In a book, the side of a leaf one reads first is called the recto page and the other side is called the verso page. In a spread, one reads the verso page first and then reads the recto page of the next leaf. In English-language books, the recto page is on the right and the verso page is on the left.
The first page of an English-language book is typically a recto page on the right, and the reader flips the pages from right to left. In right-to-left languages (Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, plus Chinese and Japanese when written vertically), the first page is typically a recto page on the left and the reader flips the pages from left to right.
The process of placing the various text and graphical elements on the page in a visually organized way is called page layout, and the relative lightness or darkness of the page is referred to as its colour.
In book typography, a “typical page” refers to a master design of a page, designed by the graphic designer or the typographer of a book, that illustrates how similar pages in the same book can achieve a level of visual consistency. To help maintain the desired consistency, the typical page may employ a grid system.
In a modern book, a page may contain a header and a footer. Pages may or may not be numbered, but most pages are.
The pages appearing before the main text of a book (including the title page, preface, table of contents, etc.) are collectively called the front matter and those appearing after the main text (appendices, colophon, etc.), the back matter. Placement of the copyright page varies between different typographic traditions: in English-language books it belongs to the front matter; however, in Chinese and Japanese, the copyright page is part of the back matter.
In English-language typography, the size of a page is traditionally measured in a unit called the pica.