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A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of paper, parchment, or other material, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf, and each side of a leaf is called a page. A book produced in electronic format is known as an e-book.

Books may also refer to a literature work, or a main division of such a work. In library and information science, a book is called a monograph, to distinguish it from serial periodicals such as magazines, journals or newspapers. The body of all written works including books is literature.

In novels, a book may be divided into several large sections, also called books (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, etc).

A lover of books is usually referred to as a bibliophile, a bibliophilist, or a philobiblist, or, more informally, a bookworm.

A store where books are bought and sold is a bookstore or bookshop. Books can also be borrowed from libraries.

Types of books Edit

Types of books according to their contents Edit

Novels in a Polish bookstore

A common separation by content are fiction and non-fictional books. By no means are books limited to this classification, but it is a separation that can be found in most collections, libraries, and bookstores.

Fiction Edit

Many of the books published today are fictitious stories. They are in-part or completely untrue or fantasy. Historically, paper production was considered too expensive to be used for entertainment. An increase in global literacy and print technology led to the increased publication of books for the purpose of entertainment, and allegorical social commentary. Most fiction is additionally categorized by genre.

The novel is the most common form of fictional book. Novels are stories that typically feature a plot, setting, themes and characters. Stories and narrative are not restricted to any topic; a novel can be whimsical, serious or controversial. The novel has had a tremendous impact on entertainment and publishing markets.

Comic books or graphic novels are books in which the story is not told, but illustrated, with pictures.

Non-fiction Edit

In a library, a reference book is a general type of non-fiction book which provides information as opposed to telling a story, essay, commentary, or otherwise supporting a point of view. An almanac is a very general reference book, usually one-volume, with lists of data and information on many topics. An encyclopedia is a book or set of books designed to have more in-depth articles on many topics. A book listing words, their etymology, meanings, and other information is called a dictionary. A book which is a collection of maps is an atlas. A more specific reference book with tables or lists of data and information about a certain topic, often intended for professional use, is often called a handbook. Books which try to list references and abstracts in a certain broad area may be called an index, such as Engineering Index, or abstracts such as chemical abstracts and biological abstracts.

Books with technical information on how to do something or how to use some equipment are called instruction manuals. Other popular how-to books include cookbooks and home improvement books.

Students typically store and carry textbooks and schoolbooks for study purposes. Elementary school pupils often use workbooks, which are published with spaces or blanks to be filled by them for study or homework. In US higher education, it is common for a student to take an exam using a blue book.

There is a large set of books that are made only to write private ideas, notes, and accounts. These books are rarely published and are typically destroyed or remain private. Notebooks are blank books to be written in by the user. Students and writers commonly use them for taking notes. Scientists and other researchers use lab notebooks to record their work. They often feature spiral coil bindings at the edge so that pages may easily be torn out.

Address books, phone books, and calendar/appointment books are commonly used on a daily basis for recording appointments, meetings and personal contact information.

Books for recording periodic entries by the user, such as daily information about a journey, are called logbooks or simply logs. A similar book for writing the owner's daily private personal events, information, and ideas is called a diary or personal journal.

Businesses use accounting books such as journals and ledgers to record financial data in a practice called bookkeeping.

Other types Edit

There are several other types of books which are not commonly found under this system. Albums are books for holding a group of items belonging to a particular theme, such as a set of photographs, card collections, and memorabilia. One common example is stamp albums, which are used by many hobbyists to protect and organize their collections of postage stamps. Such albums are often made using removable plastic pages held inside in a ringed binder or other similar folder.

Hymnals are books with collections of musical hymns that can typically be found in churches. Prayerbooks or missals are books that contain written prayers and are commonly carried by monks, nuns, and other devoted followers or clergy.

Types of books according to their binding or cover Edit

Hardcover books have a stiff binding. Paperback books have cheaper, flexible covers which tend to be less durable. An alternative to paperback is the glossy cover, otherwise known as a dust cover, found on magazines, and comic books. Spiral-bound books are bound by spirals made of metal or plastic. Examples of spiral-bound books include: teachers' manuals and puzzle books (crosswords, sudoku).

Publishing is a process for producing pre-printed books, magazines, and newspapers for the reader/user to buy.

Publishers may produce low-cost, pre-publication copies known as galleys or 'bound proofs' for promotional purposes, such as generating reviews in advance of publication. Galleys are usually made as cheaply as possible, since they are not intended for sale.

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