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A reference for Used and Rare Books, Periodicals, and Paper Ephemera courtesy of an International Co-Op of Independent Dealers.
Book Glossary
Terminology used by book publishers, dealers, and collectors.
Information about book conditions, the various parts of books, sizes and formats, and various terms used in the book world.
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Glossary U
Gatherings Unauthorized Edition: An edition of a title published without the sanction of whomever holds the legal rights to the work, i. e. the author, the author's legal representative, the copyright holder, or the original publisher. Because issuing an unauthorized edition within the country in which it was originally published would be an infringement on those legal rights protected by that country's copyright laws, such "pirated" editions usually originate in a foreign country.
Unbound: Describes a book which has never been bound, but exists in one or another pre-bound state such as in its Sheets, Gatherings, or Signatures. Proper use of the term implies that all sheets, gatherings or signatures necessary for a complete copy of the book are present. An unbound book is one who has yet to marry a cover while a Disbound book is one who has divorced its cover.
Unopened: A book whose Leaves are still attached to the other leaves in its Signatures because the folds of its signatures have never been cut open. The leaves so affected can not be opened to read the pages without cutting the folds with a knife. A book can have some or all of its leaves unopened. Not to be confused with Uncut.
Uncut: Refers to the the untrimmed state of one or more of the edges of a book. Most books have their edges trimmed to produce the appearance of a uniform, smooth surface. An uncut edge has a rough, ragged appearance as do the edges of the leaves comprising the edge. The origin of uncut pages goes back to the handmade paper era where paper made in a mold resulted in the edges of printing Sheets being uneven and feathery. In fact, this paper was called Deckle Edged 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 uncut 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 edition, as well as fine and limited editions which may actually use handmade paper. See Figure 23.
Unpaginated: A book whose pages are not numbered, i.e. lack printed numerals, Arabic or Roman.
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