Octavo: Difference between revisions
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'''Octavo''' (abbreviated '''8vo''' or '''8°''') is a technical term describing the '''format''' of a book, which refers to the size of leaves produced from folding a full sheet of paper on which multiple pages of text were printed to form the individual sections (or ''gatherings'') of a book. An '''octavo''' is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper on which 16 pages of text were printed, which were then folded three times to produce eight leaves. Each leaf of an octavo book thus represents one '''eighth''' the size of the original sheet. Other common book formats are [[Folio (printing)|folios]] and [[Quarto (text)|quartos]]. '''Octavo''' is also used as a general description of '''size''' of books that are about 8 to 10 inches tall, and as such does not necessarily indicate the actual printing format of the books, which may even be unknown as is the case for many modern books. These terms are discussed in greater detail in [[Book sizes]].
An octavo is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets of paper on which 16 pages of text were printed, which were then folded three times to produce eight leaves. Each leaf of an octavo book thus represents one eighth the size of the original sheet.
Beginning in 1501, [[Aldus Manutius]] of Venice began to print classical works in small octavo format which were easily portable. These editions contained only the text of the works, without the commentary and notes, and became extremely popular with educated readers. As a result, Aldus became closely associated with the octavo format.<ref>Martin Lowry, ''The World of Aldus Manutius,'' [[Cornell University Press]], 1979, pp. 137-167.</ref>
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, technology permitted the manufacture of large sheets or rolls of paper on which books were printed, many text pages at a time. As a result, it may be impossible to determine the actual format (i.e., number of leaves formed from each sheet fed into a press). The term "octavo" as applied to such books may refer simply to the size of the book. The use of the term "octavo" as applied to such books refers to books which are generally between 8" and 10" (20–25 cm) tall, the most common size for modern hardbound books. More specific sizes are denoted by reference to certain paper sizes as follows: