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Re: [BKARTS] Book titles on spines

All of my French imprints are titled "bottom-top", opposite to the
pattern used in the US.  It truly does make reading a shelf of titles
less than comfortable, so these may be shelved upside down.

When working on a book printed in another country, I make a point of
noticing the orientation of the spine lettering, and I will ask the
owner how they will want it put back.  Depending on the book and what I
am doing with it, the answer may vary.  If I am making a new cover,
usually the lettering is done "top-bottom" to blend more smoothly with
other books on the shelf.  If it's a restoration, I replace the spine
in the original orientation.


On Tuesday, October 28, 2003, at 10:10 AM, Julia Bradshaw wrote:

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
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
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
direction as the US?  Do all other European countries print their
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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