Dampstain: A stain on the covers or leaves of a book resulting
from water or other liquids. The degree of discoloration varies from very light to heavy, the latter
sometimes causing buckling, wrinkling or crumpling on the affected surface due to shrinkage.
Darkening: Applied to a book's covers or spine, darkening
indicates a loss of brightness (reflecting less light) of color which results in a deeper, more somber
shade. Caused by a book's exposure to strong light, it usually differs from a stain (which it can mimic)
by having gradual demarcations rather than a fairly well-defined border.
See also Fading.
Date of Publication: The date on which a book is released to
the market, i.e. is offered or becomes available for purchase by the public. Except when a publisher
announces a specific Release Date
(such as May 15, 1992), the date of publication is given as a year, or a particular month in that year.
The date of a book's printing (given as a year or month/year) is very often the same as the date of
publication, but not necessarily so. A book giving a printing date on its copyright page of December,
1939 may show a copyright date of 1940 due only to a delay of a few days between the book being printed
and bound and registering the copyright. The reverse also occurs where the book was copyrighted late the
in a year and printed and published in the following year. The term's definition allows some wiggle room
because there is no formal standard recognized even now by all publishers as the date a book is placed on sale.
This causes very few problems since book collectors are really interested in when a book was printed.
It should be noted that information regarding the date of publication (such as a date on the title page) is
at the discretion of publisher. It's absence is not infrequent in older books whose publishers intentionally
declined to give the appearance that their books were "out of date" or had been on the shelves for years.
Nothing, however, should be concluded based on the absence of a date of publication alone.
Deckled Edges: A deckled edge has a rough, ragged appearance as do the
edges of the leaves comprising the edge. The origin of deckled edges goes back to the handmade paper era where
paper made in a mold resulted in the edges of printing
Sheets being uneven and feathery. This paper was called 'Deckled Edge'
because the mold included a removable frame, the deckle, against which the edge of the molded paper was
formed. When these sheet were printed, folded into
Gatherings, and the gatherings sewn or
glued together, some or all of these raggedy edges (called Bolts) could be trimmed or left in their
untrimmed state. Books with deckled edges have been deliberately manufactured ever since the handmade paper era,
so their presence is not indicative of age. They may even be found on some book club editions,
as well as fine and limited editions which may actually use handmade paper. There are even 'faux deckled edges' where
page edges have been deliberately torn/raked to produce uneven edges. Also, see
Dedication Copy: A copy of a book which has been inscribed
in the author's hand as dedicated to the person he/she names.
Diecut: The process of cutting printed sheets of paper or
board in irregular shapes or designs using a sharp, metal die in the shape of the desired pattern -
much like using a cookie cutter. Diecutting is can be used to create interior shapes and designs (windows)
as well as to shape outer edges.
Disbound: A book lacking its binding, whether the original or
a subsequent binding, leaving only the Textblock
intact. The term does not imply whether or not the detached binding is still present. The term should not be
confused with Unbound.
Dustjacket: A protective paper, usually bearing
printing and illustrative or decorative designs, which wraps around the covers and spine of a book.
The ends of the jacket have flaps which fold under the inside of the covers. Synonymous with
Dustwrapper, Dustcover, Wrapper, and Book Jacket.