Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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book support

A wood or metal device generally placed to the right side of a row of books on a shelf to support and maintain them in a vertical position. Book supports are available in several forms: 1) the spring type, which hangs from the ribbed shelf above (but which sometimes does not reach down to the smaller books); 2) the metal support, with a stamped-out metal tongue that slips under the first few books; it rests on the same shelf as the books to be supported, and should be flanged to prevent it from "spearing" or otherwise damaging the books; 3) the type that locks into the ribbed shelf on which the books rest, and which can be difficult to slide if the locking key becomes twisted; 4) the magnetic support, which is usable only on ferrous metal shelves; and 5) wooden supports, some of which are very elaborate and are generally used to support more valuable books, or books in specially designated areas. The better book supports have a felt- or cork-covered base, especially for use on wooden shelves, and, for valuable books, a felt- or cork-covered face. The typical metal support is generally available in two sizes—regular, about 6 inches tall, and oversize, about 9 inches tall.

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