twoside option produce a wider margin at the binding/spine edge, rather than the other way around?
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I do not think there is anything illogical regarding the standard
Page layout is buried in tradition and history and you can read more about it at the canons of page construction.
Besides Bringhurst which was quoted by Brent in his excellent answer Tschichold also devotes a large portion of his writings in the study of page layouts. As you can see from the image below he is also advocating large outer margins. Another commonly forgotten reason, besides what is thought as good typography, is that you do not want to have a line width greater than 1-1.7 alphabets (for readability), so the size of your paper and the size of your default font also has an effect. The Koma class goes as far as to design margins based on the font size. (European books also tend to favour smaller margins).
Now the exceptions. Modern trend is to have the margins almost equal, plus anything from 3-6mm binding offset and the reason is screen reading. Here is a copy from a book, I like the design with narrower margins (but then it does not use any margin material such as sidenotes). On the other extreme Tufte books and the Tufte-book class uses a wide margin, and brings the design into the margin as Bringhurst suggests. Similarly the
Here is an actual "grid" based on Tschichold's principles,
As John Stuart Mill said "All good things which exist are the fruits of originality". Nobody stops you from experimenting.
There are two separate issues here: one is the layout of the text on the paper, the other is space left over for the binding.
For a long time, books (in the West; I'm not familiar with other regions) have been designed with a larger outer margin than inner. This is generally considered "prettier".
In the world of TeX, we are concerned with this sort of prettiness.
None of this stops you using the
To paraphrase Yoda, "there is no rationalise, only do and be pretty".
To do justice to Ayman's comments, I thought a quote from Bringhurst might add to the debate. Talking about margins, he says:
Bringhurst may well be the Yoda of typographical design, and I suspect my mentioning him here on TeX.SE may become a drinking game...
Light-hearted banter apart, if you haven't read this book, I can heartily recommend it.
Another book with some serious insights is Peter Wilson's "A Few Notes on Book Design" (perhaps the most self-effacing title I've come across!). My thanks to Lars Madsen for reminding me of this.
Another thought: people recognise the need for a place for the thumb, but want to cram lots into a page, so they make the inner margin narrow?
And here's another (short) piece that's just appeared on I Love Typography
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There are some excellent answers already, let me add two simple observations: