Question about page count

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When adding a book, how many pages should be including for the page count? Do we just go with the highest number actually listed in the book, or do we include blank pages at the end (e.g., because the number of pages with content didn’t line up to a full use of sheets (or whatever they’re called))? Do we include the cover/backcover?


Usually books seem to count every page, whether blank or not, after the cover.
Those pages often don’t have page numbers though, and neither have empty pages at the end.

I’d say every page between the cover and backcover should be part of the page count, regardless of it’s content.


I’m personally not sure about this. I think the total number of pages is more useful, given that Roman numbering may be used alongside Arabic numbering, and unnumbered pages may be present at the start and end of the book.

However, asking editors to count these additional pages could be a lot of work. On the other hand, that’s already true for the dimension and weight data, so I’m leaning towards saying that the page count should be the total number of pages.


Are you including the cover in that? (Some book page counts do include cover, but some (most?) don’t.)


Would it be tricky to support both?

[ ] Page Count (numbered)
[ ] Page Count (total including cover)

Or similar. Just wondering :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t include the cover in that, no - I don’t have a clear reason why, but I consider the “pages” to be the actual book content - the (usually) identical sheets that have the writing on, rather than the (usually) different material that makes up the cover.


Not at all - the only potential issue is cluttering the UI and confusing editors. Can you think of a way we can distinguish these (perhaps clearly different field names?) in the UI?


To be honest (numbered) and (total) is probably the most concise way I can think of labeling it without really getting stuck in the weeds…
Maybe a mouse over ‘tooltip’ that is a bit more long-form as well?

"how many pages the book has according to the last printed page number"
“how many pages the book has total, including the front and back cover (usually more pages than the printed page count)”


Ideally, it would be best if we can very briefly describe what the pages are. What I’m thinking is along the lines of:

  1. Front cover
  2. Pages 1-6 = Front matter
    2.1 Page 1 = blank page
    2.2 Page 2 = title page
    2.3 Page 3 = copyright information
    2.4 Pages 4-6 = ToC
  3. Pages 7-501 = Content (could also be sub-labelled into chapters/sections)
  4. Page 502-505 = blank pages
  5. Back cover

This makes the data more meaningful and gives an idea of what a publication contains.


With hardcovers, I’ve been counting all the pages in between the endpapers. Paperbacks, which don’t have endpapers, I’d count everything in between the front and back covers.

For describing the pages, we’d want to first define the different types. This is useful for that:


generally I use the number stated in places like which I don’t know if counts the blank pages or not, or the stated, last, number in the book (ignoring any unnumbered pages after)
as these are unambiguous facts that can be referenced.

~ Cat

(I don’t know why I picked that book at all, just random search o_O)