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Re: [BKARTS] Book titles on spines

Generally speaking, Americans books show the letters erect when the book
lies flat on a shelf with the front cover UP.

Most European books show the spine lettering erect when the front cover is

Hence the droll but tiring tiring exersize of flopping ones head from left
to right and back when looking at a normally shelved, i.e. not flat,
collection of books printed in both Europe and the US.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Matthew Jennett
Assistant Librarian
Curator of Special Collections, Rare Books & Archives,
The American College of Greece
6 Gravias St.,
GR-153 42, Aghia Paraskevi
Athens, Greece
Tel: [30-]210-600-9800 Ext: 1430
FAX: [30-]210-600-9811
Home Phone: [30-]210-701-7604
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

----- Original Message -----
From: "Julia Bradshaw" <julia_bradshaw@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 8:10 PM
Subject: [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
> 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.
> 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
> 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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