Parts of a Book


Learning some terminology is the first step in making books. Here are two pictures detailing the parts of a book:

anatomy of a bookanatomy of a book

In my instructions I will refer to the head, tail, and spine of the book. As this picture shows, the head of the book is the top edge and the tail is the bottom edge. The spine edge is where the book is sewn together and the fore-edge is the edge that opens.

Marking the front and back is also important, especially if you are going to have some details or embellishments on the front cover.

These terms are useful because they will orient you. When you’re making a book, marking the parts (head, tail, front, back, spine, and fore-edge) will keep you from getting confused if you get the book turned upside down. As soon as you cut your cover paper, mark these things on the inside, lightly and in pencil so you can erase them later.

The second picture shows the pastedown and endpaper – those two elements are not included in the simple Japanese stab book I’m teaching you, but if you want to go on to learn about hard cover books, those two elements will be important.

Finally, the pages inside the covers are called the text block.

[photos from]

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