Salesman Sample: A sample book designed by the publisher
for use by door-to-door salespeople. These abbreviated books attempted to capture the most appealing
features of a book and included at least the title page, several text pages, and some of the illustrations
(if any). If the book was available in a choice of bindings, samples were often included in the book.
Many also included a few pages in the back designed as a sales record for the salesperson. Door-to-door book
sales were an important marketing tool for many publishers in rural and small town area which lacked ready
access to bookstores. Books which were "Sold By Subscription Only" were also marketed in this way by smaller
publishers who attempted to print no more books than those necessary to fill a known demand.
Self-Wraps/Self-Wrapper: A paperback book whose
Covers imitate a Dustjacket (wrapper) by having a flap which folds under the front and back cover.
Self-Wrappers: A pamphlet whose front & back paper covers
are printed on the same paper stock used for the text, i.e. the covers are the first leaf of the first
signature and the final leaf of the last signature. Most almanacs and other cheaply produced pamphlets
use self-wrappers. Not to be confused with Wraps.
Sexagesimo-quarto (64mo): A book size designating a book up to 3" tall. Abbreviation 64mo. Designating a book up to 4" tall.
See Book Sizes and Formats Figure 2.
Shaken: A defect which indicates that the
Textblock is becoming loose in its binding,
but remains attached. The term suffers from a lack of specificity as to exactly what is causing the defect
or its severity. A lightly shaken book will probably have its spine cover pulled away from the back of the
textblock leaving the textblock and its
Signatures still being held fairly well
by the Hinges alone.
Heavily shaken implies the textblock is wobbling between the covers because it has lost all but the most
tenuous connection to the binding. The usual cause of the defect is rough use of the book after the
binding glue has dried & disintegrated.
Sheets:The large sheets of paper with which a printer begins
the process of printing a book and which are folded into
Gathering after both sides are printed.
Signature: Refers to the small identifying marks (usually lower case letters) printed and so placed on the printer's
as to appear at the beginning of each folded Gathering, thus aiding the
binder to assemble the gatherings in the correct order.
Having the autograph of a notable person. As related to books, this is usually the author(s) and/or the subject of the book.
Slipcase: A protective box with one open side into which one or a
set of volumes is "slipped" with the spine(s) facing outward.
Small Quarto (sm4to): A book size designating a book up to 8" tall. Abbreviation sm4to.
See Book Sizes and Formats Figure 2.
Spine: Used ambiguously to refer either to:
the part of a book's cover which wraps over the back of the book (also called the Backstrip or Spine Cover); or
the back portions of the attached Gatherings which
form the rear edge of the Textblock
(also called the Backbone).
Fortunately, the context in which the term is used rarely causes confusion. See Figure 22.
Spine Lining: In a case bound book, the strip of cloth or
cardboard which, along with the hinges, attaches the
Textblock to the case. In case books using
this construction (many today do not), the spine lining also functions to reinforce the
Hinges. The cloth is glued to the back of the
textblock (the spine) and to the inside of both boards. As is shown in the yellow strip in
Figure 5, the spine lining is concealed by the
spine cover and by the Paste-down Endpapers.
An actual spine lining is shown in Figure 22.
Started/Starting: Announces the presence in a book of early
signs that some loosening defect is emerging, but has not yet flowered. Used to indicate that some
Signatures comprising the
Textblock are "becoming" (but are not yet)
Loose, or that a
Hinge is weakening, but has not yet decided to
State: A portion of a
Printing where the presses are stopped to
correct one or more problems such as typesetting errors, battered or broken type, or other accidental matters
publisher or printer considers too minor to justify abandoning the partial run and starting which the over.
The insertion of Cancels, advertisements,
use of a different paper without the intention of creating a separate
The insertion of Issue, are among other alterations
which create States. It is worth noting that because the issue of
Priority turns on when the sheets for a book were
printed, and not when the sheets were folded into gatherings or the gatherings were bound, a different
state of a first printing can be created even by the insertion of a cancel leaf after the book is bound
provided that a portion of the first printing retained the original leaf. The portion with the original leaf
would have priority. If the entire first printing has a cancel leaf, or all the books retaining the the
original leaf were destroyed, then no States were created during the first printing. The most
common errors are those in the type settings due to the earlier practice of some printing houses to
continuing the press run while the first proof sheet for a book was examined by a proofreader. While this kept
the press operators from being idle, it was not uncommon for both the corrected and uncorrected
Sheets to be used thereby creating two
States during the printing. See also
Sunned: The discoloration by
Fading of a book's binding or dustjacket by
exposure to strong light over time. Ultraviolet frequencies, which are the most damaging, are found in
both natural and some artificial light.