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HomeLifestyleWhy are books rectangular in shape

Why are books rectangular in shape

Apr 2, 2024

Aakanksha Sharma

​A question we never asked

Since time immemorial we have always seen books that came in rectangular shapes. From the novels to the storybooks, they were all cut out and printed in rectangles. And one thing that never crossed our mind was – Why is the book not square, or circle, or maybe another shape?

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​Was it always the same?

While some believe that the trend of rectangular books has been around for centuries, in reality, earlier, books were actually square in shape. When papyrus was used to write or scribble on, the papyrus paper was actually square in shape.

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​When did it change?

Well, according to several reports, things started changing when papyrus was replaced with parchment. Parchment, made with animal skin, was stretched from end to end, and took the shape of a rectangle when folded.

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​The trend starts

And this is where the trend of rectangular pages started. As the stretched and folded skin came out to be rectangular in shape, people started writing in those, paving the way for something that is now a custom.

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A twist in story

When listening to this story, many people wonder – A page can be shaped in cut in any way, then why did it retain the rectangle?

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The answer

Well, man is not a fan of change! Many say that the ease of reading in rectangular shapes and the habit of seeing books and pages in rectangles made rectangular books a norm for people. Even though paper could be cut and shaped in desirable form, it was kept to a rectangle.

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Other reasons

It is a fact that people have very minimal attention spans and can only read so much when it comes to a book. It is said that because rectangular pages only have 10-15 words per line, it makes it easier on the eyes of readers.

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Better binding

Some people also believe that rectangular pages are much easier to bind and then publish, especially if the book has over 700-1000 pages.

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Easier to hold

Another popular reason for the trend of rectangular books to continue is given to the fact that people believe that it is easier to hold a rectangular book with a single hand as compared to one that is square in shape and requires more effort.

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Thanks For Reading!

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