So those early vernacular writers shaped their languages. In a similar way, the early printers and paper manufacturers shaped what we think of as a book. How big is a book? How many pages? How do you organize the information printed inside?

When this book gets printed it will be about 9” x 12”. It will have 32 pages plus the cover. Thirty-two is the usual number of pages for a kids’ book. Why? Because of the size of the press sheet—the piece of paper that gets run through a modern 4-color printing press. You can fit 8 pages onto each side of a press sheet. Two sides equal 16 pages. Sixteen is too few pages to tell a story, so kids’ books are 2 of these press sheets—32 pages total. There will be a title page and a page for copyright/dedication and other information. The rest will be lousy gags and badly-drawn cartoons and history. This is called the format of a book.

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

Don’t forget: I wrote another Western Civ User’s Guide! Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space.

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