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  • wire-stitched

    A technique of book production, familiar from comic books but widely used for pamphlets in the modern era, in which the gathering is held together at its inner fold not by cotton stitches but by one or more wire staples.

  • wood-engraving, woodcut

    Generally used for any illustration printed from a carved block of wood. In technical usage, a wood engraving is carved from a cross-section of the tree, while a woodcut is carved from a plank. Cross-sections are harder than planks, allowing for finer lines and more detail in wood engravings than is possible in woodcuts.

  • worm

    Damage caused by the fabled bookworm, a coverall term for any insect that bores through text leaves or other book parts. Worm-damage to the text generally involves small holes through the leaves, with or without affecting the printed area of the page. Worm-damage to leather bindings may involve similar holes, or more wide-spread superficial damage to the surface of the leather. Silverfish are a distinct cause of damage to more modern books, as they consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives used in cloth and paper bindings.

  • worn

    The binding material is sufficiently abraded that the underlying material shows through.

  • wraparound band

    A narrow, removable band of paper wrapped around a book to advertise additional information, such as critical praise, that the publisher could not or did not want to include on the dust jacket. These are ephemeral items whose survival is unusual.

  • wrappers

    The outer paper cover of a book, published part, etc., generally used by us to refer to covers that are attached, sewn or glued to the book block, rather than a detachable dust jacket.