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Questions > couple questions from a new librarian

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message 1: by jenjn79 (last edited Apr 01, 2008 06:21PM) (new)

jenjn79 | 565 comments I've just got a few technical and semi-technical questions to do with book entries...

Page numbers - I know Amazon generally doesn't get page numbers right, but I've come across a few entries here and there that seem to have a page count that represents that physical number of pages from cover to cover. What's the proper page count? When I need a page count, I've been just going to the last page of the text (where the "the end" would be) and using that page. Which seems correct, but I just want to make sure there's not some weird rule I'm missing.

Year published - I was adding some summary info to a book and noticed that the published date Amazon gave, and the copyright in the book were a year off. The published date was Dec 2006, the copyright 2007 (I've come across a similar thing a few other times). Which is the better date to use? I know the Amazon date might be more technically accurate, but your average reader is going to be looking at the copyright in the book and maybe get a little thrown off that they are not the same.

Summaries - I was rating a book and happened to notice the summary had one of those mini author-blurbs with it, a summary that was kind of...wordy and chatter-y, and then at the end, whoever had added the info had added their "signature" (ie name) at the end. What are the official/un-official rules of editing a summary? To me, the little author-blurb seemed completely unnecessary, along with the summary writer's name...and given free reign, I'd probably type up the summary from the cover of the book, but I have no idea what's okay to do in this kind of thing. So any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks for the help. I think that's all my questions.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 28360 comments Mod
For page numbers we're talking at most 4-6 pages difference, right? So I don't think it matters much, but IMO it's fine to correct it when it's off.

Publication date really should be the same as copyright. Except maybe for textbooks and technical books which have considerable lead time. I'd say when they're different that copyright should be what's listed, I think.

I agree with your assessment of the summary. ;)


message 3: by Raymond (new)

Raymond (kiwimac) | 6 comments The only other thing you might do is to check if there is a preface or introduction using latin numerals, ie, I, II, i, iii, etc. This information should be added before the arabic numerals for the pagination (at least if you're cataloguing for a library.)


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Official page numbering can be rather odd. In older scientific texts and papers, book citations often included the number of pages in the book and they often included every scrap of paper (blank or not), but sometimes would separate out the primary text from the preface and plates did not count as pages (since they weren't numbered) and were also listed separately. My guess is that there is some formal bookbinders convention on counting page numbers in books which almost no one remembers, but I have no idea what it would be.

Personally, I would tend to go with just the highest numbered page.


message 5: by Kathrynn (new)

Kathrynn | 189 comments I've noticed the page numbers for most mass market fiction paperbacks seem to be automatically set at 384--by publishers or whoever inputs that information into the mass database for books--but, if you have the book in your hand and flip to the last numbered page, it will be more like 370. And even if you do count the blank pages or advertisements, it won't reach 384...

Sometimes if the the books are thinner, they seem to be automatically set at 352. Go figure.

For nonfiction books, seems to be a more accurate page number count.

In the big picture I guess it's no big deal, but when I have a book I verify all the info, publisher, ISBN, page numbers, synopsis, add the main characters--separated by a comma, setting and language, some award info if I have verifiable info on that, etc.

If you notice the characters names and they are separated by a comma, they become a hyperlink and you can find other books that have them as characters. Pretty handy feature for books that have repeating characters. :-)

My two cents...



message 6: by Lisa (last edited Apr 02, 2008 11:43AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 2373 comments I almost always go with the highest page number.

(And I digress, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when books do not start on page 1. I hate it when a novel or other book begins on page 3, or any number other than page 1.)


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