Hide your shame

I can't believe that a perfectly clear word like sexagesimo-quarto has been replaced by sixty-fourmo. It's an outrage.

There's a book size in Japan called 菊判, kiku-ban or "chrysanthemum format"; the Koujien claims that this is because when the first books of that size were imported, there was a chrysanthemum logo on them, but some guy on the internet says that kikuban were originally introduced by newspapers, and so kiku is really the 聞(く) (to hear) of 新聞 (newspaper). I don't know, I wasn't there.

Kikuban are a little larger than A5 size, by the way, and sizes in general are relevant because in Japan it is possible, even easy, to buy lovely covers like these ones to protect your books from prying eyes and impure bodily fluids. Most bookstores will slap a paper cover on your purchase at the counter, too -- Yurindo even offers you your choice of color.

Weirdly, though, most bookstores draw the line at anything officially classified as a "magazine", even if it's book-shaped and much thicker (and more embarrassing) than your other purchases.

Popularity factor: 9


Er, 菊版, no?


While I suppose that it's pointless to bemoan the delatinization (=dumbing-down) of our language, do they have to be so stupid about it? If you're going to dump the sexagesi- -quarto, why on earth retain the -mo? (I could live with 64mo, by the way, since I probably wouldn't have to hear the idiots mouth-mangle it too often.)

O tempura, O more ales!


I'm inclined to agree, although I do find myself thinking "eightvo", "twelvemo" etc. when cataloguing my books. (I actually enter the sizes in the numeric abbreviation, of course.)

If you know Japanese book sizes, what's, umm, about the width of a B-format but only a little over the height of a British A-format? I have a bilingual collection of tanka here that I'd like to be able to classify more precisely than "12mo".


Those covers they put on books in Japan always reminded me of similar covers that said "Underwater Basket-weaving for Beginners" or something that would come in Mad magazine.


Don't give in, IDR -- hold out for LXIVmo at the very least!

Amida: did you see the company that's started selling covers like that again in the US? They got a boingboing link a few weeks ago.

Tim: could that just be plain old B6 size? The general classification for that in Japan would probably be tankoubon, but that's a general class of sizes (which can include books that are A5 or even a little bigger) rather than a specific size in and of itself..


OK, I think it's actually supposed to be a JIS B6 (which is different from an ISO B6). "JIS B0 has an area of 1.5 m², such that the area of JIS B pages is the arithmetic mean of the area of the A series pages with the same and the next higher number, and not as in the ISO B series the geometric mean." The height is actually about 3 mm over the 182 specified here, but I've given up on recording that level of deviation.

I should add ISO and JIS B sizes to my cardboard book-gauge here...


Ah! I had no idea they were different, sorry. I really do like the Japanese B series, though. Pity it's non-standard.


I saw those! But I forgot what they said and where I saw them. I did wonder, however, how something like that would go over in Japan.


There's no need to apólogize, Matt. You didn't create the situation with the international paper format standards, and far from misleading me you put me on the right track. I'd forgotten the B series even existed.

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