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[BKARTS] Book titles on spines

I was intrigued by a poster this last week who stated something to the
effect that title text written lengthwise along the spines of books faces
the opposite way on books in Europe when compared to books published in the
USA.  Unfortunately, I do not have the poster's original reference.

Being intrigued I decided to excavate my book shelves.

I do not have an extensive library, but I have a lot of books published in
Britain on my shelves along with books published in the US and Germany.  It
wasn't until I found a book published in Britain in 1918, that I found the
title text facing the opposite way to the US practice.  All my modern
British books are indistinguishable in titling along the spine to the
American practice.

I also have several modern books in German.  These do indeed have the title
text printed the opposite way to the modern USA practice.

So my questions are:  When did the UK switch printing titles to the same
direction as the US?  Do all other European countries print their titles
facing the opposite direction to the US?  Is there anywhere where
information such as this is summarised?

Many thanks,
Julia Bradshaw

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