Before digging into the history, collecting and conservation of The Three Investigators books, I thought it best to provide some basics. The following information and terminology on books, book collecting and publishing/bookbinding are used extensively throughout this site and hopefully will help if you are not already familiar with them.
Editions vs. Printings
Although many book collectors use
the two interchangeably, an edition and a printing are not the same thing. An edition changes when there is a change in the publisher, text, typeface or binding format and a printing changes when an additional amount of an edition is
printed. An edition of a book is typically printed in a given quantity (called a "print run" or just "run"), and that quantity is then sold/distributed before an additional amount is printed. The first run represents
the First Printing and the following run represents the Second Printing,
etc. If there is a change in the publisher, text, typeface or binding, a new
edition is published with its own set of printings. Thus, there can
be a First Edition/First Printing, First Edition/Second Printing, Second
Edition/First Printing, and so on.
In general, book collectors usually
strive to collect the First Printing of a given edition, as later printings
are often viewed as less important "copies" of the original. In the
case of The Three Investigators books, each edition had multiple printings and identifying the First Printing is discussed in each publisher's
Bookbinding and Publishing Terminology
Note: most of the bookbinding definitions
do not apply until the Conservation section. For convenience, they will be repeated
Binding -- noun The
materials that hold a book together. There are two formats of bindings:
hardcover and paperback. Most modern hardcover books have a case
binding and most paperback books have a wrapped binding. | verb
Assembling a book.
Boards -- noun The
stiff cardboard on the front and back of a hardcover book that is covered
with leather, cloth or paper to form the covers.
-- noun In a hardcover book, the combination of the covers, spine and spine inlay.
Case Binding -- noun A very common type of hardcover binding utilizing a case and textblock.
All Three Investigators hardcover books have a case binding.
Covers -- noun In a
hardcover book, the boards after they are covered with leather, cloth or
paper; referred to as the "front" and "back" covers. In a paperback
book, the one-piece heavy stock paper that wraps around the textblock to
create a front cover, back cover and spine.
Cover Art - noun Drawing
or artwork that graces the front cover.
-- noun The sturdy, open-weave cloth that extends onto and under
the pastedown endpapers to form the hinge and is glued to the spine lining.
It is typically reinforced with a thick piece of flexible paper along the
spine lining side. The crash is also referred to as the super.
-- noun The sheets of paper pasted to the inside of the front or
back cover (pastedown endpaper) and to the edge of the flyleaf (free endpaper).
Endpapers are used in hardcover books only.
Flyleaf -- noun A blank
page (or pages) inserted between the free endpaper and the beginning or
end of the printed pages.
Gathering -- noun A
folded printed sheet of pages prior to binding; referred to as a signature
-- noun The interior flexible area where the pastedown endpaper
meets the spine lining and crash; this is the inner equivalent of the joint.
Insertion -- noun Additional
page (or pages) placed into a textblock containing photographs, advertisements,
Issue -- noun An entire printing published in a form differing from the
rest of the edition's printings. An issue will have relatively minor differences in paper, binding, size, covers, etc.
-- noun The exterior flexible area where a board meets the spine; this is the outer equivalent of the hinge.
Rebound -- adjective Describing a book which has had the original binding removed and a new
binding attached. | verb Removing an existing binding and replacing it with a new one. Libary books are typically rebound when their existing binding has become worn or damaged and it can no longer hold the book together. See the Collecting section for more information on rebound Three Investigators books.
Signature -- noun A gathering bound with other signatures and trimmed.
-- noun The back portion of a book's binding; the portion which is attached at the joints to the covers.
Inlay -- noun A stiff cardboard that forms the inner side of
the spine and sits below the crash. It is not glued to the crash
or spine lining.
lining -- noun The side of the textblock that faces the spine
and is attached to the crash.
State -- noun A portion
of a printing with minor alterations to the text, flyleaves or the addition/modification
-- noun The completed and trimmed assembly of the signatures and
flyleaves, held together by glue or stitching. The side of the textblock
that faces the spine is called the spine lining.
Typeface -- noun The face or style of printed letters, also referred to as the font. The changing (resetting) of typeface in book usually requires a change in edition.
Variant -- noun A slight
difference in binding or endpapers within a given printing.
Wrapped Binding -- noun
The most common paperback binding in which the covers (as a one-piece heavy
stock paper) wrap around the textblock. All paperback Three Investigators
books have a wrapped binding.
International Standard Book Number
The International Standard Book Number
(ISBN) is part of a system of numerical identification for books, pamphlets
and other publications. By assigning a unique ten-digit number to
each published title, the system provides that title with its own, unduplicated,
internationally recognized "identity." The ISBN system was introduced
into the United States in 1968 and adopted as the standard in 1969.
ISBN's were first assigned to Three Investigators books in early 1971,
when the entire existing series was reprinted. More information on
this can be found in the Random House section.
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This page last updated on 30-Aug-04