Talk:Dos-à-dos binding

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Recent updates[edit]

The recent corrections are fascinating -- good to see someone getting involved who actually knows something about bookbinding. However, I now wonder if the Publishers Weekly quote is misleading; and if the Cobb dos-a-dos book was actually tete-beche. I'll look at the Corrick tonight, but I don't know how to check on the Cobb. Mike Christie (talk) 15:01, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I checked the Publishers Weekly issue on microfilm; they don't name the format, so there's no worry about terminology there. PW doesn't, however, say that Ace was the first - the text reads, "This is not the first time this trick format has been tried. Simon and Schuster issued a hard-covered double novelette . . . in January 1949." The only claim that they seem to be making is that the Ace Doubles were the first paperbacks - or possibly even the more specific "paper-back, pocket-size fiction," as they're described.

Part of the difficulty with this topic in general is the confusion in terminology. As a bookbinding term, "dos-a-dos" is widespread; "tete-beche" is somewhat less so. It may be that tete-beche books are a "recent" development (say, any time in the last two hundred years), and are essentially a commercial bindery product (as opposed to hand binding). Definitions of "dos-a-dos" in the various reference works aren't much help - saying that one book is "upside down" relative to the other still leaves open the question of which edge it's flipped on, and that's what causes the difference between dos-a-dos and tete-beche.

I'm not sure how to check on the Cobb, either. Haven't been able to find it in any libraries so far, but I'll keep looking.Ratbasket 14:32, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the terminology is confusing... but in English these books are commonly called "front-to-back" which doesn't really make any more sense than "head-to-toe" but is generally understood. They are also called "back-to-back" which makes sense and should be the title of this article in the English wikipedia. (talk) 01:17, 6 December 2012 (UTC)Eric
I'm not sure about the book-binding industry, but the term tête-bêche has been commonly used in librarianship. I first learned it in the late 1980s. It is mentioned in Rule of the RDA (Resource, Description and Access) rules implemented in US libraries in 2013, more than a year after most of the rest of the world had changed. I searched RDA for Dos-a-dos and got no hits. NightBear (talk) 18:15, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


Wow, as Ratbasket said it really looks like whoever edited this page really knows what he's doing (and I use he of course as the non-gendered third person singular). However it's still not so clear to me, the uninitiated reader, what exactly the dos a dos is. I don't really get what: "such that the fore edge of one is adjacent to the spine of the other, with a shared lower board between them serving as the back cover of both." means. Can anyone either clarify this in text or provide some kind of illustration? Thanks a lot! Avraham (talk) 07:26, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's what I think it means. Get two books and place one of them on a surface in front of you so that you're looking at its back cover, with the spine to your right. Place the second book on top so that you're looking at the front cover with the spine to the left. That's dos-à-dos. I think the articles says this unambiguously now, but a picture of an actual dos-à-dos book would certainly help. Mike Christie (talk) 09:33, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Moved from article text[edit]

Whoever decided to describe this "trick format" without using pictures should just STOP posting on Wikis, cause I had this article read by 10 people, not a single one understood exactly what this description meant, and one of them used to be a FRENCH TEACHER.

The above was added by; I've moved it here and left a message on the IP's talk page. Mike Christie (talk) 22:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


The (top) part of the article is about as clear as mud. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

The current picture doesn't really help, either. It looks like three books sitting next to each other, one set of pages facing 'forward' and two backward. --StarChaser Tyger (talk) 05:12, 2 July 2011 (UTC)


"When a reader reaches the end of the text of one of the works, the next page is the (upside-down) first page of the other work." Shouldn't that be the "last" page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 6 December 2012 (UTC)