Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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quire

1. One-twentieth of a ream of paper, or 25 sheets (sometimes 24 sheets plus an outside sheet) in the case of a 500-sheet ream, or 24 sheets in the case of a 480-sheet ream. 2. A gathering (section), particularly when unfolded (i.e., printed but unfolded). A quire was originally a gathering of 4 sheets, forming 8 leaves or 16 pages after one folding. It is thus synonymous with QUATERNION

See textual note .

The low-Latin word quaternum was shortened to "quair" or "guaer." When parchment was the prevalent book material, quires of 4 sheets made convenient gatherings for sewing; however, when the use of paper spread it was possible to use from 5 to 7 sheets without forming too thick a gathering for sewing, and the original association of "quaire" with "four" eventually became obscured. See also: IN SHEETS . 3. To lay together two or more folded sheets, one within the other. See: QUIREWISE . 4. In blankbook binding, a term indicating 80 pages. 5. A small book or pamphlet consisting of, or as if consisting of, a quire of paper. (94 , 234 ,316 )




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