November 8, 2023 in 

A page’s head, or top margin, is essential in publishing – particularly for newspapers and websites.

Books also have heads. This is the term for the top edge of pages, where the spine meets the cover. The head is generally the narrowest part of the book.

The head can be adorned with design, gold leaf, or other ornamentation – it may also be plain.

The structural function of a book’s head is to keep the pages together and provide a surface to which the spine can be glued.

A book’s identity can often start at its head. For example, they may contain stamped titling information like authorship or publisher information.

One purpose of a head is to provide space on each page for a running head, typically a shorter version of that page’s title or main heading. Heads also make it easy to place page numbers: traditionally, these are put in the top right-hand corner of each recto (right-hand) page; headers are valuable places for newspaper titles and dates and other info (e.g., US newspapers commonly include their nameplate here).

There are good reasons why books need them: because they help readers navigate through texts by identifying quickly what lies within each chunk. They don’t just help readers find what they want more easily but offer visual structure too – so using headings makes texts simpler and easier to read; they add signposts about what might lie ahead next as well as providing helpful memory aids by dividing long stretches into smaller chunks containing key points. In short, headings hugely boost how readable books feel.

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