Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What sheep and books have in common

Here’s some random but interesting information for your Tuesday.  Ever wondered why those really old books – the folios – are such an awkward size?  Blame it on the sheep.  Apparently medieval books were sized according to medieval sheep sizes.  FirstFolioThat’s a Shakespeare First Folio held at the Cornell University Library.   Too bad there’s not a sheep pictured next to it, for scale.

Folio, quarto, octavo, sixteenmo, thirty-twomo…  all based on the size of sheep skins.  Read all about it!


  1. Sharon once gave me a book that I swear was a onetwentyeight-mo. Anytime you put the suffix "mo" at the end of something, I will laugh. That's pretty much a guarantee.

    All kidding aside, this was all news to me. Thanks for shearing! ;-)