Question: What Does Full Number Line Mean In Books?


The number line, or printer’s key, often seen on the copyright page of books is simply a method of record-keeping that helps identify the book’s printing and, for some, year of printing a specific book, which may or may not be different than the original copyright date listed elsewhere on the page.

What does number line in books mean?

Also known as a “printer’s key” or “publisher’s code,” the number line is a string of numbers printed on the copyright page, and it is used to indicate the print run for the book. With each printing of a book, the publisher instructs the printer to remove the lowest number that indicated that run.

How do you tell if a book is a first edition?

Identifying the First Edition of a Book

The publisher may actually state the words ‘first edition’ or ‘first printing’ on the copyright page. Another common method of identification is the number line – that’s a line of numbers on the copyright page. Usually, if a one is present in the line then it’s a first edition.

How do you read an edition of a book number?

Number Lines:

Generally speaking, if the “1” is present, the book is a first edition (first edition, first printing). For the second printing, the “1” is removed, so the “2” is the lowest number present. For example, a number line that reads 5 6 7 8 9 indicates a fifth printing.

Are book club editions valuable?

In terms of monetary value, book club editions are usually at the bottom of the pack, practically valueless. (They don’t even rate a definition in the most-recent edition of John Carter and Nicolas Barker’s ABC for Book Collectors, an essential reference for book-trade terminology!)

What is the print line in a book?

The printer’s key, also known as the number line, is a line of text printed on the copyright page (often the verso of the title page, especially in English-language publishing) of books, used to indicate the print run. Publishers began this convention about the middle of the 20th century.

What is the edition of a book?

The bibliographical definition of an edition includes all copies of a book printed “from substantially the same setting of type,” including all minor typographical variants. The numbering of book editions is a special case of the wider field of revision control.

What makes a book rare?

book which has an enhanced value because the demand for the book exceeds the supply, usually because of its importance, scarcity, age, condition, physical and aesthetic properties, association, or subject matter. If there is no demand for a book, it will probably not become a rare book even if the other factors exist.

What is the difference between first edition and first printing?

A first edition is the first printing of a book. It’s true that a first edition may have one or more printings and that a second edition will normally be noted only if there are actual changes, usually major, in the text. But for a collector, a first printing is the only true first edition.

What makes a book a first edition?

In the simplest terms, a first edition is the first commercially distributed version of a book. For the purposes of modern collectible books, first edition is shorthand for the first printing of the first edition of a work. First editions are prized because they are as close as a reader can get to the source.