that is written in the author's handwriting.

Book Terms Glossary

Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) / Uncorrected Proof

Uncorrected Proof or  Advanced Reading Copies are sent out to booksellers and reviewers in advance of the books publication, in order to drive sales and generate reviews.They're often bound either in laminated paper covers featuring a design similar to that of the upcoming book, or in plain cardstock covers printed with publication details.Often the published book differs from the proof or ARC, as corrections and revisions may be made.

A biographical sketch of an author, bio commonly found on the rear flap of a dustjacket, on the back cover, and in journals or anthologies, in a section in the back of the book. Bios often include details of the author's life, and mentions of past publications and current projects. Sometimes an author photo is included.
A short descriptive paragraph on a book, usually on the dustjacket's flap, or on the back cover.
The covers of a hardcover book. They are usually cardboard, which is then covered in cloth or paper, and sometimes leather or another material.
A printed label (usually about 34 inches) which is adhered to a book. They are of two types: ownership and author signature.Most bookplates are intended to establish ownership, with the owners name either printed or written upon them. They are commonly sold at bookstores but may also be custom-made. A bookplate often detracts somewhat from a books value, but there are exceptions.

The second type of bookplate is signed by the author, instead of signing a book directly,  which the publisher affixes to a book. These signatures are usually considered less desirable than a signature written directly on the book than a book that's been signed directly.

A poem printed on a single sheet of paper. broadside It may be as simple as a photocopy, but may be offset or letterpress printed. A broadside can be as small as business-card size, or as large as a poster. Two common sizes are 5.5 x 8.5 and 8.5 x 11. Broadsides are often signed and almost always limited.
A very heavy, durable woven cloth, usually made of cotton or linen, used to bind library books. It's often impregnated with a type of glue or other substance which serves as a stiffener and protective coating. Buckram is also sometimes often found on non-library books.
Usually refers to the corners of a book, which have been creased, bent, or rounded, often due to the book having been bumped or dropped.
As the name implies, a small piece missing from the edge of a dustjacket, or occasionally, a paperback book.
A notation in the back of limited, small-press, and some other books indicating publishing details. Often this information includes the number of books printed, where it was published, the paper and typeface used, and by whom it was printed and bound. On signed limited editions, you will often find the book's number and author's signature on the colophon page.
Deckle Edge:
The edges of a sheet of handmade paper are naturally rough and rather feathery. This is called a deckle edge. Sometimes the deckle is trimmed away so the edge of the paper is very straight (like the edges of most papers); but it's often retained for aesthetic reasons. A simulated deckle edge is sometimes found on machine-made paper.
Definitive Edition:
This edition, after careful study of the original manuscript, is issued as the most accurate / authoritative / edition to date.
The paper that wraps around the covers of a hardcover book. Sometimes referred to as a dustwrapper, it is not to be confused with wrappers which means the covers of a softcover book. Dustjackets first appeared late in the 19th century but were not commonly used until early in the 20th century, they were Frequently discarded by the purchaser, so early dustjackets are often difficult to find.
For collectors, the presence of a dustjacket (if it was issued with one)  and its condition has a substantial bearing on the value of a book.

The edges of the cover are a little worn. Most commonly found where the spine and cover meet, but also sometimes found on the cover's  edges. Edgewear often happens when a paperback book is subjected to heavy use or repeated contact with other books. But it can also occur on hardcovers.
Endpapers are found at the very front and back of the book. The paper is often colored; sometimes its decorated with a pattern, or even a map. The pastedown is the endpaper glued inside the cover. The free endpaper, is opposite the front pastedown, and is free that is, like a page. Sometimes the front free endpaper is abbreviated f.f.e.p..
Errata Slip:
An errata slip is a small piece of paper laid into a book detailing printing errors that were made. These errors may include typos, misplaced text, and pages out of order or similar problems.
The book once belonged to a lending library. Ex-library books are generally undesirable. Ex-library books can make good reading copies, but, with a few exceptions, are not usually found on the shelves of most serious book collectors. (However, they can be good place-holders until a better copy is found.) That said, there are some books that are so scarce that an ex-library copy may be acceptable. Some books first editions were also sold almost entirely to libraries, making it difficult to obtain a non-ex-library copy.
The part of the dustjacket that wraps around the inside of the books covers and usually includes a description of the books contents and perhaps a short biographical statement about the author.
A foxed books pages have some spotting, ranging from sort of a beige color to a rusty brown. Sometime foxed spots are referred to as age spots. The causes of foxing include temperature & humidity changes and impurities within the paper, high acidity is most common in modern books with cheap paper, or iron or copper, commonly found in 19th century & older books. There may be other causes as well, such as fungus or other microorganisms. The reason for foxing in a particular book is often difficult to discern. Foxing is very common in antique books (due to the paper used).
The hinge is the interior or exterior point on a book where the cover meets the spine. Inside, its where the flyleaf (front free endpaper) meets the pastedown (the endpaper which is pasted to the inside cover of the book) . The hinges are a books weakest point,  prone to problems, especially if the book is handled or shelved carelessly. Loose or broken hinges are very common on old books.
Hinges 'starting' could mean one of two things: The books hinges are beginning to separate from each other via a tear. (the flyleaf separating from the pastedown) or the books hinges are beginning to loosen. If not just starting the hinges are described as broken. If  the endpapers have come partially unglued from the covers at the hinge,  this is described as shaken hinges. Loose hinges can lead to broken hinges.  
Laid In:
A paper item (often a photograph, letter, press release, or postcard) which is loose inside the book. See also tipped in.
Memorial Edition, or Anniversary Edition:
An edition published to commemorate some milestone  25th, 50th, or centennial (or other) anniversary of the first edition, or the author birth or death.
The price has been cut off the dustjacket. This is often done before giving a book as a gift. A price-clipped dustjacket lowers the value of the book somewhat, as intact dustjackets are much more desired by collectors.
Rag Paper:
Rag paper is a type of paper which is made of cotton fiber. It's typically stronger than paper made from wood pulp or other plant fibers, and is also more expensive. It can contain anywhere from 25-100% rag pulp (the rest would be from other plant fibres).
A mark applied to a book in order to designate it as a remainder, a book which has been sold to a bookstore or wholesaler at a reduced price, because it is out of print. The mark is often made by an ink marker on the top or bottom edge of the book. Occasionally the mark may be applied elsewhere. A few publishers use a rubber stamp or other designation instead of a marker.A remainder mark will lower the value of the book somewhat; how much just depends upon the book in question. A small, unobtrusive remainder mark may have less of an impact on value than a large, unsightly slash.
The covers of the book show some wear, causing some dullness. Heavy rubbing can result in the color of the paper underneath the ink (usually white) to show through.
Sunned / Sunning:
Another term for faded. Exposure to light will fade colors, therefore books should be kept away from sunlight & other strong lights. Though sunning can affect any part of the book, the spine is most often affected,
Tipped In:
An item that has been tipped in a book has been physically attached to the book, most commonly with glue. Often photos and similar items are tipped in. Very occasionally a misprinted page will be replaced with a tipped in corrected page. See also laid in.
Toned means that the paper has darkened somewhat. Toning tends to occur most at page edges. It is often due to sun/light exposure, or acidic paper.
Uncut Edges
In the past, books were commonly sold with the pages left uncut (still joined together at edges), requiring the purchaser to do it after purchasing the book. (These days, the vast majority of book edges are cut by machine, thereby separating the pages automatically.) It does not usually have an effect on book value.