Leaves ~ pages ~ and sheets

~ and folios and leaves

There can be much confusion over the words sheet ~ leaf ~ page. Often it does not matter and is easily clarified by the context. Be aware that here can easily be a misunderstanding on WWW-sales sites.

Advertising a book as having of '80 pages' upsets a buyer who expects a page to be two sides of paper. It may sound odd ~ but I have seen numerous complaints in the comments columns from people who expect ~ or hope for ~ twice as much as they will receive. To avoid accusations of dishonesty, listings have to be carefully compiled.

I try to use a phrase such as 'pages ~ as if numbered in a book', or else spell out my understanding of the various words. Maybe I make it even more complicated by introducing the words folio and section.

So here goes, once again ~ please drop me a line if I am wrong!

For codex binding a single sheet of paper is folded in half to make a folio. A folio has four sides ~ or pages if they are numbered as if in a book.

Once the folios are collated and gathered into a section ~ many people call them signatures ~ it is tempting to refer to the number of sheets ~ where a sheet is the obverse and reverse pages. That gives two sheets to a folio. In the paragraph above I started with one sheet ~ and now it has become two! Best not to use sheet at this stage ~ especially when the word leaf is available.

So ~ for general use ~ I would suggest 'This book has twenty leaves which provides forty numbered pages.'

For bookcrafters I might say 'Four sections of six folios (equals 24 folios) ~ which is 48 leaves ~ which is 98 pages'. Maybe 98pp would be better ~ it is a widely recognized abbrevation.


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