By Patrick Curran on Feb 03, 2006
In an earlier post I wrote "1859726542". See how well some standards work? I didn't even need to use words. The ISBN, of course, is a standard for uniquely identifying books and similar items. As the User's Manual explains:
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) has experienced remarkable success. In almost thirty years it has conquered the world's publishing industry, and the book trade would not be able to function without it. Ordering and distribution have gained a new quality with ISBN, and the huge amount of publications on the market can only be regulated by the ISBN-driven directories of the Books in Print type.
The ISBN is relatively short, machine-readable in the form of the Bookland EAN bar code and not just applicable to print media. It is also applicable to most non-printed book material, especially electronic publications, provided their character is monographic and stable.
By the way, the book I referenced was written by my father in 1997 when he was 81 years old. This is his second book (the first - 1856288633 - was published in 1994). He's still going strong at 90.