A leaf, commonly made of paper, is a thin sheet that connects to a broader sheet or spine along one edge. The cover, spine, endpapers, and leaves are a book’s primary components. “Leaf” can also refer to any page within a bigger publication.
The word leaf comes from the Latin folium, meaning “a sheet of paper.” Typically made of paper for its durability and flexibility, they may alternatively consist of other materials such as metal or parchment.
Leaves provide a surface for writing or printing on and enable turning pages. They usually stick to the book’s spine using adhesive called binders.
Numbered leaves help with references; typically, the first leaf is at the front of the book, and the last is at the back.
There are many reasons why leaves matter in books: they protect pages from damage, can be used to mark your place on an open spread and add aesthetic appeal. Leaves themselves can be recycled into new sheets.