Dating books printing history broken plates
AUTHOR’S EDITION Around the turn of the nineteenth century, many titles in the international book trade were “pirated,” or published without authorization.
The “Author’s Edition” let the reader know that the book was published with the author’s approval. BIBLIOGRAPHY A reference work detailing published titles on a given subject or by a given author; used by book sellers and collectors to verify the authenticity of an edition or issue of a given title. BINDING Material used as a protective cover for a book (e.g.: leather, cloth, buckram, paper, etc.) BINDING COPY A book whose text block is complete and serviceable, but the current binding is defective or incomplete.
CHAPTER BOOK Fairly modern term referring to books for older children which are organized into chapters, as opposed to “picture books”, which often are not.
CHIPPED Small pieces broken off of a dust jacket or binding.
ARCs also include copies distributed for publicity and promotion – usually published in plain wrappers and which may have substantial textual differences from the finished published book. ASSOCIATION COPY A book once belonging to the author, or signed or annotated by the author to someone closely associated with the author of the book or the book itself in some way.
The textual differences between all the various versions is what gives value to ARCs to the collector. Also, a book inscribed by its author to a famous person, or owned by someone of interest.
BOOKWORM A larva of any insect which harms books by feeding on their binding or leaves.
For books produced in the hand-press era, this involves some knowledge of format.
CIRCA (abbreviated: ca) Refers to an approximate date when actual date is unknown. It could also mean a tear repaired and closed with Japanese tissue or other such type of paper used for page repairs in the trade.
COATED Paper is smooth and polished; something has been applied to the surface to make it appear glossy.
A seller should always disclose if a book is a BCE.
The collector should arm themselves with the relevant bibliographies to know when a BCE might be desirable. Also referred to as the dust jacket or dustwrapper.
ADVANCE REVIEW (or READER’S or READING) COPY (ARC) A special pre-publication copy distributed by publishers for review purposes.