Slightly shaken books

Sunday 13 June 2004This is 19 years old. Be careful.

I was browsing the web for used books today (Alibris is wonderful), and saw the condition of one book described as “slightly shaken”. I’d never heard the term before, but found it in Carl Noe’s Book Collector’s Glossary:

A condition characterized by very loose binding.

I couldn’t find any definition for another word: “shelfcock”.


Sylvain Galineau 4:28 PM on 13 Jun 2004
I would guess a specific kind of shelf wear - the wear that occurs at the top and bottom of books as they are stored/removed from shelves - in this case when the book is not shelved upright between other books but spent a great deal of time leaning to one side or the other. After a while, when you put it on a table, the covers are not quite lined up because the spine is out of shape.
Agree with Sylvain. Shelfcock sounds like a book that slants slightly from being upright at an angle for a long time.
It sounds like the right definition. How odd, though, that the word isn't defined by any online dictionary!

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