A crown octavo is a book that is seven and a half to nine inches tall and five to six inches wide when closed. This size is also known as a “trade octavo” or “standard octavo.” A crown octavo typically contains between 48 and 96 pages.
The term “crown octavo” comes from the Latin word for “eight,” octavus. This was the standard printing format for books in the early days of printing. The first book to be printed in this size was the Gutenberg Bible, which was published in 1455.
Crown octavos were the most popular size for books in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were small enough to be portable and yet large enough to contain a significant amount of text. Many of the classic works of literature were published in this format, including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Today, crown octavos are still used for some books, but they are not as common as they once were. In the 20th century, smaller formats, such as pocket books, became more popular.
There are a few reasons why crown octavos fell out of favor. One is that they are more expensive to produce than smaller formats. Another is that they require more paper, which means that they are not as environmentally friendly.
Despite these drawbacks, crown octavos still have some advantages. They are easy to read and handle, and they can hold a large amount of text. For these reasons, they are still used for some types of books, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Crown Octavo is an important book size because it is the standard size for most books. This size allows for more text to be printed on each page, which makes for a more efficient use of space and resources. In addition, Crown Octavo books are easier to handle and carry than other book sizes. This makes them more convenient for readers, who can take them with them wherever they go.