Novel vs Book: Difference and Comparison

Novels and books are both a medium that allows one to convey information in a written format. In the modern era, this medium has even moved onto the online platform for added ease to the reader.

Key Takeaways

  1. A novel is a long fictional narrative written in prose that tells a story with developed characters, settings, and plots.
  2. A book is a broad term encompassing any written or printed work consisting of pages bound together, covering various genres and formats, including novels, nonfiction, poetry, and reference materials.
  3. The main difference between the two is their content: a novel is a specific type of book that features a fictional story, while a book can encompass any written work, including novels.

Novel vs Book

The difference between a novel and a book is that every novel is a book, but every book is not. Novel illustrations are written on book pages, but books can be of any category.

Novel vs Book

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A novel is a fictional narrative incorporating multiple fictitious characters and an imaginative storyline. It is primarily a way of exploring human experience through an artistic viewpoint.

A book, by its basic definition, is just a bound collection of pages containing any information available. The introduction of e-books (online publications) has also brought in a new era of reading.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNovelBook
OriginThe first novel ever to be written and published was by a Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century.There is still speculation on the first book written, with evidence of a book from even 2100 BC.
RelationNovelistic narratives are written in books; hence, novels are a subset of readers. All novels are books.Books are a collection of written works that can be based on anything. It contains many categories of interest.
ContentA novel comprises a story filled with characters, plot lines and ploys, all based on fiction and the novelist’s imagination.A book can contain information and data about anything a writer wishes to convey to the public.
Number of pagesA minimum word count of a novel must be 40,000-50,000 words, with typical stories being of length 60,000+.Page and word size varies, depending on the size of pages, margins, etc. Average books have 100+ pages.
Genre/categoryContains romantic, historical, gothic, mystery, and mythical genres.Contains many categories of works under it, such as nonfiction and fiction.
ExamplesWorks such as The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit, and Jane Eyre are a few examples.Examples of books range from science textbooks to guidebooks and even fiction and nonfiction written works.


What is Novel?

A novel is a fictional narrative that contains a storyline filled with fictitious characters, plots, dialogues, and ploys. Novelists have been able to use their artistic license to explore the world of imagination and help readers find a new ways to express their creativity.

Novels are written on bound pages and are considered a subset of books. We can also say that all stories are books with different forms of information.

Novels are a fiction genre, and here the novelist helps the reader expand the limits of their creativity with the help of a world created out of pure imagination.

 So, novels’ real purpose is to provide entertainment and pleasure and to help the reader find a different perspective.

The first novels were written during the 11th century, with the oldest dating back to the late 1000s, when a Japanese noblewoman had written the first novel in Japanese. The first English novels were not written and published until 1485 by Thomas Malory.

Over the millennia, rules and instructions were implemented to classify a book as a novel. Word limits were laid down to distinguish between fiction and short stories.

Generally, the minimum word count is in the range of 40,000-50,000.

The genre that comes under novels is romantic, mysterious, mythical, historical, gothic, and many more.


What is Book?

A book is a collection of bound pages that encompasses all forms of available written work for a reader. Every century we see some advancement in how books are written or what new art forms can be invented.

In the modern era, humankind has taken a massive leap with the reading format, allowing the reader to access books online through e-books. E-books have given the reader the power of easy accessibility and availability.

The first traces of books or collections of pages can be dated back to even before 2100 BC, and scholars still believe there could be evidence to suggest that readers might have existed many millennia before that.

There is no proper word limit or page count while writing books, as it all depends on the margins, width, page size and fonts used. Generally, a book comprises 100+ pages, and the word count varies accordingly.

A book can have many categories under it, and they range from textbooks to fiction and nonfiction, and even instruction manuals and guidebooks.


Main Differences Between Novels and Books

  1. A novel is a fictional narrative written on book pages. Books are a collection of all written works; hence, all stories are books, but all books are not.
  2. The first novel ever published dates back to the 11th century in Japan. The origin of the first book is yet to be dated, with proof of the existence of manuscripts before 2100 BC.
  3. Novels are stories the writer portrays with the help of fictitious characters and plotlines, while books contain any information that a writer wishes to put on paper.
  4. Novels have a specific minimum word count of 40,000- 50,000, while there is no particular instruction but rather a guideline that a book must have 100+ pages.
  5. Examples of novels are The Great Gatsby and The Hobbit, all fictional storylines, while books can range from textbooks to fiction and nonfiction works.
Difference Between Novel and Book


Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Novel vs Book: Difference and Comparison”

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  6. Avatar of Pauline Robinson
    Pauline Robinson

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