What book dealers really mean. Click on thumbnails for larger images.


Doesn't have, but probably should. For instance "A fine copy lacking the dustwrapper." For books of a certain vintage but too obscure to have a bibliographic pedigree, we have occasionally used the term "lacking" in place of the more cumbersome "without dustwrapper, which the book may or not have been issued with, but which has not yet been revealed by our extensive scholarly research and long experience in the book trade." "Lacking" is less precise, but at least it's shorter.


A photograph, review slip, or material, appropriate or otherwise, that has been placed inside of, but is not attached to the book. A signed copy of Robert Bloch's bookplate was laid into this first edition copy of his classic Psycho, offered in our catalog 127.


In a book a single sheet of paper comprised of two pages, the front side (recto or obverse) and the back (verso or reverse). Some books are issued with an extra leaf, such as a specially signed page, tipped-in.

Limited edition

Book intended to have a finite number of copies, usually produced as a collectible or artificial "rarity." Often each volume in the edition is supplied with a specific number, and can be signed by the author, artist, binder, etc. Most limited editions have a limitation statement that elaborates on the wonderment of the volume in question. Some less than scrupulous publishers will issue editions limited to the number of copies that they can sell, with the limitation proclaimed, but the number not specified. Willa Cather's Pulitzer Prize winning novel One of Ours was issued to bookstores in a number of different color dustjackets (shown on the left), while there was also a limited edition of just 35 copies (we offered the example on the right in 2004).


Parts of the paper or cloth in or on a book which were originally part of the jacket or book binding but which have removed or worn away from use and are no longer present. This copy of Jerome Odlum's Each Dawn I Die, offered in our catalog 124, had some modest loss to the spine of the jacket.