On some books, I've noticed that they have colors on the edges of the pages. For instance, on my Tikkun:


And on a G'mara (part of the Talmud):


What is the point of these colors? Are they only found on religious books?

  • 2
    Definitely not only on religious texts. I have two older books with solid red edges (and otherwise white paper).
    – b_jonas
    Sep 4 '17 at 12:57
  • Maybe that could be used as a signature of authenticity by the authors, it might be fairly easy to copy the book contents, and alter it, but not the signature, you can easily identify pirated or altered copies by looking on the edge, this was specially important on religion books in the past, since alterations could be interpreted as heretic.
    – montelof
    Sep 4 '17 at 17:30
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/302/…
    – Alex
    Aug 27 '18 at 0:53

This is actually fairly common and has no real significance. It's a purely decorative process called edge painting (or fore-edge painting) because it's color painted on the fore-edge of the book (go figure).

It's common on religious texts, but that's only because religious texts simply tend to be better made and better decorated. It's quite general, though.

  • Few of my books have this and form either a picture or a sentence too Sep 4 '17 at 15:23
  • Good point. Religious books also tend to be designed for more heavy use. Sep 5 '17 at 4:52

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