Question About Lan's Lantern # 16
Steven, Irene will probably know more than I do, but that usually implies the number of pages (not leaves though, as one leaf = 2 pages) between the roman numeral numbered pages and the Arabic numeral numbered pages, and is used to collate a book to make sure all pages are there with older books and to identify such. They are usually denote the number of pages of illustrations or similar type material included in the book but not numbered specifically. I am not aware of the blue cover of that book.

Note: I should clarify. The number I was discussing was the '2' in brackets - [2] - in the description of the book. I know that Ms. Norton only had the red bound copy, and I also have not heard of a second printing. And, as Irene said, second printings were not common at that time. It might have been a remainder binding, or rebound for a library with the illustration added, but that would also have been unusual at that time. But as said before, for $3000, my sense of question will have to remain unanswered.
I believe that the copy that was Auctioned off two years ago was JoeG's. That was a copy that Joe took My photocopy of Ms Norton's book, and had it photoshoped into a single page.

My memory is that Ms Norton had a Red-cloth bound copy, and even her dust jacket was in two pieces.

Please note: We are not assuming that the dealer in Australia had a bad copy of THE PRINCE COMMANDS. What we were trying to figure out is any possible way that that particular copy had a blue-cloth binding.

1) We assumed that this was a first printing. Especially since none of us knew of a second printing [Most books don't have second printings.]
2) We postulated that the copy was a library copy.
3) We guessed that the copy had been re-bound. [Without an exact milimeter type measuring of the page block, and an exact measure of the inner margin, and a view of the binding, there is really no way to be sure.] Though it was possible that the London branch of Appleton-Century had used a different color binding, and that edition had made it to Australia.

"We" all had only seen copies bound in Red/Brick-cloth. Didn't have any knowledge of a special Library Binding. [Yes I also checked Currey.] None of "us" had provided a copy of the dust jacket to the seller (at least not to our knowledge). In all, we were skeptical of the $3000 price.
Hello eveyone,

In response to Paul's request: I would be delighted to make the scan(s) available to those who are interested. What is the best way to do this?

Is there a way to post them on the board; or should I send the scans(s) to you individiually if you are intersted? I will do the best I can, either way, to meet needs.


I would contact Lots-A-Watts and arrange to post your scan on his board, if he feels that it is appropriate.

You should be able to click on his Name at the top of this thread, and email him directly.

That's what I've been trying to do. If he requests a scan, and nags me enough so that I remember to bring the item to my computer/scanner, I am always willing to scan stuff.

Note: I usually make a scan that is not the full dust jacket. I don't want people to be passing off a copy as an original.
Notes on THE PRINCE COMMANDS and Library copies in general.

Library copies of books get used/loved/abused. At some point a Library looks at what they have, and how often it was lended out. Is this a book we want to keep in circulation? Is it worth re-binding?

Library editions of a book, are often with a slightly more rugged cover. Sometimes these even have "pictoral boards" where the image on the dust jacket is printed on the cloth binding.

This style of library edition cover is pretty, because at one time, most libraries removed the dust jackets and discarded them. [Now don't all look sad. That is just how it was.] As time went on, Libraries started to kept the dust jacket and wrapped it in a dust jacket protector, and taped or pasted that to the book. This plastic jacket provided an additional layer of protection from kid-abuse.

So, the library has that copy of STAND TO HORSE, and it hasn't been circulated for a year, and the latest borrower, had to pay the fine for damaging the cover. Discard? Rebind? I bought a copy for 25 cents, that didn't have much left of the spine. I believe even the tape used to hold the spine together had fallen off.

OK. There was a period, during my youth, where a library would take a hard cover book and rebind it. If the page-block was in pretty good shape, the page block, and cloth mesh support would be removed and put into a new set of boards, new end papers glued down.

This is very like re-building an auto, where the body is rusted, but the undercarriage & engine are fine.

These new boards were often of a stiffer cloth. The cloth looked like someone painted a layer of colored glue over the cloth, and then Stamped a single image in the center. For the PRINCE, this might be a Wolf, or some other image taken from an inside illustration, something from the original cover or dust jacket.

If the page block had raggedy outside edges, the binder sometimes trimmed the edges to make them even again. If the page block had loosened. The bunches of 16 pages each (signatures), were stitched back down into the cloth mesh base.

If the pages were ripped where the stitching was, then more heroic stitching was needed. Each of these pages had new holes stitched about 1/4 inch from the old stitching. In this case the inner border would be smaller, and the pages harder to read, as the text would be closer to the spine.

A later, and more obvious, method of rebinding was to "perfect bind" the pages together. Here the entire page block would be trimmed, and the spine edge dipped in glue & glued onto the mesh, and attached to a new binding. The inner margin of this type of rebinding would also be narrower than the original.

I recently had an Anthology that used this method for a new book. I was spitting mad at having paid extra for a Hard cover book and having a bunch of pages just un-glue themselves into my hand. I occasionally think about getting the book stitched, and then put back into it's binding, with new end papers.

OK. So, you should also know that the first printed books were never bound at all. If you were rich (and only the rich owned books), you would purchase what I am calling the page block, and have it bound in your own favorite binding. That is why when you look at stately homes, that have a library, it looks like they have the Gregg Press editions of every book ever published. You know matching red leather books with gold leaf printing. Oh, and boards were really wood.

What makes up a page block is a sheet of paper, with printing on both sides. the paper is folded 3 times, and the result is 16 unreadable pages, as the edges are folds, and not open. Each of these (signatures) is stitched to a cloth mesh, lightly glued together at the spine, and then that is backed with a bit of parchment or cloth, down the spine end. The mesh is wider than the stack of signatures. Then the edge of the page block is either trimmed even, or lately, opened, but untrimmed. The boards are (current practice) two pieces of card board, with colored cloth, or strong paper, wrapped on the outside edge. A bit of thin card board is placed inside the spine edge. The colored wrapping is pulled to the inside of the card board, and glued down. Now the page block is placed inside of the boards, and the mesh is glued to the boards, near the spine. The final step is to glue a piece of nice end paper to the boards, to cover the wrapping edges & mesh, and then glued to the page block in a thin stripe of glue near the spine.

Fancy bindings still use cloth, and often some leather to protect the spine & corners. Fancier bindings box the results in either boxes open on one edge, or in clam-shell shapes that sometimes support the page block as well as the boards. I have seen people binding books in leather, and yes I drooled.
Irene, thank you for the interesting information on binding, I learn something every day. I think the most obvious example for the durability of the 'perfectly bound book' is the old Ace double. They did not age well...
Irene Posted
Quote:I would contact Lots-A-Watts and arrange to post your scan on his board, if he feels that it is appropriate.

You should be able to click on his Name at the top of this thread, and email him directly.

That's what I've been trying to do. If he requests a scan, and nags me enough so that I remember to bring the item to my computer/scanner, I am always willing to scan stuff.

Hello Kind Folks,

I Would be more that happy to post said scans. just email me at

Or any other photos or scans or info about Andre Norton people want to share. I have lots of room, and I will be more than happy to credit any items to the originator. My only rule is that I get say over how it's formatted. But that is only because I have to use certain software to keep things from getting to unwieldy.

In fact - Paul my offer still stands to give you your own page or pages. (I've been meaning to call you back about that, I've just been very busy.)

Looking forward to hearing from you all.

"Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted"
Andre Norton's website -
Thanks, Jay,

I will send you an email soon with the scans so you can make them available to everyone.

For anyone who has a copy, or who has seen a copy, of The Prince Commands, I have a remaining question: Is there a [1] at the bottom of page 269 of the one you have seen? Has anyone ever heard of or seen a copy that had a code other than [1] there (on the last page, I believe)? If there is a [2] or some other number, I suspect this would mean a second edition of the hardcover ... or perhaps a second printing of the first edition, but that is just a guess on my part. It also should mean that many more were printed than I have been thinking might have been printed. I wonder if there is a way of knowing how many were made.

Some time ago, I looked at WorldCat and found that there are very few libraries that list this title in their holdings in that venue. Some of these are microfilm, it turns out, and others are listed in error (or may be missing in action), so there are not many out there to be enjoyed in that format.

I very much enjoyed and appreciated Catsrule's and Irene's comments about bindings and variants, and about codes and their likely meanings (auctions, etc.).

Irene, you have made me even more pleased and proud to own a number of library bindings of Miss Norton's books. As I told her, I would love to have each of her volumes in library bindings because those were the books that I checked out of the Bemidji High School Library (and the public library in town), and they were such a constant, encouraging, and comforting part of everyday life (and they seen to have softer, almost velvety, paper--I long have wondered if this could be because different paper was used, or if, perhaps, it is because the pages may have grown more supple from the attention of many appreciative page-turners). If anyone comes across a book from Bemidji, I hope you will post a note! (And if any of you is hoping to find one from your town, please let me know--although it will take me a bit to get to my library-bounds because we are having some busyness around here at the moment. Paul G., I almost think you once gave the name of your home library, but I have forgotten it, if so.)

Have a great trip, Irene!


P.S.: I believe that there is only ONE Bemidji ... so I have been told!
there are several cities named Monroe around the country. My hometown library is the Ouchita Parish library system. I've never heard of any other Ouacuita Parish. They have a books for sale shelf and will on occasion have a huge sale. The Monroe Symphony league has book Fairs the first two weekends in March, June, and October. I once picked up a NF Stand To Horse for 1$. I also snagged a Lord of the Rings 2nd HC in Jacket boxed for 5$
I love the smell of ex-lib books. years ago, I was visiting my original home town, Westlake, La. They had built a new library(Calcasieu Parish) and I stopped in for a visit. They had a sell rack, all books .50. On the circulation desk there was a pile of books to be discarded and put out for sale the next day. On the top of the pile was a copy of THE STARS ARE OURS. I picked it up and looked at the old checkout card in the pocket. My name and a few of my friends' names were on the card! This was the very copy that I picked up at the age of 8. This was the very book that turned me on to reading. I opened the book buried my nose in it and took a long sniff. I was transported back to 1962. It was amazing. The librarian was not going to put it out until the next day and I would be 200 miles away. I explained the personal significance of the book and offered do make a $10 donation to her Friends of the Library fund if she would go ahead and do it right then. I handed her the money. She handed me the book and even let me keep the card. I later took it to Andre's house, told her the background story(which thrilled her) and got it signed. Most purist collectors wouldn't look twice at this book. It is ex-lib w/ pictorial boards; all the corners are bumped and it has the old library smell.
It is one of my Most prized possessions.
Later Kind Folks--Paul:book:
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
Wonderful, wonderful story, Paul!

Thank you.

Here I thought that the "Library" smell was from the bits of paper falling to the floor each day. I've been told that the average library looses, as paper dust, the equivalent of one book per day. The smell could be what was missing when my family switched from the old-library-in-a-house that we drove a half hour to, and the brand new library that was built in walking distance when I was 11 or so. [That first summer they were open, I won a book in the summer-reading-program. I chose a cook book, as everything else I could always just check out.]

My current library is a middle aged place. The town is currently arguing over expanding it into the park. They have one monster book sale each summer, and I have to stretch over the kids to get to any Norton books that might have been set out.

I own a couple of Library bindings that never went to Libraries, and a couple of X-library copies. Usually the X-library copies are on my "reading" shelf, but my X-library copy of THE PRINCE COMMANDS, is among my first editions.

My first reading of the PRINCE COMMANDS was the Library of Congress' copy. This had been re-bound in the special Library of congress boards and end papers (that read Library of Congress). I suppose that is to prevent the members of the Congress from permanently borrowing books. I wonder if I photocopied the Boards, or just the end paper... now where is that?

Oh - I'll check the LoC copy of The PRINCE, but I bet that is a first printing, as the Congress, like the Tax man, gets their copy first. My bet is that "1" on page 269 (or whatever) would have been removed in a second printing. What used to happen is the type would have been set in a block for the 8 page signatures, for each 8 pages. The book was printed, and the typeset blocks would be stacked away. For the second printing, the blocks would be pulled out of storage, and the one removed. Current practice has that number string on the copy right page, and the 1 struck off the string.

I doubt that there are any typeset blocks any more. Most likely is that the original single sided pages are stored someplace on a computer, and queued up when a new edition needs to be printed. That is what the print-on-demand publisher's do.
Paul, I understand that connection to the ex-library copies that you used to read as a kid. I'm fortunate to have 3 (possibly 4) copies from my local library that were the very copies I read as a boy: Moon of Three Rings, Star Born and Steel Magic. The possible fourth is Key Out of Time, but for some reason I don't remember that one. Nonetheless, I recognized it, so I probably did. Plus, I was able to get the first four Mushroom Planet books by Eleanor Cameron from the book sale; read all of those multiple times, too. There's just a connection for me to those copies, like they were "my" books versus one I just purchased from a bookstore. And yes, they were the books that got me hooked on Andre Norton; my school library didn't have any. I read what was in my public library, then was loaned some by some of my 7th and 8th grade teachers. They're the ones that got me hooked on Witch World.

Having been in the lower income brackets for most of my life, my collection of Norton hardcovers was, for a long time, exclusively ex-lib. book fairs were and still are my stomping grounds. I picked up lots of ex-lib Nortons for .25. At one time, I actually had four copies of RIDE PROUD REBEL. I kept one, traded two with other collectors or dealers. The fourth, I gave to Anne McCaffrey. I asked her if she liked reading Andre Norton and she said "Who doesn't?" I showed her the RPR and asked her if she had a copy. She said "No" and I said, "Now you do."
I have slowly replaced some ex-lib with non-lib copies over the years as money has permitted. I really need to organize my collection, but I believe that other than PRINCE, I have every Norton that has appeared in hardcover in signed hardcover copies. some are ex-lib, some are not. I don't have Murders For Sale, but I do have Sneeze On Sunday inscribed "To Paul Goode who has waited so long". I had been bugging her so long to get Murders reprinted. She said, "But it's so dated" I said "So is Agatha Christie and she gets reprinted all the time." Andre said, You know,I had never thought of that" The rest as they say is history.
So I have nothing against ex-lib though I have met some collectors who wouldn't "disgrace their shelves" with ex-libs. Later Kind Folks---Paul:hellohands:
Frontiers of any type, physical or mental are but a challenge to our breed. Nothing can stop th questing of man, not even man. If we will it, not only the wonders of space, but the very stars are ours
Oh frill. It was MURDERS FOR SALE that is the Library of Congress edition. I'll double check my PRINCE COMMANDS anyway.

MYCode Guide

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