Conventional page number order for books and taking notes etc.. is option B in the image. Is there a specific reason why not option A?

Option A: 1,0,3,2,5,4,7,6... Page 1:left side

Option B: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7... Page 1:right side

enter image description here

  • Hi Appoopan, Welcome to lifehacks. We hope you enjoy your stay and hope you'll join us. Do have a look at the guidelines for good questions in the Help centre (?) icon, in the upper right corner of the menu bar. You have answered your own question when you stated that things are the way they are due to convention. Note that there are many forms of books, some open and read Right to Left. Magazines are numbered sequentially but they are planned to have your attention always on the facing page rather than the next page.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 2:45
  • 1
    Not sure how this is a life hack?
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 5:19

3 Answers 3


Yes, there is a reason not to use option A: it's not logical.

In most languages, we read from left to right. This goes for individual sentences, but we also treat books this way: we read the left page first, and the right page second. All books made for left-to-right languages follow this convention. This is co common that every child learns to use this layout before age 4.
If you create a book that doesn't follow this convention, you will annoy and confuse your readers.

consider the difficulty in reading with the help of the previous page

What? In both cases, page 2 and 3 are side by side. So if you're reading page 3, you can refer back to page 2. Your layout has no benefit over the conventional layout.

I had to tilt my head in an awkward angle...

I've no idea what you mean here. In both layouts, page 2 and 3 have the same orientation and don't require tilting your head to read them at all. Just look a bit to the left/right. Again, your layout has no benefit over the conventional layout.


This is a breakthrough BOOK HACK.

The benefit of your counter-intuitive pagination is that a direct "side-by-side" comparison of sequential pages is now possible. The benefit hit me while I was writing an alternate answer to this question. In fact, your rhetorical question is the actual lifehack.

BRAVO! It's a brilliant and novel concept. Thank you for revealing it.

Here's how it's an improvement:

With your "book hack" proposal, an open book when flat allows pages 2 and 3 to be directly compared. Lifting the right-hand page to a vertical position allows page 3 and 4 to be directly compared. Turning the page allows pages 4 and 5 to be directly compared. No page flipping back-and-forth is necessary using your unconventional pagination. This would be of greatest benefit with pictorial and other spatial rather than verbal information.

Using conventional procedure, an open book when flat allows pages 2 and 3 to be directly compared. Turning the page allows pages 4 and 5 to be directly compared. Pages 3 and 4 cannot be compared directly. It is necessary to flip back and forth to continue which works for reading words most (not all) of the time.

The reason it isn't used might be that an application for it wasn't realized. The specific benefits might not overcome the popular habit. New concepts take time to be accepted.

This is a pretty impressive first contribution to Lifehacks.StackExchange.

  • He's optimizing for a corner case while crippling the main use case.
    – Hobbes
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 10:27
  • @Hobbes Absolutely! But isn't that the nature of a "hack?" It's a special case that took me a while to figure out how such pagination could have some benefit. It's clever and nearly impossible to introduce on the merits of its strong visual "comparison" alone. No matter how counter-intuitive it is, it still has a visual benefit over conventional layout that is best for a linear verbal content. I wonder how this would be treated on Graphic Design StackExchange. If this were to be implemented, the introduction would have to explain why and how to use the feature optimally.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 16:38
  • @Stan Thank you very much ! for understanding. You are the first to understand online what I meant. Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 18:53
  • @Stan Your comment is a great inspiration, as I am pretty new and I could not make people understand the idea before(tried in math exchange), and thought may be I was wrong. Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 18:55

You answered your own question with the first word: convention. Convention is a powerful contract.

Pagination is done in numerical sequence starting with 1 and progressing through the publication in order (your word) adding 1 to the page count as you progress. Roman numerals are sometimes used rather than Arabic numerals in English (for one). Either way, the sequence is uninterrupted in ascending order.

Pagination follows the language reading direction. Both RTL and LTR reading direction languages use the same convention.

As publications are prepared, read, and referenced sequentially; an uninterrupted linear sequence for reference is desirable over a non-linear one that doesn't comply with communication conventions.

Let's push the question to its logical conclusion to make a point. Why use page numbers at all? The pages are already fastened together (say) and won't go out of order. Need more? Why even bind pages in a book instead of spooling them on a codex (scroll)? How about loose pages in a very nice box?

Subjectively, consider how you would perform if given a set of instructions to follow for a complex (dangerous, possibly fatal?) exercise where the page numbers were out of order. Add the necessity of verifying the order of procedures to the other issues regarding the task (such as performing each step correctly before starting the next).

I can't see how this requires a lifehack.

EDIT: Now, I understand. I just came to the realization that the question by Appoopan Thaadi does not need a lifehack. His question is the lifehack

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