December 18, 2023 in 

A large-paper edition is a book printed on paper at least 13 inches (33 cm) tall and 10 inches (25 cm) wide. The term refers to any fine or special edition of normal-sized books printed on larger-than-standard paper with varying degrees of coupling, such as illustrations whose borders bleed the page’s edges. It may also confer an oversized appearance upon normally sized books when their text blocks are not.

Large-paper editions are usually produced in small quantities before the release of the regular trade edition, often several months ahead. They may feature alternate dust jackets from those prepared for regular editions, different binding materials, or styles — sometimes even extra illustrations. Occasionally, they’ll be issued without covers entirely but instead slipcased separately.

The present usage stems back until at least early-20th-century book-collecting terminology, where it characterized rare copies bearing uncut pages generally destined for collectors’ libraries already possessing duplicate “reading” copies that had been cut open following purchase.

“Large” implies physically appreciably larger than usual rather than being solely devoted to some specific size range; most would measure about 27–30 centimeters tall by about 20 or wider, though sizes can vary considerably according to the region and subject area covered therein. Nonetheless, because many first-edition hardcover commercial releases eventually feature paperback reprints if they sell well enough, these originally highly valued limited-issue hardcovers rarely demonstrate increased physical dimensions compared with later softcover versions.

Related Entries