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Bookbinding Definitions

Updated on December 7, 2008

What Are the Parts of a Book?

Bookbinding today covers a whole range of activities from craft to fine art. You can bind your own work for pleasure, repair your favourite books, and produce works of art for both commercial trade and competitions. But how do you learn what all the specialised terms mean?

Here are a few basic ones to get you started:

Endpapers - are the first and last few pages of a book; Flyleaf - a blank page in the front or the back of a book;

Frontispiece - an illustration that faces or immediately precedes the title page of a book;

Full title - the page at the beginning of a volume that indicates the title, author's or editor's name, and the publication information, usually the publisher and the place and date of publication.

Signatures - A letter, number, or symbol placed at the bottom of the first page on each sheet of printed pages of a book as a guide to the proper sequence of the sheets in binding;

Quarter binding - an economical covering method in which the spine and part of the sides are covered in one material and a cheaper one is used on the remainder

Foredge -The front edge of the book; so called because originally this edge faced outwards from the shelves and titles were painted, inked or scorched on the leaves (rather than the spine)

French groove - library style book binding suitable for heavy, constant use where where the board is set away from the joint instead of flush to enable thick leather to be used at the hinge;

American groove - similar to the French groove but more often used with cloth covers.

You can find my expanded list of basic bookbinding terms and definitions at my site


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      Jeff_McRitchie 6 years ago

      There are so many special terms associated with bookbinding. This Hub is a nice introduction to this artform.