What are those "countdown" numbers on the copyright page?
On the copyright pages in many books I find the following "countdown" numbers and I am wondering what the significance of this is?In a non-fiction book I have, "The Call of the Mild" it looks like:10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1But in a fiction book, "Homeward Bound" it is:1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2which rather looks like some sort of odd vs even thing, and not a "countdown".It looks like it might have something to do with the edition, but what is this?
It's actually called the Printer's Key. You are right about it being a connection to editions. It is a way to show the edition of the book. The numbers change based on the version of the print runs of a certain book. They are structured different ways based on including dates or the editions.