Bookpoi - A guide to identify rare and first edition books


Collectible Book Terms Glossary

This section of Bookpoi provides one of the most comprehensive glossaries, with definitions, of book terms available.  This page has words starting with the letter A, click on the letter links below for other words as needed.

Glossary of Book Terms - Letter A

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"A" Grade - Basically an unread book. No book store stamps on the edges, inside the front cover, etc. The book is as close to perfect as possible. These are typically very difficult to find for older books published earlier than the 1980s and near impossible for those published from 1970s and earlier.

A.D. - Autograph document

A.D.s - Autograph document, signed

A.E.G. or a.e.g. -  All Edges Gilt, all three outer edges of the pages of the book have been trimmed smooth and coated with gold leaf.

A. E. M.  or a.e.m. -  All edges marbled, marbling applied to top edge, bottom edge & fore edge of volume.

A.L. - Autograph letter

A.L.s. - Autograph letter, signed

A.M.s. - Autograph manuscript, signed

 ABA - Antiquarian Bookseller's Association (a U.K. based antiquarian booksellers association)

ABA - American Booksellers Association.

ABAA - Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.

ABAC - Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada.

ABPC - American Book Prices Current, an annual compilation of book, autograph & manuscript auction records.

Ads or Adverts - Advertisements

ADS - Autograph document signed.

Advance Copy - See Advanced Reading Copy directly below.

Advance Reading Copy - A preview or early review copy of a book that is usually sent to book buyers, reviewers, booksellers, book clubs, and/or publisher sales representatives before the book is published. It could be in a different format, uncorrected, not bound, and/or have a different cover design than the publication issue. The typical publishing process is proof, advance reading copy, and publication. Generally used for promotional purposes. Although collectable in their own right, they do not represent a first edition or first issue of the book, and do not detract from the value of a true first printing.

Advance Sheets - The unbound sheets of a new book, often galleys, distributed prior to publication.

Advertisements - Many books & pamphlets, especially of the 19th century contained ads, especially ones advertising others books by the same publisher,often located at the back of the volume, following the text pages.

ALAI - Associazionne Librai Antiquari d'Italia (Italian antiquarian booksellers' association).

All Edges Gilt (aeg) - All three outer edges of the pages of the book have been trimmed smooth and coated with gold leaf.

All Published - The book or set is complete as is, any additional parts or volumes were never published.

ALS - Autograph letter signed, letter handwritten by the person signing the letter as opposed to LS, which is a manuscript letter written by someone other than the signer.

Americana - A classification of books and other objects having to do with American culture, history, or folklore. Considered different from a book written by an American writer, though an American writer can write an Americana book.

Annuals - Books that are published yearly.

ANS - Autograph note signed.

Antiquarian Books - A loose term implying collectible books rather than used books. Refers to old, rare, and out-of-print books.

ANZAAB - Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Apocryphal - A work whose authenticity or authorship is in doubt.

Appendix - Additional or supplementary material generally found at the end of a book.

ARC - "Advance reading copy." See Advanced  Reading Copy above.

Armorial Binding - A leather binding stamped with a coat-of-arms.

Artificial Leather - A coated fabric, rubber, or plastic composition, or paper that is made to resemble genuine leather. Also known as imitation leather.

As Issued - The book is in the original physical state that it was published in and has all its original components including binding, dust jacket, text , illustrations, etc.

As New - Refers to the condition of a book. A book that is in "as new" condition is immaculate and without flaws. Same meaning as mint.

As Usual - A term to describe defects which probably occur only on copies of the book that are common to that book or books that a specific dealer handles, such as "lacks endpapers, as usual".

Association Copy - A book that was either owned by its author, owned by someone connected to the author, or owned by someone connected to the contents of the book or a famous person. It can also refer to a book that was annotated by the author. Proof of the association is usually in the form of some letters or written notes.

Auth - Author

Authorized Edition - First edition published with the author's consent.

Autographed -Autographed means handwritten (as opposed to typed, or a copy from a printer or a press). It does not mean signed by the author, unless the description specifically indicated this. A signed, autographed letter is a letter written and signed entirely in the author's hand.

Autographed Letter - A handwritten letter.

Autographed Letter, Signed - A handwritten letter signed by the writer.

Autographed Manuscript, Signed - A manuscript all in the author's hand

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