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Investigating the Book

THE BASICS

Book Board- or backboard, is most usually heavy cardboard for hardback books or card-stock for paperback books 

Binding- refers to the sewn portion the book but can also refer to different types of sewing, like overhand, coptic, sew-in-fold, and others. Every binder has a different binding technique

Case- the book board and spine backing covered in material (leather, cloth, buckram) that will serve to encase the text block once glued in

Cover- the material, cloth, leather, buckram, etc., that literally covers the book board and which can be designed, embossed, and colored before it is glued to the book board

Fillet- most usually a border of inlay/embossing/ stamping that surrounds the rest of the cover text

Folio- a sheet of paper folded once to create two leaves, and so four pages

Footnotes- the notes at the foot, or bottom, or tail edge, of the page. Often referencing a portion of the text above it, marked by superscript numbers

Fore-edge- edge of pages that are facing out, unsewn, from the book, opposite and parallel to the spine

Gutter- the inside margin of a bound book, against the binding edge, opposite the fore-edge margin

Gutter- the inside margin of a bound book, against the binding edge, opposite the fore-edge margin

Half title- early page with only the title printed on it, usually directly after the first endpaper; not on every book

Head- top of the book's spine or back, where the title is facing up and the book can be opened to its first page

Headband- ornamental band of fabric with a run of color, usually striped, at the top. Meant to imitate early binding techniques which sewed headbands into the text block to protect the head and tail of the book 

Hinge- space between the book board and the spine support that helps the cover lay flat when the book is opened. Also refers to a portion of board that is added to the spine to make sections of a book lay flat

 

Illustration- usually refers to a drawing or picture that is meant to illustrate or demonstrate the text. Can be printed in a variety of different ways depending on the period or area of print production

Intaglio- type of image printing, which consists of a design or illustration being etched into a piece of material, usually thin metal, and rolled over with ink, and a blotter is then applied to take the ink off of the material except where it will remain in the grooves. Then the paper to be printed on is laid over top and pressed with a heavy roller so that the image is then transferred fully to the page 

Lithography- the process of illustration printing that is done on limestone with waxy, ink-attractive crayons, transferred to damp paper using careful pressure and a special press. 

Margin- blank edges surrounding text

Marginalia- written notes in the margins

Octavo- a sheet of paper folded three times to create eight leaves, and so sixteen pages

Page Number- the number at the top of a page marking its position in the book. Is not often used on front or back matter, like title pages or indexes

Running Header- most usually the chapter name, though can be the book title or the author, which appears on every page at its top, or head 

Spine- or back of the book, covering the binding edge and connecting the front and back book boards to the book block

Stamping- embossing with a full illustration or die-cut

Sub-header- usually a title for a section of a chapter, printed wider or bolder than the rest of the typeface 

Tail- bottom of the book's spine or back, where the title is facing up and the book can be opened to its first page

Textblock- the whole paper matter of the book, including the front and back end pages, sewn together or glued

Title- the name of the book, usually shown on both the spine and the front cover of the book

Typeface- the text within the book, compiled together and printed within the same font, usually, or spaced and written differently to reflect different uses

Quarto- a sheet of paper folded twice to create four leaves, and so eight pages

Quire- collection of pages, one within another (usually eight leaves, so two sheets of paper) that is sewn into a book or sewn together 

Woodcut- an illustration cut in relief on a block of wood that would then be inked and put into the printing press to have the paper passed over it 

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