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Book Anatomy


Book Anatomy

Top/ Head- is just that the top edge of your book.

Tail- is the term used for the bottom edge of a book.

Boards- on a hardback this is the term used for the cover.

Gutter- when you open a book it is where the two pages meet in the middle, near the binding.


Joint- the groove on the outside of the front and back boards where the cover is bound to the spine.

Hinge- is the inside of the joint that allows a book to opened

Paste-Down Endpaper(or Page)- The piece of paper glued to the inside of the board of a hardcover.

Free Endpaper/ Front Free Endpaper/ Endpaper- all terms for the first blank and last blank page in a book (it is located across from the paste-down page).


Tipped in Page- Sometimes an author is given a stack of blank pages to sign at home, and then the stack is sent to the bindery. These pages are bound in directly after the free-end paper and are blank except for the author’s signature. To some collectors these books are slightly less preferred, since the author did not actually handle the whole book.

Half-Title Page- When a tipped in page is not present, this is the next page in the book after the free end paper, which has the title of the book on it. (sometimes authors sign this page if they are signing mass quantities of whole books at a bindery or warehouse)

Title Page- The next page in the books which usually states the title, author and publisher information on it. This is the prime spot in which to have your book signed and/or inscribed. Authors will only sign here if you meet them in person or pre-order a book for a signing.

Printer’s Imprint & Copyright Page- On the backside of the title page which lists important information about the book; such as the publisher’s address, copyright, edition/printing, ISBN, bibliographical references, ect.

Spine- The outside portion of the book which covers the binding and what is most often seen when the book is on a shelf.