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Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Spines | German Problems

Today, I would like to talk with you about a very serious issue. I first noticed this problem my senior year of high school when my friend gave me three old German books that she found on sale at the library. As a new German-learner, I was excited to receive the books. After stepping back from placing them on my bookshelf at home, however, I noticed something horrible: the titles on the spines of the German books were facing the wrong way.

I put together a small selection of the German boyfriend's and my books to show you just how serious this issue is:

Doesn't that look horrible? As an American, I am used to tilting my head to the right to read book titles. Now, however, I look like a chicken as I tilt my head side to side trying to find the book I want (okay, maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration).

But seriously, does this problem exist with books in other language as well, or was it just German publishers that decided to go against the grain?

And before some smart alack writes it in the comments: yes, I do realize I can just turn the German (or English) books the opposite way. However, this means that the books would technically be upside-down, and what kind of lunatic stores a book upside-down?


  1. We have quite a few German books at the library bookstore where your grandmother and I volunteer. I agree with you. It sure does look odd to us.

    1. I am glad someone else has noticed this too! I guess the best solution is just to keep the German books separate.

  2. Hahaha oh my gosh I've never noticed this!

    1. It's a serious issue! Just wait until you and your Freund combine book collections one day... insanity.

  3. hi, I just came across your post. In many european countries the spines are in the oposite direction from what you see in the English-speaking world. It's annoying as hell, imagine if your books are about 50% in English, 50% in other language... it's a complete mess. So at least you're not alone, if it's of any solace :)

  4. And I would imagine nearly every European household nowadays has English books, so this is a serious issue! We need a United Nations of Librarians that can standardize the publishing process!!!

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