Book Terms - Letter P
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P. or pp. - Page or pages
Page - One side of a leaf. The front side of a leaf is called the recto or obverse and the back
side of the leaf is called the verso or the reverse.
Pagination - The sequence of the numbered pages in a book.
Pamph - Pamphlet, a small separate work issued in paperwraps.
Pamphlet - A small separate work issued in paperwraps.
Pannelled - Ruled lines forming a square border or frame on a binding, which is done in gilt or
blind. Also known as compartments.
Paper boards - A binding made of stiff cardboard that is covered in paper.
Paper wraps - Paper covers of a book. Also known as paperback.
Paperback - A book with a paper cover. Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin books, was credited with
inventing the modern paperback when he published Ariel by Andre Maurois with a paper cover in 1936. Also known as wrappers and paper wraps.
Paperback Grading - A letter grade system is sometimes used for describing the condition of a
- "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 written in the 1980s and near impossible forthose in
the 1970s and earlier.
- "B" grade. - Given to a book that is slightly creased in the spine. Might have name, initials, light stamp in the
- "C" grade. - This means that there are creases in the spine and maybe on the tips of the cover. Basically, it is a
reader's copy only.
Parchment - A stiff material made of sheepskin or goatskin that is used for bindings and for legal
documents and manuscripts. Material that is made of paper but looks and feels similar to the skin material can also be called parchment.
Parts - Novels that are published in separate installments, typically in a magazine or journal.
Works of many popular writers of the 19th century, such as Charles Dickens, were published in parts. Also known as part issues.
Paste-Down or pastedown - The portion of the end-paper pasted to the inner cover of a book. Also known as end-papers.
PB or pb - Paperback
PBO or pbo - Paperback original, a book that was first released as a paperback (i.e., no previous
hardcover edition.) [Lawrence Person]
PC or pc - Price clipped
Perfect binding - Used in paperback books, trade paperbacks and magazines that have too many pages
to be stapled. The page edges are glued together, then placed in the covers. This is a less expensive process than traditional book binding and
Perfect bound - A binding method that utilizes a plastic glue to bind the loose leaves to the solid
text block of a book. It is used for paperback books.
PG or pg - Page
Photo - Photograph
Photogravure - A photographic image produced from an engraving plate, which gives it an art quality
of a lithograph. The process was developed in the 1850s but is rarely used today because of the high cost.
Photo-play Edition - A book that is illustrated with still photographs from a movie motion picture.
These editions were popular during the 1920's and 30's.
Pict - Pictorial, describes a book with a picture on the cover.
Pictorial - Describes a book with a picture on the cover.
Pictorial cloth - A cloth book with a multi-colored picture printed on the cover.
Pictorial paper cover - An Illustration printed on a paperback cover. This decorative practice
began in the early 1850s, with the publication of Letters Left at the Pastry-Cook's by J.S. Mayhew, and was the precursor of the next trend in
publishing—yellowbacks. The sensational pictorial paper cover novels of the later 19th and 20th centuries are famous for their lurid, colorful
covers. Also known as illustrated wraps.
Pigskin - A durable leather binding, usually decorated in blind.
Pirated Edition - An unauthorized edition that is usually sold abroad without payment to the author
or copyright holder. Also known as pirate edition.
Pl or pls - Plate orplates
Plate or Plates - A full-page book illustration that is separate from the text pages. Technically,
illustrations that are printed on text pages are called cuts. However, the term "plate" is often used to describe both types of book
PO or po - Previous owner.
POD - Print on Demand, a digital printing technology that allows a complete book to be printed and
bound individually, as opposed to traditional publishing that produces several hundred or thousand books in a lot. Print On Demand books are
printed when your order is placed.
Points - Facts and characteristics of the printing and binding of a book that may help indicate the
priority of issue. Often an error or peculiarity in a book that helps differentiate it from other copies and may indicate a priority of issue. A
point may increase the value of a book dramatically. Also known as points of issue.
Points of issue - Facts and characteristics of the printing and binding of a book that may help
indicate the priority of issue. Often an error or peculiarity in a book that helps differentiate it from other copies and may indicate a priority
of issue. A point may increase the value of a book dramatically. Also known as points. What the POI in Bookpoi stands for.
Pol. - Polished
Poor - Describes a book that is sufficiently worn, to the point that its only merit is as a Reading
Copy because it does have the complete text, which must be legible. Any missing maps or plates should still be noted. This copy may be soiled,
scuffed, stained or spotted and may have loose joints, hinges, pages, etc.
Port - Portrait
Portfolio - A portable case used to protect loose papers, plates, pamphlets, and the like. It
usually consists of two boards with a wide cloth or paper joint forming the "spine." Can also refer to an artist's body of work.
Prc clpd - Price clipped, most modern books have the price printed on the dust jacket, usually the
top right corner of the inside front flap. People often clip the price off (diagonal cut) when giving a book as a gift.
Pref - Preface, author's introductory statement. Also known as forward.
Preface - Author's introductory statement. Also known as forward.
Preliminary leaves - The first pages of the book that appear before the text begins. Also known as
preliminary pages or prelims.
Preliminary pages - The first pages of the book that appear before the text begins. Also known as
preliminary leaves or prelims.
Prelims - Preliminary leaves, The first pages of the book that appear before the text begins.
Pre-publication price - When a new title is first offered for sale, often this special lower price
is promoted and available for a limited time before publication.
Pres - Presentation copy, a book that is a gift of the author of publisher, often with a signature
or inscription from the publisher or author.
Presentation Copy - A book that is a gift of the author of publisher, often with a signature or
inscription from the publisher or author.
Press Books - Books that are the product of a private press.
Prev - Previous
Price Clipped - Most modern books have the price printed on the dust jacket, usually the top right
corner of the inside front flap. People often clip the price off (diagonal cut) when giving a book as a gift.
Print on Demand - A digital printing technology that allows a complete book to be printed and bound individually, as opposed to
traditional publishing that produces several hundred or thousand books in a lot. Print On Demand books are printed when your order is placed.
Printed Cover - Used to describe a dust wrapper or paper cover that is only lettered.
Printer's blanks - A blank page intentionally left in the book by the publisher. Also known as
Printing - The total number of copies of a book, or another type of publication, printed at one
time. For example, an edition of a book can have a first printing of 5,000 copies and a second printing of 2,000. Also see edition.
Pristine condition - A book in its original condition, unchanged in any way.
Priv prntd - Privately printed.
Private press - A small establishment that is not associated with a large publishing house. Private
presses decide which works they will print, frequently do their own press work, and print editions in limited numbers of copies.
Privately Printed - A term that is generally used to describe a book that was printed solely for
use and /or distribution by the author.
Proofs - Precede the published book. The normal course of events would be galley proof, uncorrected
bound proof and advance reading copy bound in paperwraps.
Prospectus - A publisher's announcement of a forthcoming book, set, or periodical, with information
about the price, contributors or authors, date of publication, and binding.
Provenance - The history of ownership or possession of a given book.
Pseud - Pseudonym or Pseudonymous.
PT or pt. - Part
Pub - Published or publisher.
Publication - A published work offered to the public.
Publication Date - The date a book is formally placed on sale.
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