Octavo (sometimes abbreviated to "8vo," and sometimes
pronounced "eight-vo"), a term from bibliography, refers to the format of a book. An octavo is smaller
than the folio and the quarto, but larger than the duodecimo. A sheet is folded over three times, so each
sheet consists of eight leaves (or
sixteen pages). The average hardcover
book today is the rough size of an octavo.
Whereas the most serious materials (such as Bibles) have
traditionally appeared in folios, more popular works (such as novels) have traditionally appeared in
From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.