If Reading Makes You Smart …

Why do books have “running heads”? This is where publishers put the title of the book on every other page, usually alternating with the chapter title. Comedian Brian Regan asks, “Why?”

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

Gail and I are going to see Brian live on Sunday night. I can’t wait! Second only to Ken Davis, he is my favorite comedian.

Warning: Brian uses the word “hell” one time in this short clip.

Question: What else do publishers do that doesn’t make sense? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Laura Atchison

    OMG!! He is one of my favorite comedians ever!! Have loved him for years. I am so jealous that you get to go see him in person. Have fun!

  • http://steveakers.com Steve Akers

    I love my Kindle. My reading has skyrocketed since I bought one. It is truly amazing as a reading device, but not as a reference device. So whenever I find that special book that I keep referring to long after I’ve read it, I find myself wishing I had the hard copy. What I would love is the ability to purchase the hard copy at a discount if I already own the electronic copy.

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      Mike mentioned a few days ago in a post that this trend would probably emerge, where you buy a book once and have the option to get it in one (or all) of three options: print, e-copy, and/or audio.

      I’ve been highlighting like mad to help me find critical quotations when I go to reference a book I like. I’m almost afraid to ask–has that not been working out for you?

      • http://steveakers.com Steve Akers

        I missed the post re: the all-in-one option. That’s exactly what I need! Also, thanks for the suggestion of highlighting. I’m still new to the Kindle and haven’t learned all the tips. I started using highlights today and I think it is going to help a great deal. Where I still want the ability to quickly flip back in forth in a book I’ll just go ahead and buy a paper copy.

  • http://twitter.com/synapticlight SynapticLight

    lol, I enjoyed that.
    wait, what is the name of this blog ….
    oh
    ha ha ha

  • http://thegrubhub.wordpress.com Kendra

    LOVE Brian Regan!! Have fun tomorrow!!

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni Arnold

    I sincerely don’t have an answer [right now] that I can think of to your question – but thank you for the good laugh. I really needed it today. My husband and I truly enjoy Brian Regan’s comedy- he is hilarious! :) And this is just too funny!

    Enjoy seeing him live! :)

  • www.therextras.com

    Why DO they put running heads on the pages of a book, Michael?

    That Justin Bieber appearance was pretty funny!

    Barbara

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Because they always have! (I honestly don’t know.)

      • Desertrose5173

        It’s so they don’t lose pages of the book with another book should someone drop them! LOL

        • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

          You might be right. Does it maybe go back to early printing press days where you had that header on the press block and just left it there?

          • Sierra Mcq

            In an academic book with multiple authors/chapters it’s very handy to flip through to find the section you want … but fiction…?

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      I noticed David Platt’s new book RADICAL has the chapter title on the left hand page and then the subtitle on te right. That’s better than the book title, I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/jaredbrandon jaredbrandon

    Brian Regan is an absolute riot! Even when you’ve heard all of his stuff… he’s still funny. Great stage presence to… all around a great show.

  • http://twitter.com/jaredbrandon jaredbrandon

    Brian Regan is an absolute riot! Even when you’ve heard all of his stuff… he’s still funny. Great stage presence to… all around a great show.

  • http://twitter.com/jaredbrandon jaredbrandon

    Brian Regan is an absolute riot! Even when you’ve heard all of his stuff… he’s still funny. Great stage presence to… all around a great show.

  • http://www.multiplyleadership.com Mark Jones Jr.

    Michael,
    Why would you post something on your blog that I have to shut off in embarrassment because my eleven year old heard the comedian swearing?
    Sincerely,
    Mark

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So sorry. I forgot he said “hell” one time. I will put a warning in the body of the post.

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  • http://twitter.com/B_Schebs B_Schebs

    So far, with e-books, my biggest pet peeve with publishers seems to be a lack of proofreading. Many of the e-books I have read and paid for are loaded with spelling errors, and some are things that a decent spell check would have noticed.

    • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

      That is mine too. I am reading a book now that has loads if errors. I paid money for it and I am sure the hardcopy is mostly error free.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    I’ve always wondered why publishers put so many words in books – are they expecting people to actually read them… ;-)

    Actually, what doesn’t make sense to me is when there are 18 blank pages at the end of the book.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ahh, that is an easy one. Page are printed in 16-page signatures (bug sheets, printed, folded, and cut).

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        Thanks Michael! So, it’s true…I really do learn something new every day.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    If I find a page of a book on the floor in my living room, the running title at the top tells me what book it fell out of.

    What I don’t understand is why your name is shown at the top of every page of your website. Electronic pages, after all, cannot fall out of the site they belong to.

  • TNeal

    Heard Brian Regan first on XM radio. Always enjoyed his routines. Even listening without seeing him, I could picture his actions.

  • Jay

    Probably for marketing purposes. If someone can’t see the cover but is able to see the pages while you’re reading it, they’ll see what book it is.

  • http://twitter.com/DanielBecerra Daniel Becerra

    Brian makes some funny faces :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I think I just watch him with the sound off and fall out of my chair laughing.

  • SuperBowlPrayer

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    Your “like” can make a difference so click to make a change.
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  • Ramonpresson

    Instead of putting endorsement blurbs on the cover from well-known authors, leaders, etc. I think they should have endorsements from people the author actually knows as well as random common people. For example:

    “This is the best book he’s ever written. But my favorite is still the poem he wrote in 3rd grade.” (Frances Presson, Ramon’s mother)

    “The author’s insight and his command of language is so….is so…good.” (Alvin Crump, diesel mechanic)

    ” I keep wondering when is he gonna get a real job?” (Dorrie Presson, Ramon’s wife)

    “This is one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever found on the Clearance Table.” ( Phyllis Moss, Waffle House waitress)

    “Oh, he’s a writer. I’ve been wondering what my Dad does for a living.” (Trevor Presson)

    “Ramon Presson? No, never heard of him.” (John Eames, Ramon’ agent)

  • http://www.newwealthparadigm.com Doug Armey

    Great video. Funny comedian. My question is when did the evangelical church get so sensitive that you feel the need to apologize for someone in a clip saying, “Hell.” Everyone one of us have heard that and a whole lot worse including the 11 year old son. No wonder the world looks at us as being detached from reality. Keep up the good work and thanks.

    But

    • Anne

      Amen to that. I thought that comment was just a tad prudish.

  • http://www.communicatecreativity.com Rebecca Burgener

    I would love to know the answer to that question!

    Publishers are truly their own kind of animal.

  • Desertrose5173

    The swear word took me by surprise, as I watched it before you gave the warning. He is funny, though. It would take a lot to beat Ken Davis, though.

    See my answer below as to why they put the name on top of the page of each book.

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  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Interesting…

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Procter

    Haha! That is brilliant!
    I love his bit on cooking Pop Tarts.
    Hope you & Gail have a blast!

  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    As to his thought about movies—-it’s not on the screen, because it’s on your ticket stub for quick reference :)

    What else do publishers do that doesn’t make sense? First thing that comes to mind is pay large advances for brilliant works like Jay Leno’s “Leading with my chin.” That some people don’t get published does not puzzle me as much as how some people do!

  • Jeff

    Love Brian Regan! I’ve seen him twice, and laughed my head off both times!

  • http://www.brianhinkley.com Brian Hinkley

    I’m not sure why it’s there. You don’t have to read it on every page; you can skip over it after the first time reading it.

  • http://davidhorne.me david horne

    Fantastic. I am sure you will have a blast. One of the funniest guys in the world for sure. Look forward to hearing about it.

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    He is so hilarious. When I saw him, I laughed so hard my throat was raw and my sides hurt.

  • Sally M. Chetwynd

    Why do books have “running heads”? For the same reason that commercial breaks on television shows are prefaced with “This program will continue after these special messages.” Also, for the same reason that after a commercial break, a lot of ”reality’ shows (now there’s an oxymoron) recap everything that I find this insulting to my intelligence – if I’m interested in the program, I’m probably bright enough to remember what I was watching before the break. If I am not bright enough to follow the plot despite breaks, no amount or recap is going to matter.

    • Sally M. Chetwynd

      My previous post could have come out better – the text dropped below the margin of the comment screen and I couldn’t see what I was typing. My apologies for the typographical errors.

  • http://twitter.com/MattBeard Matt Beard

    I don’t care if the title of the book is on every other page but I miss the chapter titles when they aren’t there sometimes… Gosh, I hope I don’t look like him when I read a book without them… :)

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Ha Ha Ha! Hilarious. I love the clip. Sometimes, publishers become crazy by printing a book with smaller fonts (of less than size 10) which makes reading a painful exercise.

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody urquhart

    Funny. Thanks for the laugh. I have wondered this before too why do they put the title of the book on the top of every page? It is more helpful to have the chapter title, or maybe they could break it down into sub ideas or categories at the top of the page.
    The thing with books now is they compete directly with online up to date conversation. A book is a one way dialogue and by the time it is written, published, delivered it is out of date. Now wehn i

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  • http://bee-magic.blogspot.com/ Barblindberg

    The titles are there for me. When I’m reading on the bus. I read other people’s books over their shoulders. It’s a 40 minute ride every day so by the time that person gets off the bus I’m pretty hooked on that book and want to finish it. No problem. I know the title of the book. I don’t even have to ask the person to tell me what the title is (that’d be embarrassing). I’m glad the publisher has such foresight.

  • Kcmoog

    Why do make a “Title Page” when the title is on the cover? isn’t that like saying, “the department of the redundancy department?”

  • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

    Haha, great! Brian Regan is hilarious (though my family likes Tim Hawkins even better).

  • http://twitter.com/pastorbrett pastorbrett

    Ok, I actually have a real reason why I have needed, or at least benefitted, from the running heads. On numerous occasions I have been sitting at the desk in my study or at the library writing a message, paper, or column with multiple books spread out in front of me, each open to a certain page that I have found relevant. It’s easy to forget which book is which, especially if a few are not books with which I am familiar. Rather than flip them over to see the spine or front, I merely look at the top of the page to remind myself what book I’m looking at.

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    I have an idea for a different twist for books.

    Instead of numbering the pages from 1 to the end, they should number the pages from the end to 1.

    For example: Instead of 1 – 450 it would be 450 – 1. The first page would be 45o and the next would be 449 and so on.

    You will still be able to keep track of what page number you are on, but instead of knowing how many pages you have read, you will know how many pages you have left to read.

    I think it would be interesting to test it out.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That sure would save me some time. I am constantly looking at the page number I am on, going to the back of the book to remember how many pages there are, and then doing the mental math to figure out how many pages I have left. Of course, then I would end up going the other way and spend time trying to figure out how many pages I have already read. :-)

    • http://mutantminds.com Mutant Minds

      This is explained in a little more detail at:

      http://mutantminds.com/2011/01/17/new-book-numbering-system/

  • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

    I have an idea for a different twist for books.

    Instead of numbering the pages from 1 to the end, they should number the pages from the end to 1.

    For example: Instead of 1 – 450 it would be 450 – 1. The first page would be 45o and the next would be 449 and so on.

    You will still be able to keep track of what page number you are on, but instead of knowing how many pages you have read, you will know how many pages you have left to read.

    I think it would be interesting to test it out.

  • Dwright

    Thank you for introducing me to Brian. Hilarious!!!

  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Brian Regan is brilliant. I saw him here in Pittsburgh a couple years ago. In case you haven’t seen them, check out these cartoon depictions of his jokes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24qSlEtJkPc

    So good!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is really funny. I didn’t know these cartoons existed. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    Brian Regan is brilliant. I saw him here in Pittsburgh a couple years ago. In case you haven’t seen them, check out these cartoon depictions of his jokes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24qSlEtJkPc

    So good!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Wow. That was funny! I think I fell off my chair almost!

    My question was one that has already been answered earlier in the comments: why are here sometimes several blank pages at the end of a book. Of course, you already answered that…. and now I know.

    As for comedians, along with Brian Regan, I also enjoy Brad Stein and Tim Hawkins.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Ashley Musick

    Brian Regan is hilarious. Anytime I go out to buy juice, I laugh… cranberries are definitely getting in all the other juices. Take Luck! Ha!

  • Newlifeben

    Hey Michael, I hope the Brian Regan concert was great. Ken Davis is hilarious but my favorite comedian is Tim Hawkins. I have written several really goofy songs for my kids and Tim inspires me to keep writing goofy songs that make people laugh. May we be belligerent about finding the joy in life even as we wrestle with its pain!

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Good question.

    I’ve seen typos in books which doesn’t make sense to me. I picked up a book a few days ago and on the Table of Contents page, the word “relationships” was spelled incorrectly.

  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Good question.

    I’ve seen typos in books which doesn’t make sense to me. I picked up a book a few days ago and on the Table of Contents page, the word “relationships” was spelled incorrectly.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Love Brian Reagan. Had never seen this one before. One thought: why do we have page numbers? Just for reference’s sake?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think for reference’s sake.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BTNYDT5IMUQ64BXFAH5I6Y5VFI AprilR

    I have always wondered why the name of the book is printed at the top of every page… This is great! Thanks for sharing this!

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  • Michael

    This is hilarious! Have you ever heard of Mitch Hedberg? He’s no longer alive, but his stuff will crack you up (at least it did me).

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  • http://wewannado.com Ryan K

    Brian Regan is great! I’ll check out Ken Davis some time.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Made me giggle. Laughed out loud when he was watching the movie and was reminded with the title at the top. Good times! Whew…

  • guest

    He’s good but Andy Andrews is the best ever! I am just sayin!

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  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    Hey, Michael, the video is broke.  How do I get to it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, YouTube removed it. I spent a few minutes searching but can’t find it online. Too bad. It really was hilarious.

      • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

        Thanks for the reply.  I was hoping it was floating around somewhere else.  Thanks for looking.

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  • http://twitter.com/PodcastinChurch Paul Alan Clifford

    Apparently publishers also block people from seeing their stuff.  Thanks viacom!  Now I’ll go watch something else.

  • Andrew

    I cant see the clip… Says it is blocked on content grounds…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep, nothing I can do about that. Sorry. It’s really stupid on the part of his publisher or distributor, because that clip, I’m sure, sells a lot of people on him.

  • JoJosephson

    video is now blocked because of Viacom dunderheads… They just don’t get it.

  • http://tikesbestfriend.com/ Tim Dahl

    Looks like Viacom has censored/blocked it.

  • Michael Johnson

    Here is the link to Brian Regan’s (The Epitome Of Hyperbole) Full Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vTc88Govj4 // If you’ve never heard or seen his “I walked on the moon” performance download it right now it’s A M A Z I N G!! BR is one of the best comedians ever!!