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Some Common Bookbinding Terminology. . .

Case Binding. A style of binding where the cover (the case) is made separately to the book block (the pages) and the two joined together at the end of the process. This became popular in Victorian times due to the possibility of mechanisation.

Hollow. A hollow is a paper tube separating the spine of the binding from the backbone of the book block, allowing the book to open smoothly without putting stress on the covering material. 

Tight Back Spine. This is where there is no hollow so the leather is stuck directly to the spine of the text block. 

Endpapers and Pastedowns. The endpapers are the first and last pages of the book and are often decorative or coloured. The outer endpaper is usually glued to the inside of the board and so becomes the pastedown. 

Half leather. This is the term used to describe a binding style where the spine and corners of the boards are covered with leather. The rest of the boards are then covered with book cloth or decorative paper

Slip Case. This is an open ended protective case for one or more books usually covered with book cloth or paper.

Endbands. These are the coloured sewn or woven strips at the top and bottom of the spine and originally helped protect the spine from being damaged when handled. They are traditionally hand sewn but now commonly are pre-made and glued into place.

Section. A term used to describe several folded sheets of paper stacked together so they can be sewn into a book. Also known as a gathering or signature, the number of sheets in each can vary.

Tooling. The decorative elements on the spine or boards of a binding. Often in gold and applied using heated hand tools.