Thursday, March 06, 2014

Book page numbers

Some things are so ubiquitous, we use them without really seeing them and take for granted. Should they disappear, however, yes, we would notice them. So what would we do without page numbers? How would we refer other people to our favourite passages? How would we quote or find different chapters? Not to mention indexes.

So here is to the first book to include page numbers, Sermo in festo praesentationis beatissimae Mariae virginis, printed by Arnold Ther Hoernen, in Cologne, in 1470. Including page numbers became a common practice among printers only towards the second half of the sixteenth century.

Reader, love thy page numbers.

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