"Margins serve various purposes: they form a frame round the text, or illustrations, to separate them from the background against which the book may be held; they provide an aesthetic contrast of quiet to the “business” of the printed matter, they provide somewhere for the reader to write notes or mark passages (in his own books, not other people’s), they provide somewhere to put the fingers holding the book (particularly if it is a paperback with floppy sides) without obscuring the text; if a book is damaged they provide a defence before the damage encroaches on the text, and if a book has to be re-bound they provide room for trimming the edges flush without cutting into the text. And in certain kinds of book, like the present ‘manual’, they provide space for illustrations."

McLean, Ruari. The Thames & Hudson Manual of Typography. Thames & Hudson. London, 1980. p.126

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elements: margins
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