Glossary of Bookbinding Terms


Book Anatomy
Back: The area created by the thickness of the book on it’s bound edge. It may be either curved into a rounded shape or left flat.
Boards: Front and back covers
Body: The bound pages
End Papers: Papers added to the front and back side of a book to protect the body and cover the inner surface of the boards. The sheet pasted to the inside of the cover is the board sheet, the sheet that lies across the body is the fly leaf. They can be plain, colored or decorative.
Foredge: Edge opposite the bound edge
Head & Tail: Top and bottom edges
Headbands: Decorative bands stretching across the head and tail of the spine
Head Cap: Leather or cloth shaped around the headbands at the head and tail of the spine
Hinges: The part of the cover that allows the book to open and close
Mull: Cloth used to line up the backs of books and attach the cover to the body
Raised Cords: Bands passing across the spine. They may be a part of the sewing or purely decorative.
Signature: Sheets of paper folded together into a group
Spine: The part of a cover passing over the back of the book