Copyright © 2015 Jason Romanenko

Put quite simply, fore-edge means the outer vertical pages of a book. Before I learned this word, a friend and I coined a new term which also generally means the same thing and that is ‘Index layers’.

Perhaps the first thing to notice about this word is it’s phonetics which are immediately similar to ‘Forage’ as in forage for food and yes, it is true that those activities are related since, it is possible to gain a general understanding of a book by accessing at the fore-edge. In most cases this provides a type of random access of the vocabulary of a book and also a unique insight. Although considered by some to be cheating, looking at the fore-edge of a

seven books piled up with fore-edges showing

book provides an easy way of escaping the saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but any knowledge you gain by doing this can only be cosmetic or superficial.

In the early days of animation and indeed even today, it is possible to create a simple animation by creating pictures which are at various stages of motion at the corners of the pages of a book. The viewer then flicks the pages at the corners of the fore-edge at a moderate speed, and the motion is simulated, tricking the viewer’s vision into seeing a moving character such as a walking matchstick man or a bouncing ball.