Novel vs Book: What’s the Key Difference and How to Identify Them?

by CJ McDaniel // June 3  

As a reader, you might be used to the notion that novels and books are the same. These terms are often used interchangeably, but in truth, they have distinct differences with one another. So what do we keep in mind about novel vs book? 

We must establish the semantics between novels and books. So you might ask yourself, What are the key differences between a novel and a book? How can I accurately identify a book from a novel? 

In this article, we are going to disseminate the distinction between novels and books, how we could identify one from another, and talk about their glaring discrepancies. Let’s start! 

What Is a Novel?

The most distinct quality of a novel that you should know is that a novel is a work of fiction. Novels are presented in a lengthy narrative, written to captivate readers with their prose-style mechanisms and to tell stories entertainingly. 

Novels come in a variety of genres such as melodrama, teen drama, romance, fantasy, crime, science fiction, etc. The stories novels tell are depicted in a diverse and complex narration. 

They contain different settings, characters, themes, and plot– all told in an engaging way where a continuous chain of events intertwine. Sometimes, novels are written to expose some problems within society by stimulating the readers’ perception of these issues. 

A typical novel contains at least 60,000 words, and novel writers are often coined as novelists. 

What Is a Book? 

A book, on the other hand, aims to widen the knowledge of readers on a particular subject matter. It is merely a physical object, comprising a set of illustrated, printed, or typed pages that are held together along the sides and secured with a paperback on both ends. 

Books are considered the greatest source of information and arrange, summarize, and analyze subject-related information in a way where the readers can easily comprehend the plot. They could be works of fiction, non-fiction, or a mix of both. 

Fiction is literature that describes narratives based on imaginary characters and scenes, while non-fiction is a category containing factual, theoretical, and educational research. All books are results of nonfiction except for novels.

E-books are also considered as a type of book since digital publishing is now highly in demand in today’s modern era. E-books come in various formats to enable easily accessible and portable documents anywhere around the world, such as EPUB and PDF.

People who write books are called authors or writers.

Comparisons Between Novels and Books

We have settled the fact that novels and books are both printed, and written materials of information (entertaining, creative, and educative) made to deliver different purposes. However, it is essential to note that all published novels are books, but not all books are novels.

Is that kind of confusing? Here are some more comparisons:

  • Books don’t necessarily have a fixed amount of words to be called a book, while the term novel is only considered when the story or stories (such as a collection of short stories) is written in no less than 40,000 words. Any written and bound stories of less than 40,000 words cannot be considered as a novel. 
  • Anything can be classified as books ranging from stories to workbooks, from poetry to scientific journals, and many more. On the other hand, novels should only consist of stories. That’s why novels are subsets of books. 
  • Their purpose can also identify the difference between novels and books. For example, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is just a book, but The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a novel as well as a book.


Now you have it, the technical differences between a novel and a book. As a reader, it’s vital to be well-informed about the subjects you’re reading, whether it’s a novel or a book. We hope that this article helped you with the things that you need to know about novel vs book.

Wanna ask us some questions? Leave your queries in the comment section below!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!