Our books glossary below is filled with handy definitions of key terms you might come across in a valuation report.

Information kindly provided in association with Doerr Dallas Valuations.

A book that belonged to or annotated by the author, someone close to the author, a famous or noteworthy person, or someone associated with the content of the work.

A pasted in page to replace a page removed after a book has been bound.

A condition resulting from storing a book on a shelf so that it leans. Gravity deforms the book binding. Also refers to where the spine no longer remains at right angles to the covers.

The examination and notation of the physical make-up of a book - checking that every leaf or page originally in the volume when issued is present.

An inscription or emblem at the end of the book that identifies the printer or publisher.

The time at which an action happened to the book in relation to its printing. For instance, a contemporary binding is a book that has been re-bound shortly after being published.

A light stain on the cover or the leaves of a book caused by moisture.

The copy of the book inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.

The sheets of paper pasted onto the inner covers, joining the book block to the covers.

Printed or written items intended to have a short lifetime that are now collectable. E.g. posters, postcards, tickets, maps and pamphlets.

Used in the term ‘errata slip’ - a small sheet of paper laid into a book by a publisher after discovering errors before publication.

Not a first edition but something is new. For example, revised, a new introduction, the first publication in paperback form, or the first by another publisher.

The edition produced for general commercial sale, as distinguished from a limited edition.

A blank leaf, sometimes more than one, following the front free endpaper or at the end of a book where there is not sufficient text to fill out the last few pages.

The leading edges of the book are bent back to expose a greater area and a watercolour painting is applied to this surface.

Brown spotting on paper caused by a chemical reaction, often found in 19th-century books.

An illustration at the beginning of a book, usually facing the title page.

A group of sheets folded together for sewing or gluing into the binding.

Application of gilt to various edges on a book.

The inner margin of the leaves of a bound book.

Books, pamphlets, and calendars printed, not handwritten, before 1501 in Europe.

Noted changes between various copies of the same book.

A type of special edition typically printed in smaller quantities and sold at a higher price than the standard print run.

Publication is deliberately restricted to a comparatively small number of copies, usually numbered and often signed by the author and/or illustrator.

Notes written in the margins of a page around the text.

A book of about five inches wide and eight inches tall to about six by nine inches. Octavo is the most common size for current hardcover books.

Original binding the book was published in, not contemporary binding or rebound.

One side of a leaf. The front side of a leaf is called the recto or obverse and the back side of the leaf is called the verso or the reverse.

The front or back of a dust jacket, as opposed to the spine or flaps.

A copy of a book given by the author to someone of his/her acquaintance, usually with an inscription of some sort testifying to this.

A small press, often operated by one person, usually devoted to the production of small quantities of finely printed books.

This term refers to a book or pamphlet whose printing was paid for by an individual, or a group, and which is meant for private circulation, not public sale.

The history of ownership or possession of a given book.

The piece of paper on which the printer prints. The sheet is folded one or more times to form the leaves of the book.

A book that has been restored or worked on to increase its apparent value, is often seen as an undesirable quality among collectors.

A book that differs in one or more features from others of the same impression, but a positive sequence has not been established.

A thin sheet of calf, kid or lamb skin used for writing or printing, or for the cover.

Edges of the cover are bound in paper or another soft material such as vellum. They’re not flush with the pages but extend beyond the edges of the book and are fragile by nature.