Loose-leaf collection

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Loose-leaf collection

A loose-leaf collection is a kind of book that is not bound , but rather consists of a large number of individual, interchangeable sheets. As a rule, it is one or more file folders . LBW (loose leaf work) is used as an abbreviation . Fixed book prices also exist for this "book-like" product due to Section 2 Paragraph 1 No. 3 of the Fixed Book Prices Act.


If the content of a page has changed, only the sheet containing the change is replaced. The pages to be changed appear as part of a so-called update or supplement delivery. The issue as a loose-leaf collection saves the otherwise necessary new edition of the complete work. For example, the collection of regulations published as a loose-leaf collection for the administration for Saxony comprises around 10,000 pages in two volumes, of which around 1700 pages are exchanged annually in around four supplementary deliveries.

Loose-leaf works are of particular importance in collections of laws. There, editorially selected legal texts are published as a consolidated full text. In the legal field, Schönfelder - German laws and Sartorius - constitutional and administrative laws are the best-known works. In Germany, the step towards the publication of laws and ordinances in the form of the loose-leaf collection was taken in 1935 by the CH Beck publishing house with the 4th edition of Schönfeld , as the book form proved to be too "static" compared to the pace of legal changes during the National Socialist era . The official publications of the German Pharmacopoeia and the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia have also been published as loose-leaf collections for some time. These editions were previously bound. In addition, the aviation manual in Germany as well as collections of judicial decisions and some legal comments are published as loose-leaf collections.

Loose-leaf collections are also widespread in the hobby area, but no existing pages are exchanged there, but the work is constantly being expanded in the course of supplementary deliveries.

The delivery novels used to be a kind of loose-leaf collection .

Criticism of the loose-leaf collection's sales concept

Since loose-leaf collections are sold in many small, comparatively inexpensive individual deliveries, the actual total price of the work cannot be seen at first glance. This can make loose-leaf collections more expensive than a textbook on the same subject. However, the updates keep the loose-leaf publication up to date.

With some loose-leaf collections, especially from the computer and programming sector, the first delivery is incomplete, or the topic does not really need constant updating. In some cases the customer is tempted to buy by a very low starting price, the subsequent deliveries are relatively more expensive.

The exchanged pages are sometimes charged by publishers by pages. The exchange of indexes and indexes as well as pure page break changes are viewed critically, provided that these pages are also calculated.

Figurative meaning

The term “loose-leaf collection” is sometimes also used to refer to disordered to chaotic documents that are not or only occasionally filed .


  • Cornelia Vismann : Files. Media technology and law (=  Fischer. 14927). 3rd edition, Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-14927-8 (also: Diss. Univ. Frankfurt am Main, 1999).

Individual evidence

  1. Cornelia Vismann: Files. Media technology and law. 2000, p. 285 f.