Friday, August 26, 2022

t.p. verso

B. went to the children's bookstore today to get presents for our grand-nieces, aged 8 and 7, whom we'll be seeing soon. One's interested in horses, the other in sharks (ok, sharks), their parents tell us, so we got a book of fables involving horses and one loaded with facts about sharks.

I looked through these prior to their being wrapped up, so that I'd know what would be in the presents with my name on them, and as a library cataloger I noted that all the publication and copyright info which would normally be on the back of the title page (t.p. verso in book lingo) is now at the end of the book, a placement common in early publications and then called the colophon; I've no idea if it still is.

I've seen this pattern in children's books before, but not systematically. I suppose it's to keep kids from being frightened off by all the small print when they open the book up, and it reminds me that one of the purposes of giving physical books to small children is to teach them how a book is customarily put together: the title, the name of the author, the sequence of pages, and all.

This isn't necessarily easy. I was trying to catalog a children's book in Yiddish once, but I don't really know the language and I asked someone who did to transliterate the author's name. They came back with the information that the author's surname was Verlag, at which point I had to give up. Verlag is German for "publisher."

In other technical news, I've finally figured out what's causing my computer to slow down and become sluggish. It's nothing to do with CPU. It's the memory. Firefox, my principal browser, slowly creeps up in memory hoggage. When I turn it on, total memory usage on the computer is usually about 65%. When it gets above 85%, the functions start to slow. But I don't have to restart the computer. Close Firefox, wait for it to shut down entirely which takes several minutes, and then restart it: good as new, for a day or two.

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