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


A single side of a bound sheet of paper. Not to be confused with a leaf, which is the sheet of paper itself and has two sides. For example, the fifth leaf in a book may be pp. 7-8.


The way we refer to either the front or back part (as opposed to the spine or flaps) of the dustjacket, as in "there is a chip the size of your head on the front panel."

Paperback original

A paperback, either mass market or otherwise, that is the real genuine first edition of a particular title. Many notable first editions of 1950s genre fiction were paperback originals, such as Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, this copy offered in our Catalog 117.


Abbreviation for Printing and the Mind of Man, a book published in 1967 that was based on an exhibition in 1963 of important books that helped change some aspect of the world and scholarship. This book has served as a convenient checklist to collecting for those with big ideas, and if you want the first editions, big bank accounts as well.


A book which has been presented in some manner — by the author, publisher, your old Aunt Fanny, or anyone else, and that can be demonstrated to have been done so through an inscription, author's or publisher's complimentary slip, or whatever else. Some special copies of books are issued in "presentation" bindings, which are special editions that somehow announce that fact. This presentation copy of Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death, inscribed by the author and bound in a special presentation binding, was featured in our first set of Classic Book Cards.


Not a tasty brand of mulched potato chips which you should avoid eating while handling your book collection. Rather, it refers to a citation in David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels (1985), a convenient reference on the genre.

Publisher's dummy

Sample of a book usually bound with the title page and a few pages of text, and occasionally a representative illustration, with the rest of the pages blank, created in order to demonstrate what the finished book would look like. These were made, usually in very small numbers, for a number of purposes - for the publisher to see what the binding would look like, as samples for traveling book sellers or publisher's representatives who would have something tangible to show to customers or bookstore owners, etc. These are usually very uncommon, but not always very desirable, unless the book in question itself is collected.