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I've been trying to design a page spread for a fiction book but I'm not finding many examples worth emulating. Just about every recent book in the library uses equal spacing on all four sides, some pushing the text into the spine or crowding the outside of the page. Sometimes both.
I've read up on the subject and found references to `canons' and various uses of the golden section, and that modern usage (for good or ill) doesn't much make use of them—but all the reputable sources (e.g., Bringhurst, or the LᴬTᴇX Memoir Class documentation) suggest learning from examples. Of which I can't find any!
Can folks suggest publishers whose books tend to exemplify good design? I'm looking at hard-cover formats at sizes close to 6×9″. (Jason Dewinetz suggested 5¾×9″ instead.)
Also, what hints are there in a book that some care was taken with typography? The American edition of the Harry Potter books, for instance, are very proud of their layout and include a colophon describing the font, but the type block is set unusually low on the page and the text—especially in the thicker books—tends toward the spine. The '98 HarperCollins edition of The Silmarillion is comfortably placed on the page, but the text is set and leaded poorly. In cases like these, is the `good' layout more likely deliberate-but-incomplete or accidental? Can I learn from these?