A Very Literary Wiki

This category contains all the pages referring to books.


A book is defined in this wiki thusly:

  • a literary work of either fiction or non-fiction,
  • of 'sufficient length' (see below),
  • which is to be read as a whole.

This excludes compilations and short stories, and includes multi-volume stories (e.g. trilogies) so long as they comprise a single story. The Lord of the Rings is famously regarded by its author as one book, and likewise I consider something like The Black Magician Trilogy to be one book.

Some books may be related to other books and one particular relationship may be that of forming a series, in which they were intended to be read in a specific order. The difference between a series and a single multi-volume book is in theory that a series can be read one book at a time without suffering from an incomplete narrative (see 'to be read as a whole' in the criteria above).

'Sufficient length'[]

As a reference of interest, the Hugo Award (for scifi and fantasy works) defines a novel as anything exceeding 40,000 words (114 standard pages), a novella as anything exceeding 17,500 words (50 standard pages), and a novelette as anything exceeding 7,500 words (21 standard pages). Anything shorter than that is considered a short story.

I typically make the call on intuition, as I think it's probably more or less obvious what's a short story. I also refer to examples of each with borderline page counts, such as Animal Farm. The changeover point is probably around 50 pages, off the top of my head.

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