Why Books Have Blank Pages At The Beginning?

It’s one of those things we don’t question anymore, but have you ever really wondered why some books have two or three blank pages at the beginning? I mean, why waste so much paper on… nothing?

Well, it all has to do with the printing process and cost efficiency.

Books are printed on sheets of paper that once folded, trimmed and bound, end up being a specific number of pages. To better understand it, imagine taking a standard piece of paper and folding it into 4 pieces. If you then cut the top and bottom and staple it, and have a small book. This group of papers is called signatures. Here’s how it works. (the article continues after the ad)

books blank pages
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Signatures can be as small as 4 pages, or much larger. A book is typically made up of several signatures. For example, if you take two 4 page signatures you will make an 8 page book, but there is no way to make a 9 page book. There is now way to attach a single page to the existing signatures, it will easily fall out. Hence, the only way to do it is by adding blank pages on the signatures you will use.

In a way, blank pages are a side effect of the printing process. A children’s book might be 30 pages, but the publisher finds that one 32 page signature is the cheapest method of production. So they might add something to the pages, or maybe they leave them blank.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Simple Reason Why Paper Sizes Have These Exact Dimensions 

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