This past week, I found myself proofreading the typeset version of my book. That’s when I made an amazing discovery that many readers probably already realize:

Books have two title pages.

The first title page has only the title of the book. The second title page has the title plus the author’s name, along with the publisher’s logo.

Like most things that seem oddly wasteful at first glance, there’s actually a good reason for the two pages. I dig into the history and terminology over at the Arlo Finch blog:

And now I’m kind of obsessed, grabbing every book on the shelf to check. It’s that classic case of once you notice something, it’s ubiquitous—at least in American hardcover novels.

I’ll be doing a follow-up post looking at the information on the back of the title page, from publisher data to ISBN.