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Literary Terminology
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What is the difference between a novel and a book?


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2015-09-24 17:15:51
2015-09-24 17:15:51

A novel is a book-length fictional manuscript whose pages when printed and bound inside a cover becomes a book. Just being fictional and bound isn't enough -- collections of short stories, novellas, and other fictional texts can be bound, but they don't thereby become a novel.

A book consists of printed sheets that can be made of almost any material (paper, parchment, fiberboard etc.) that is fastened/bound together on one side and usually protected by some type of covering. Although these are often bound, again, binding isn't essential. For example, books can be electronic with scanned images. The lack of binding doesn't mean that it isn't a book. Additionally, a book -- in common usage -- tends to have a copyright and be the product of a publisher. One could debate this aspect (e.g., is an unpublished diary a book?) In short, a novel is usually a book, but a book isn't necessarily a novel. The terms aren't interchangeable. Just remember that novel normally refers only to works of fiction. If the book isn't fiction, it isn't a novel. (There is a subgenre of nonfiction sometimes called a "nonfictional novel"; the first well-known example of this is Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood".)

Book refers to the physical attributes of a thing. It is made of paper, wood, involves ink and pages attached to a spine by glue. A novel refers to the structure of the intellectual content of a book.


The difference between a book and a novel is that a novel refers to a fictional manuscript that represents some character and action whereas a book is anything printed on pages and bound within some cover.

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The two terms are not mutually exclusive. A novel can be a chapter book, a chapter book can be a novel.

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not much because a story book can be a novel

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A novel can be a fictional book by a person. But the bible is a book of the word of god and is all true.

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basically a picture book is more for children, while a graphic novel reaches teenagers.

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There is no difference, in the movie they used the same dialogue as they did in the book.


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