A book is a written medium for recording details in the form of text or illustrations, usually written with at least one page bound together and encased by a paper cover. The binding may be made of cloth, leather, paper, plastic or metal. The physical shape is called folio. Usually a book’s pages are numbered starting from the left.
A preface usually gives an overview of the author and the meaning of the book, and prefaces should normally appear after the Table of Contents. The principal text on the left in a book appears as a square, tabular, oblong or rectangular chart. In a book that contains maps, the map is usually included as a separate illustration in the left of the main Table of Contents. The left of the main Table of Contents normally indicates the page number(s) where that particular piece of information is found.
A preface usually notes the source of information about the book, who wrote it, and where it was printed. It may also include acknowledgments. The preface may include one or more examples of related works and provides an account of the circulation of the book. The front matter is normally a single copy of the text and can have no illustrations. Illustrations are usually found either in the table of contents or in the table of the title page.
A foreword is usually written by the editor or publisher and marks the beginning of the text. It often includes acknowledgements. The foreword may come before or after the main text and is written by someone other than the author. The foreword usually accompanies the text of the preface. A preface may also come before or after the title page and is written by an author other than the author (sometimes called a reviewer).
The next section after the foreword, the first page of the text, is called the Table of Contents. This is generally a logical order with each section given its own page and the pages numbered with lower-case Roman numerals. The contents of the table of contents are not contained within the book itself but are listed beneath the table of contents. The copyright page is called the flyleaves and appears at the beginning of the text, sometimes toward the end of the text. The term may be used as either a single sentence or part of a quote. In rare cases, the flyleaves are printed on the reverse side of the book instead of being under the table of contents.
Printing on a printing press makes books more portable. Before the age of computer printing, all printed books were large, heavy, hard to carry, and difficult to search. Digital printing on a printing press reduces the weight, reduces the size, and increases the portability while producing high quality, near-perfect copies. A science fiction novel that was printed on a regular paper stock in traditional bookstores could easily exceed the weight and size limits set by the stores’ policies, and therefore be prohibitively expensive for the consumer. However, with a digital printing press a science fiction writer can easily print a bound book that is very portable and is inexpensive enough for the average consumer to buy and read from home.