Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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cancel ( cancels, cancellans )

1. A replacement leaf or leaves, printed because of a mistake in the original printing, an imperfect page, etc., that is to replace the corresponding faulty section before the book is actually published. Cancels have been common since the beginning of printing from metal type; however, with the development of high speed printing presses, it has become more economical simply to reprint an entire signature rather than go to the expense of inserting a cancel by hand.

The substitution of the cancel by either the printer or binder depends on when the mistake is discovered. If the binder is to make the substitution, the printer may mark the incorrect leaf with an asterisk to indicate to the binder that he is to cut out that leaf and tip the replacement to the stub. If the replacement leaf bears a signature mark the asterisk should precede the signature letter.

2. In bookbinding, in a broad sense, all leaves that are not to be bound in. This applies specifically to the waste sheets. (69 , 131 , 234 )

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