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Page Numbering Requests > Do we count unnumbered pages at the end of a book?

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments I am reading 271-page-numbering in the help and have a question.

I have a book in hand with:
* 431 is numbered and is the last page of the story.
* 432 is not numbered and is blank
* 433 is numbered and has the "Acknowledgments" essay.
* 434 is not numbered and is blank
* 435 is not numbered and has the "About the Author" essay.
* 436 is not numbered and is blank

271-page-numbering is silent on "About the Author" essays but given the other things that are counted I'll assume this gets counted.

More troublesome though is the very end of that help page which has "simply list the number on the last page with countable content."

* The last page with a page number is 433.
* The last page with "countable content" is [435] which has no page number on it.

Would 431, 433, or 435 induce the least amount of astonishment from someone with the book in hand and checking to see if the count is correct?

FWIW, Amazon has 466 as the book has ten pages of roman numbered pages before page 1 and they include the blank page at the end. GR currently has 431 meaning a previous GR editor or librarian did not regard the "Acknowledgments" nor "About the Author" as countable content. My question is a general one. As the existing "431" does not astonish me I have no plans to change it.

If GR librarians feel the count should be 435 then I would suggest that the last part of the help be revised to have "simply list the number on of the last page with countable content." I replaced the word "on" with "of" and would allow for counting pages that do not have page numbers on them.


message 2: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Do we count unnumbered pages at the end of a book?

No.

In your example, the page count for this book is 433.


message 3: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments I thought "About the Author" should also be included. Everything except previews and advertisements for other books.


message 4: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments Thank you Toni and Lobstergirl.

I'm still confused though. So you just enter the page number of the last numbered page that is a countable page? If that's the case then that should be the very first sentence of the help and not the very last.

Would the following be accurate?

This field is for entering the number of pages of a book. Enter the page number shown on the last numbered page in the book.

If the last numbered page(s) are advertising and/or preview chapters for other books then work your way backwards to find the last numbered page that is not advertising or previews and enter that page number.

The value entered should be the page number as shown in the book. It does not matter if there are Roman numbered pages before page 1 or if the story does not start on page 1. It does not matter if there are unnumbered pages with an epilogue or other material after the last numbered page.

Marc


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "This field is for entering the number of pages of a book. Enter the page number shown on the last numbered page in the book.

If the last numbered page(s) are advertising and/or preview chapters for other books then work your way backwards to find the last numbered page that is not advertising or previews and enter that page number. "


That would be incorrect, because often the text of the book ends on an unnumbered page (if it's not a full page).


message 6: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments I am trying to understand how Lobstergirl arrived at 433.

She answered "no" to my question Do we count unnumbered pages at the end of a book? implying she did not start at 431 (the last numbered page in the story) and then added up the number of "countable" pages following page 431.

I then thought perhaps she used 433, the last numbered page, and ignored the "About the Author" page which follows and is on an unnumbered page.


message 7: by lethe (last edited Aug 23, 2015 03:36AM) (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Yes, she ignored the "About the Author" (I personally interpret the rules to include the "About the Author").

Complicated and confusing though this GR rule is, it doesn't require you to do higher arithmetics. You do not have to subtract the blank pages in-between the unnumbered pages that do contain text. You just count all pages from the last numbered page to the last page that has text which is not advertisement or preview chapter.


message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments lethe, your way of counting makes perfect sense to me and the count would be 434. (433 is the last numbered page plus one more for the About the Author page.)

I believe the help page needs some attention. For example, the last sentence ends with "simply list the number on the last page with countable content" which is misleading.

I also felt it adds confusion to list some of the things that should be counted as people may be giving weight to that over the list of things that should not be counted. Besides "about the author" there pages about the type-face, typography, footnotes, glossaries, etc. not to mention sometimes the last page of the story and/or epilogue are not numbered.

Did GR editors used to count by subtracting the page number of the first page? I have this which has:
front endpaper
Pages 1 to 8 are not numbered and have preliminary matter
9 numbered page with the start of the story
...
233 - numbered page with the end of the story
blank page
235 - numbered page with "Glossary of Welsh Words"
236 - numbered page that's a continuation of the Glossary
237 - numbered page with an untitled author biography
blank page
endpaper

GR currently says the page count is 224. I suspect someone did 233 minus 9 and forgot to add one. The GR count would be 237 if I understand how the rules are interpreted.


message 9: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "lethe, your way of counting makes perfect sense to me and the count would be 434. (433 is the last numbered page plus one more for the About the Author page.)"

Actually, the page count would be 435 in this example, as the blank unnumbered page between the Acknowledgements and the About the Author page would not be subtracted. :)

GR completely ignores the page count at the beginning of the book. Pages in Roman numerals are disregarded and it doesn't matter whether the Arabic numbering starts at 1 or 10. Only the last page with countable content matters.

(Oh, how I wish GR would just have stuck to the international cataloguing rules which say to record the last numbered page...)


message 10: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "GR currently says the page count is 224. I suspect someone did 233 minus 9 and forgot to add one. The GR count would be 237 if I understand how the rules are interpreted."

For this edition, the page count was changed and the ISBNs deleted. Have reverted the changes: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 11: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl You said 433 is the last numbered page. GR policy is to go with the last numbered page. "About the Author" with no page number on it wouldn't be counted, since it has no page number.


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Marc wrote: "So you just enter the page number of the last numbered page that is a countable page? If that's the case then that should be the very first sentence of the help and not the very last."

The librarian manual is not always written clearly. You're right, that should come first to avoid any confusion.


message 13: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "The librarian manual is not always written clearly. You're right, that should come first to avoid any confusion."

It turns out GR librarians are using at least two different ways of counting. Some are starting with the last numbered countable page and then adding to that all following countable pages. Others use the last numbered countable page and don't add anything to this. There is wording that supports both ways of counting on the Page Numbering help page.


Liam || Books 'n Beards (madbird) | 7 comments I have always gone by the last numbered page.


message 15: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "You said 433 is the last numbered page. GR policy is to go with the last numbered page. "About the Author" with no page number on it wouldn't be counted, since it has no page number."

No, it isn't. GR policy is: "The number of pages in a book is meant to include all content except for advertisements and preview chapters for other books. Included end material may include acknowledgments, afterwords, appendices, bibliographies, glossaries, indexes, notes, and suggested discussion questions."

If GR went with the last numbered page, we could just pick the page number Worldcat and other libraries give. Alas, GR found it necessary to make its policy complicated and confusing.

I have had a few instances where I thought the page number should be the last numbered page and it was corrected to include the text on an unnumbered page. Example: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 16: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments lethe, that section of the policy supports the interpretation that Lobstergirl and Liam are using. It says nothing about needing to count the unnumbered pages.

When I first started reading the Page numbering policy I thought "oh, I need to tally up those pages." I got to the end and thought "whoops" and started this forum thread. Initially, that final paragraph seemed like like an afterthought, intended to deal with how some people interpreted the second paragraph.

Now that I've read the entire policy a few times I see that if I keep "Page numbers should match the page numbers as listed in the book" and "simply list the number on the last page with countable content" in mind that the entire policy is consistent and we would just use the last numbered page.

Unfortunately, on an earlier thread a GR employee and Librarian Moderator is saying to add the unnumbered pages to the total count and now I'm back to wondering how to interpret the final paragraph.


message 17: by lethe (last edited Aug 24, 2015 02:07AM) (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "lethe, that section of the policy supports the interpretation that Lobstergirl and Liam are using. It says nothing about needing to count the unnumbered pages."

??? *How* can you interpret it differently? It says everything should be included except advertisements and preview chapters.

And have you looked at the topic I linked to? Rivka herself said the last, unnumbered page should be counted.

ETA There are SO MANY instances of page count requests where Worldcat says a book has 394 pages (f.e.), and we have to put 395, because that is where the text ends, even though the page is not numbered.

ETA2 Another example: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Edwina knows the rules backwards by now. Worldcat does indeed give 341 pages, but 350 is correct according to GR.


message 18: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments lethe wrote: "And have you looked at the topic I linked to? Rivka herself said the last, unnumbered page should be counted."

Yes, Rivka is the "GR employee and Librarian Moderator" I mention in #17. Her advice threw a monkey wrench into an otherwise easy easy to understand policy.

The policy never says that we need to be seeking out and tallying up the page count for the stuff. Instead it says "simply list the number on the last page with countable content."

The first paragraph defines what is or is not "countable content." It is silent on the issue of numbered or unnumbered pages. The last paragraph is explicitly states to base the value that you report for a book on the last page that has a number on it.

To me, that makes a lot of sense. I can flip open a book, see "433" and can enter that without needing to carefully consider each of the following pages. Others double checking my work would also do the quick flip and look.

Systems such as MARC21 use the highest numbered page for each section and report it as "x+380" If a book has previews that have their own numbers you'd see something like "x+380+13" If someone wants to flip through and count unnumbered pages at the end of book it's reported as "x+380+[4]"

lethe wrote: "ETA2 Another example: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."
I can't find anything on that thread that seems relevant to this thread. Which message(s) I pay attention to? In #17 Edwina excludes a preview - no issue there. In #40 she lists the page numbers. The book ends on page 350. She does not say if that's a numbered or unnumbered 350. I clicked the book link and GR has 350. No issue there. #41 is similar to #40.


message 19: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "lethe wrote: "ETA2 Another example: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."
I can't find anything on that thread that seems relevant to this thread. Which message(s) I pay attention to? In #17 Edwina excludes a preview - no issue there. In #40 she lists the page numbers. The book ends on page 350. She does not say if that's a numbered or unnumbered 350. I clicked the book link and GR has 350. No issue there. #41 is similar to #40."


It is an unnumbered 350, because Worldcat lists 341 pages + 18 unnumbered pages (including the preview).

I've complained many a time that GR makes the page counting rules unnecessarily complicated by not following the international cataloguing rules or simply saying "take the last numbered page, unless that is a preview or advertising". I never got a reaction saying GR does exactly that and I had misinterpreted.

If it were as simple as you say, they wouldn't have needed to mention all the end material that needs to be included. My book with cataloguing rules (that I got when I did Librarian Studies) simply says to take the last number of every sequence of page numbers, no more explanation needed.

I'm hoping a few supers and/or rivka herself will weigh in here. The fact that even GR librarians have various interpretations, means that the rules are worded ambiguously and are in dire need of clarification (something we both agree on :) ).


message 20: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments lethe wrote: "the rules are worded ambiguously and are in dire need of clarification"
Agreed. I also keep in mind that the rules were written and revised by normal people just like you and I.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... appears to be the start of what lead to 271-page-numbering.

I can't find the discussion thread that lead to the last paragraph in 271-page-numbering. There must have been a thread that lead to the addition of "bibliographies" to the main help as that word is missing from the otherwise identical sentences when the rules were summarized on the librarian_manual and 436-goodreads-authors-how-to-edit-your-books. Fortunately, the wording of both summaries is identical.


message 21: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42443 comments Mod
Marc wrote: "It does not matter if there are Roman numbered pages before page 1 or if the story does not start on page 1."

Correct.


Marc wrote: "It does not matter if there are unnumbered pages with an epilogue or other material after the last numbered page."

Incorrect.


message 22: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42443 comments Mod
Marc wrote: "I have a book in hand with:
* 431 is numbered and is the last page of the story.
* 432 is not numbered and is blank
* 433 is numbered and has the "Acknowledgments" essay.
* 434 is not numbered and is blank
* 435 is not numbered and has the "About the Author" essay."


That would be either 433 or 435; I agree that "about the author" is iffy. (It is a single paragraph? Then I'd probably not count it. Is it a full page, maybe over a page? I probably would.)


message 23: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments rivka wrote: "That would be either 433 or 435; I agree that "about the author" is iffy. (It is a single paragraph? Then I'd probably not count it. Is it a full page, maybe over a page? I probably would.)"

Thank you rivka. Your response demonstrates a third way of counting that GR editors are using.

I have learned that
1) Some editors are using the number found on the highest numbered page that is not advertising or a preview.
2) Some editors are starting with the number found on the highest numbered page that's countable and then adding to that the tally of all "countable" pages.
3) Some editors are starting with the number found on the highest numbered page and then paging forwards while counting up so that they know the page number even though it's not printed on the page until they get to the last countable page and use that page's number. I guess they stop counting if they hit a preview.

All three classes of editors believe they are faithfully following 271-page-numbering in the GR help.

You asked "It is a single paragraph?" Yes, it is one paragraph. Ironically, the Acknowledgments essay is the shorter of the two essays and both are one paragraph. A full page of text in this book has 32 lines. The essays use the same font, line spacing, and margins as the main story. "Acknowledgments" has 9 lines with the 9th being nearly full. We'll call it 9/32th or 28% of the page. "About the Author" is padded a bit as it includes the author picture. It has 15 lines (47% of the page) though the last line only has two words on it. I did not include the titles, which are in a much larger font, in the line counts.

Checking to see if something meets a size threshold before it's considered "countable" will add to the fun.

Do you know why GR developed its own counting system? I suspect many people don't care about the exact number and instead use it as a guide to see if a book is the "right size" for whoever will be reading it.


message 24: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42443 comments Mod
An acknowledgements section is about the book, no matter how long it is. The about the author section is more debatable.

Goodreads has the page numbering it does to allow people to look at the book's page, and use that number to update their current status with that page number. Counting unnumbered pages before page 1 (or subtracting for pages if it starts after page 1) would mean that each user entering a status would have to do arithmetic to determine what page they are actually on.


message 25: by Lobstergirl (last edited Aug 24, 2015 08:50PM) (new)

Lobstergirl rivka wrote: "(It is a single paragraph? Then I'd probably not count it. Is it a full page, maybe over a page? I probably would.) "

It's not good policy to have every librarian be an individual interpreter of whether to count an unnumbered "about the author" page, based on the amount of text it includes.

I am currently reading two different books, both of which end with an "about the author" page. In both books, the page numbering ends on the page before the "about the author" page. Both "about the author" pages are unnumbered.

Why would a publisher leave a number off the "about the author" page? Because they don't consider it part of the text, just like the copyright page is not considered part of the text and never has a number.

I will continue to use the logical page counting system I have been using, which is not to count anything but to merely look at the last numbered page, ignoring everything before and after it.


message 26: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl This section of the manual desperately needs a rewrite.


message 27: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "2) Some editors are starting with the number found on the highest numbered page that's countable and then adding to that the tally of all "countable" pages.
3) Some editors are starting with the number found on the highest numbered page and then paging forwards while counting up so that they know the page number even though it's not printed on the page until they get to the last countable page and use that page's number. I guess they stop counting if they hit a preview."


What is the difference between 2) and 3)? Would 2) be not counting the blank pages in-between?


message 28: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Why would a publisher leave a number off the "about the author" page? Because they don't consider it part of the text, just like the copyright page is not considered part of the text and never has a number."

The number is also often left off the last page of the text, if it's not a full page. You can hardly argue that the publisher would not consider the last paragraphs of a novel or story to be part of the text.


message 29: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Nonetheless, if the last page of text doesn't have a number, it shouldn't be part of the page count.


message 30: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Nonetheless, if the last page of text doesn't have a number, it shouldn't be part of the page count."

I heartily agree with you (international cataloguing rules), but GR doesn't.

I don't agree with the reason rivka states for the page count being what it is: "Goodreads has the page numbering it does to allow people to look at the book's page, and use that number to update their current status with that page number."

Everything in Roman numerals is disregarded, but I bet people read introductions (in Roman numerals) more often than they do the index at the end of the book (which should be counted). I can imagine people wanting to update their status while they are reading the introduction.


message 31: by Marc (new)

Marc (mkupper) | 78 comments In #28 lethe wrote: "What is the difference between 2) and 3)? Would 2) be not counting the blank pages in-between?"

In the book that started this thread we have:
* 431 is numbered and is the last page of the story.
* 432 is not numbered and is blank
* 433 is numbered and has the "Acknowledgments" essay.
* 434 is not numbered and is blank
* 435 is not numbered and has the "About the Author" essay.
* 436 is not numbered and is blank

Let's assume we consider "About the Author" to be countable. With method #2 the you would start at 433, add one for "About the Author", and enter 434 into GR. With #3 you start at 433, mentally count the following blank page as 434, and mentally count "About the Author" as being on page 435. You would enter 435 into GR.


message 32: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13731 comments Marc wrote: "With method #2 the you would start at 433, add one for "About the Author", and enter 434 into GR."

As I thought, then. :)


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