Difference Between Book and Novel

Main Difference – Book vs Novel

Though many of us use the two words book and novel interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between book and novel. Physically, book and novel may be the same, but when we are talking about their content, this difference becomes clear. Book is a general term that can refer to many works such as dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, textbook, anthology of short stories, poems, etc. Novel, on the other hand, refers to a fictitious prose narrative. The main difference between book and novel is that book can be fiction or nonfiction whereas a novel is always a fiction.

What is a Book

A book is a written, printed, illustrated work or blank sheet consisting of pages fasten together along one side and bound in covers. By this definition, dictionaries, textbooks of different subjects, encyclopedias, notebooks, poetry books, novels, atlases, etc. all fall into the category of books. Books are one of the main sources of information we have, and they can provide information in the formats of text, pictures, tables, graphs, maps, etc. We can gather information on a variety of theoretical and practicals subjects from books.

In modern usage, the term book can also refer to an e-book that is a book-publication in digital form. Books also refer to works of literature. In this sense, books can be either fiction or nonfiction. Fiction refers to literature that describes imaginary or fabricated events, stories, and people. Novels, short stories, novellas are some examples of fiction. In contrast, nonfiction refers to literature that is informative and factual. Biographies, textbooks and other types of factual writing belong to this category.Difference Between Book and Novel

What is a Novel

A novel is a long fictitious prose. A novel is a book of fiction. It is the longest genre of narrative prose fiction in modern literature. A novel narrates a story that is not real, and the main aim of a novel is entertainment. However, some novelists try to give a moral or highlight a weakness or shortcoming in the society through their novels.

Unlike nonfiction, novels consist of elements such as plot, themes, setting, and characters. The success of a novel is entirely dependent on these elements. Novels can also be divided into various genres such as science fiction, thriller, romance, crime, fantasy, paranormal, etc.

Although some examples of novels can be found in ancient civilizations, the first modern novel is considered to come into being in the early 18th century. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is considered to be the first major novel in the modern era.Main Difference - Book vs Novel

Difference Between Book and Novel


Book is a handwritten or printed work of fiction or nonfiction.

Novel is a long, fictitious prose.


Book can be either fiction or nonfiction.

Novels are fiction.


Book is a general term that refers to works of literature.

Novel is a type of book.

Physical entity

Book is a written, printed, illustrated work or blank sheet consisting of pages fasten together.

Novel is written or printed on a book.


Books are a source of information.

Novels are a source of entertainment.Difference Between Book and Novel - infographic

Image Courtesy:

” Harry Potter Non-US Hardcover Box Set” Shane Becker (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Reading a Book” by CollegeDegrees360 (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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