Books are read differently around the world, and the way that people may read them could potentially surprise you. If you’ve ever been to the international section of the library, you’ve probably seen books published in different languages (yes people around the world read too), but have you ever really looked into the books and flipped through the pages just to see how they’ve been written?
Books that are traditionally printed in a Japanese style are basically read backwards in comparison to American novels. You read with the spine facing towards your right and flip through the pages from the right to left as well. When reading the words, they can either be printed traditionally from left to right across the page, or going top to bottom. It’s a bit of a weird switch but once you get used to it, it isn’t too bad.
Books from China are traditionally read the same way that books from Japan are read. However with the recent surges of Western culture in China, both reading and writing styles of Americans have been heavily adopted such that though books may be bound from right to left, reading is now read from left to right.
This language is quite funny actually as they now read from right to left as well, although in the past they used to read the other way around.
The next time that you’re heading into your local library or book store, take a second to stop by the international section and grab hold of a book for yourself to see how different languages are printed. It might surprise you when flipping through these books! May we also suggest that you browse through some Manga as well? It’s even more interesting to see illustrations printed in the opposite direction.