Novel Vs. Book: 3 Key Differences

Most of us never even considered whether these words are different or not. However, there are a lot of differences between novel and book. But what makes things confusing is that they can be used interchangeably in certain cases.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between the both so you can use them in the right manner.


Novel vs Book: An Overview

What differentiates novels and books is their meaning. A novel refers to a work of fiction that’s written like prose. On the other hand, books can be both fictional and non-fictional, and they must exist in digital or printed form.

Due to the difference in meaning, there’s a huge difference in the application scope of the two words. The word novel has a narrow scope, while the word book has a wide scope.

There are other differences as well. Books have no word count limitation, but novels can’t be longer than 40,000 words. Their purpose is different as well. The purpose of books is to introduce a subject and educate on it. On the other hand, the sheer purpose of a novel is to entertain.


What is a Novel?


A novel is a fictional book that’s presented as prose, lengthy, and has some level of realism to it. Novels are usually lengthy, and they exhibit personal human experiences in a setting determined by the writer.

The novels usually comprise a plot, setting, themes, and characters who face difficulties that they may or may not overcome. Irrespective of the end game, the characters go through certain changes or transformations that attract the readers.


What is a Book?

reading book

A book refers to any written, printed, or digital work that can be both fictional and non-fictional. The main purpose of a book is to widen the knowledge of the readers on a specific topic.

Books can either be fictional or non-fictional; this means even novels are books. Whereas fictional books narrate a story based on the writer’s imagination, non-fictions are written with the aim of educating the readers.


Main Differences Between Novel vs Book

In this section, we’ll discuss the main differences between novel and book. Let’s get right to it.

  • Definition

The main differences between the two words lie in their very definition. As discussed earlier, novels are works of fiction that are lengthy and are crafted to entertain the readers.

Then again, books can be either fictional or a work of non-fiction, and they can exist in written, printed, or digital format. Books are written mainly to convey information, but non-fictions are written to entertain the readers.

  • Scope

Novels usually have a very narrow scope, whereas books have a wide scope. What’s meant by this is, you can’t refer to every book on the market as a novel. To be a novel, it has to be a work of fiction, and it needs to maintain the word count.

However, any piece you find on the market that is written, printed, or exists in a digital form with paperback, hard, or digital covers on two ends is a book. Even novels are books; this is why the books are considered to have a wider scope.

  • Reading Style

reading book vs novel

Novels are solely for entertaining the reader, so they must be read incessantly. In fact, readers usually keep reading them continuously subconsciously.

However, books are harder to digest, and they must be read taking adequate breaks in between, or the reader may not be able to comprehend the material the book provides; this doesn’t apply to all sorts of books.


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Novel vs Book: The Comparison Table




Refers to a lengthy narrative that’s a work of fiction.

A book is a piece of writing that can be either fictional or non-fictional.





To entertain

To educate and inform




Word Count

40,000 words

No limit


Key Takeaways

  • Novels are works of fiction, but books can be both fictional and non-fictional.
  • Novels are written to entertain the readers. Books are written to inform the readers.
  • Writers of novels are known as novelists, whereas writers of books are called authors.



These are the primary differences between novel vs book. As you can see, using them interchangeably may not be wrong in every case. However, it’s unwise to do so, as they have different meanings.