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Books on the shelf

You have 4 books sitting on a bookshelf, volumes 1 through 4. Each book has the same dimensions: The covers of each book are 1/8 inch thick (1/8 for the front cover, 1/8 for the back cover), and the pages of each book are 1 inch thick.

What is the distance between page 1 of volume 1, and the last page of volume 4?

NOTE: This is not a trick question, as the books are touching each other. No need to figure air gaps, thickness of the paper of the pages, etc.

Steve B.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Is each book vertical? Are they ordered left to right or right to left?

David Clayworth
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

They are vertical, and ordered as volumes on a shelf should be (left to right as you view them from the front)

Steve B.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Page 1 of Volume 1 will be just prior to the front cover of the book facing right.

There are two full books in between Volumes One and Four.

Last Page of Volume 4 will be leftmost prior to the back cover. 

Therefore there are two full books and two covers between the pages, making .125 + (2 x 1.25) + .125 = 2.75 inches.

Am I correct?  This was an interesting question as I had to vizualize how books rest next to each other on a shelf.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Yes,  you are correct. While this problem isn't necessarly difficult, I have stumped quite a few people as they don't visualize, as you did, how the books sit on the shelf.

Thx for your effort!

Steve B.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Who said that the books were lined up on the shelf in order, left to right?

I have four yearbooks on my shelf... I just looked at them. They're ordered 1-3-4-2. Oops.

Peter Meilstrup
Thursday, July 17, 2003

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