The golden fleece of book design has been the typesetting of the typed area in relation to the paper and the spread. Famous typographers such as Jan_Tschichold and Rosarivo devised canon's of page construction detailing how to calculate margins and set the typed area. They produced diagrams such as the one shown below:
Trusted and respected class authors such as Peter Wilson (memoir) and Markus Kohm (KOMA-Script) exhorted authors to follow these rules, sometimes very strongly, in a language reminiscent of construction specifications. Markus Kohm writes,
In a double-sided document (e. g. a book) however, the complete inner
margin (the margin at the spine) should be the same as each of the two
outer margins; in other words, a single page contributes only half of
the inner margin…
Some classes such as the octavo are dedicated to achieving the classical page ratios.
Having looked at over 100 books as part of some development work I am trying to complete, the most immediate and apparent observation is that most Publishers and obviously their book designers currently disregard such rules. My own feeling is that this is mostly done for monetary reasons. The books in my opinion still look very good and maybe is time to let medieval rules fall away.
Here, is my question and I know it will not have any specific answer. What margin proportions and typed area settings do you think make a good modern book. Can you provide statistics from some books you like (paper size, top margin, bottom margin, left margin and right margin). All margins defined absolutely as per the geometry package or you can use LaTeX terminology.
Obviously, if a book has marginalia it is a whole different kettle of fish. So I would like if possible to limit the answers to books that do not contain margin material.