Glossary of Book Terms

Glossary of Book Terms - s

Similar to rubbing, but more damage is caused to the book and the dust jacket.


Secretarial inscription:
If a signature is made by a person other than the author, it is said to be secretarial inspection. Do not confuse this with forgery as the signature is made with the consent of the author.


Wrappers with vestigial flaps that are similar to a dust jacket are called self wraps.


Series (ser):
A group of volumes having the same theme issued by a single publisher is called series.


Sextodecimo (16mo):
A book which is four inches wide and six inches tall is called as sextodecimo. A sheet of paper is folded four times to make such book.


When stickers or tapes are used on the covers of the book or the leaves, a discoloration occurs in that area. It is called a shadow. The discoloration is caused by the chemical reaction caused by the adhesive. This is also called as sticker shadow or tape shadow.


If the pages of a book are coming loose because of excessive use, it is called shaken.


Shelf Wear:
If a book is frequently placed and removed from the shelf, it is prone to wear along the edges of the cover. It is called shelf wear. When there is no dust jacket to the book, the external covers get affected. The head of the spine is also damaged as some people tend to pull the head of the spine for taking the book from the shelf.


Sheet is the piece of paper on which the printer prints the text. A sheet is folded several times for forming the leaves.


A book that contains the autograph of the author. See inscribed.


Do not confuse the term with the signature of the author or writing his name in the book. In bookmaking, signature refers to the group of pages that is formed by folding a sheet of paper. This group of pages is them glued or sewn to form a book.


Paper, cloth or leather is used in covering a cardboard case that holds the book. In such case, only one end of the spine is exposed.


A small narrow chip, nick or tear usually at the edge of a dust jacket.


The presence of dust or dirt in the covers, edges, leaves of the book as a result of frequent handling.


If a book is restored for increasing its visual appeal so that the value of the book increases, it is said to be restored. This technique is not favored by the book collectors.


The backbone of the book where the signatures are gathered and sewn or bound. Back strip covers the spine.


Spiral Bound:
In some cases, the leaves along with one end of the spine are punched and a metal or plastic spiral is threaded through the holes so that it holds the book. Such a binding is called spiral binding.


A book which maintains the shape of the binding without rounding of the spine.


Change in the text other than the correction of the misprint is called as state. It is similar to Issue.


The narrow strip of paper that is left over once the leaf is cut away.


Sunned or Sunning:
A sunned book is one which is faded when exposed to direct sunlight or any other forms of light.