AskDefine | Define book

Dictionary Definition



1 a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together); "I am reading a good book on economics"
2 physical objects consisting of a number of pages bound together; "he used a large book as a doorstop" [syn: volume]
3 a record in which commercial accounts are recorded; "they got a subpoena to examine our books" [syn: ledger, leger, account book, book of account]
4 a number of sheets (ticket or stamps etc.) bound together on one edge; "he bought a book of stamps"
5 a compilation of the known facts regarding something or someone; "Al Smith used to say, `Let's look at the record'"; "his name is in all the recordbooks" [syn: record, record book]
6 a major division of a long written composition; "the book of Isaiah"
7 a written version of a play or other dramatic composition; used in preparing for a performance [syn: script, playscript]
8 a collection of rules or prescribed standards on the basis of which decisions are made; "they run things by the book around here" [syn: rule book]
9 the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina [syn: Koran, Quran, al-Qur'an]
10 the sacred writings of the Christian religions; "he went to carry the Word to the heathen" [syn: Bible, Christian Bible, Good Book, Holy Scripture, Holy Writ, Scripture, Word of God, Word]


1 record a charge in a police register; "The policeman booked her when she tried to solicit a man"
2 arrange for and reserve (something for someone else) in advance; "reserve me a seat on a flight"; "The agent booked tickets to the show for the whole family"; "please hold a table at Maxim's" [syn: reserve, hold]
3 engage for a performance; "Her agent had booked her for several concerts in Tokyo"
4 register in a hotel booker

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /bʊk/, /bUk/
  • plural
    Rhymes with: -ʊk


From bōc < *boks, probably related to *bōk- ‘beech’ (perhaps originally used to make writing-tablets). Cognate with Dutch boek, German Buch, Swedish bok. Compare beech.


  1. A collection of sheets of paper bound together to hinge at one edge, containing printed or written material, pictures, etc. If initially blank, commonly referred to as a notebook.
  2. A record of betting (from the use of a notebook to record what each person has bet).
    I'm running a book on who is going to win the race.
  3. A convenient collection, in a form resembling a book, of small paper items for individual use.
    a book of stamps
    a book of raffle tickets
  4. A major division of a published work, larger than a chapter, commonly an academic publication or the Bible.
  5. The script of a musical.
  6. usually in plural Records of the accounts of a business.
  7. A long document stored (as data) that is or will become a book; an e-book.
  8. In the context of "law": A colloquial reference to a book award, a recognition for receiving the highest grade in a class (traditionally an actual book, but recently more likely a letter or certificate acknowledging the achievement).
  9. In the context of "poker slang": four of a kind


  • (collection of sheets of paper bound together containing printed or written material): tome (especially a large book)
  • (convenient collection of small paper items, such as stamps): booklet
  • (major division of a published work, larger than a chapter): tome, volume
  • (script of a musical): libretto
  • (records of the accounts of a business): accounts, records
collection of sheets of paper bound together containing printed or written material
record of betting
convenient collection of small paper items, such as stamps
  • Catalan: àlbum,
  • Danish: album
  • Dutch: boek, album
  • Ewe: agbalẽ
  • German: Album
  • Italian: blocchetto
  • Portuguese: álbum
  • Russian: альбом
  • Slovene: album
  • Swedish: häfte
  • Turkish: albüm
  • Vietnamese: sổ
major division of a published work, larger than a chapter
  • Catalan: llibre
  • Danish: bind
  • Dutch: boek
  • Ewe: agbalẽ
  • Finnish: kirja
  • Old English: boc
  • Russian: книга
  • Swedish: bok (if physically bound into one book) , volym (if part of a multi-book format)
  • Turkish: cilt
  • Vietnamese: tập, quyển
script of a musical
usually in plural: records of the accounts of a business
  • Dutch: boek, e-book
  • Finnish: kirja
  • German: E-Book
  • Vietnamese: sách

See also



  1. To reserve (something) for future use
    I want to book a hotel room for tomorrow night
    I can book tickets for the concert next week
  2. law enforcement transitive To penalise (someone) for an offence.
    The police booked him for driving too fast
  3. In the context of "intransitive|slang": To travel very fast.
    He was really booking, until he passed the speed trap.
  4. To write down.
    They booked that message from the hill
  5. In the context of "transitive|law": To receive the highest grade in a class.
    The top three students had a bet on which one was going to book their intellectual property class.



  • Dutch: beboeten
  • German: bestrafen
  • Italian: ammonire
  • Polish: ukarać
  • Portuguese: multar
  • Vietnamese: phạt
travel very fast
  • Dutch: vlammen
  • German: rasen
  • Vietnamese: chạy trốn (implies escaping from someone)
write down
  • Catalan: anotar
  • Danish: nedskrive, notere
  • Dutch: te boek stellen, noteren
  • Finnish: kirjata
  • German: notieren, schreiben
  • Norwegian: notere, nedskrive
  • Polish: spisać
  • Portuguese: anotar
  • Swedish: bokföra, skriva in
  • Vietnamese: ghi xuống

Extensive Definition

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 or obtained for reading through the practice of BookCrossing.


The word book comes from Old English "bōc" which comes from Germanic root "*bōk-", cognate to beech. Similarly, in Slavic languages (e.g. Russian and Bulgarian "буква" (bukva)—"letter") is cognate to "beech". It is thus conjectured that the earliest Indo-European writings may have been carved on beech wood.
Blook, a recent neologism, is either an object manufactured to imitate a bound book, such as an on-line book published via a blog, or a printed book that contains or is based on content from a blog.

Book structure

3 - Endpaper 4 - Book cover 5 - Top edge 6 - Fore edge 7 - Tail edge 8 - Right page 9 - Left page 10 - Gutter]]
The common structural parts of a book include:
  • Front cover: hardbound or softcover (paperback); the spine is the binding that joins the front and rear covers where the pages hinge
  • Front endpaper
  • Flyleaf
  • Body: the text or contents, the pages often collected or folded into signatures; the pages are usually numbered sequentially, and often divided into chapters.
A thin marker, commonly made of paper or card, used to keep one's place in a book is a bookmark. Bookmarks were used throughout the medieval period, consisting usually of a small parchment strip attached to the edge of folio (or a piece of cord attached to headband). Bookmarks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were narrow silk ribbons bound into the book and become widespread in the 1850's. They were usually made from silk, embroidered fabrics or leather. Not until the 1880's, did paper and other materials become more common.


The size of a modern book is based on the printing area of a common flatbed press. The pages of type were arranged and clamped in a frame, so that when printed on a sheet of paper the full size of the press, the pages would be right side up and in order when the sheet was folded, and the folded edges trimmed.
The most common book sizes are:
  • Quarto (4to): the sheet of paper is folded twice, forming four leaves (eight pages) approximately 11-13 inches (ca 30 cm) tall
  • Octavo (8vo): the most common size for current hardcover books. The sheet is folded three times into eight leaves (16 pages) up to 9 ¾" (ca 23 cm) tall.
  • DuoDecimo (12mo): a size between 8vo and 16mo, up to 7 ¾" (ca 18 cm) tall
  • Sextodecimo (16mo): the sheet is folded four times, forming sixteen leaves (32 pages) up to 6 ¾" (ca 15 cm) tall
Sizes smaller than 16mo are:
  • 24mo: up to 5 ¾" (ca 13 cm) tall.
  • 32mo: up to 5" (ca 12 cm) tall.
  • 48mo: up to 4" (ca 10 cm) tall.
  • 64mo: up to 3" (ca 8 cm) tall.
Small books can be called booklets.
Sizes larger than quarto are:
  • Folio: up to 15" (ca 38 cm) tall.
  • Elephant Folio: up to 23" (ca 58 cm) tall.
  • Atlas Folio: up to 25" (ca 63 cm) tall.
  • Double Elephant Folio: up to 50" (ca 127 cm) tall.
The largest extant medieval manuscript in the world is Codex Gigas 92 × 50 × 22 cm. The world's largest book made of stone is in Kuthodaw Pagoda (Myanmar).

Types of books

Types of books according to their contents

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.


Many of the books published today are fictitious stories. They are in-part or completely untrue or fantasy. Historically, paper production was expensive; 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 typical 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 told or illustrated with pictures.


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 higher education, is it common for a student to take an exam requiring a bluebook.
There is a large set of books that are made only to write private ideas, notes, and accounts. These type of books are rarely published and typically are 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 daily the owner's 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.


Some examples of books not commonly found under this system include:
Albums are books for holding collections of memorabilia, pictures or photographs. They are often made so that the pages are removable. Stamp albums hold collections of stamps.
Hymnals are books with collections of musical hymns, typically found in churches. Prayerbooks or missals are books containing written prayers. Commonly carried by monks, nuns, and other devoted followers or clergy.

Types of books according to their binding or cover

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 often made of metal. Examples of spiral bound books include: teachers manuals, and puzzle books (crosswords, sudoku).
Publishing is a process for producing books, magazines, newspapers, etc. pre-printed for the reader/user to buy, usually in large numbers by a publishing company. Such books can be categorized as fiction (made-up stories) or non-fiction (information written as fact). A book-length fiction story is called a novel.
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.


The process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper is bookbinding.

History of books


When writing systems were invented in ancient civilizations, nearly everything that could be written upon—stone, clay, tree bark, metal sheets—was used for writing. Alphabetic writing emerged in Egypt around 1800 BC. At first the words were not separated from each other (scripta continua) and there was no punctuation. Texts were written from right to left, left to right, and even so that alternate lines read in opposite directions. The technical term for this type of writing is 'boustrophedon,' which means literally 'ox-turning' for the way a farmer drives an ox to plough his fields.


Papyrus, a thick paper-like material made by weaving the stems of the papyrus plant, then pounding the woven sheet with a hammer-like tool, was used for writing in Ancient Egypt, perhaps as early as the First Dynasty, although the first evidence is from the account books of King Neferirkare Kakai of the Fifth Dynasty (about 2400 BC). Papyrus sheets were glued together to form a scroll. Tree bark such as lime (Latin liber, from there also library) and other materials were also used.
According to Herodotus (History 5:58), the Phoenicians brought writing and papyrus to Greece around the tenth or ninth century BC. The Greek word for papyrus as writing material (biblion) and book (biblos) come from the Phoenician port town Byblos, through which papyrus was exported to Greece. From Greeks we have also the word tome () which originally meant a slice or piece and from there it became to denote "a roll of papyrus". Tomus was used by the Latins with exactly the same meaning as volumen (see also below the explanation by Isidore of Seville).
Whether made from papyrus, parchment, or paper in East Asia, scrolls were the dominant form of book in the Hellenistic, Roman, Chinese and Hebrew cultures. The more modern codex book format form took over the Roman world by late antiquity, but the scroll format persisted much longer in Asia.


Papyrus scrolls were still dominant in the first century AD, as witnessed by the findings in Pompeii. The first written mention of the codex as a form of book is from Martial, in his Apophoreta CLXXXIV at the end of the century, where he praises its compactness. However the codex never gained much popularity in the pagan Hellenistic world, and only within the Christian community did it gain widespread use. This change happened gradually during the third and fourth centuries, and the reasons for adopting the codex form of the book are several: the format is more economical, as both sides of the writing material can be used; and it is portable, searchable, and easy to conceal. The Christian authors may also have wanted to distinguish their writings from the pagan texts written on scrolls.
Wax tablets were the normal writing material in schools, in accounting, and for taking notes. They had the advantage of being reusable: the wax could be melted, and reformed into a blank. The custom of binding several wax tablets together (Roman pugillares) is a possible precursor for modern books (i.e. codex).The etymology of the word codex (block of wood) also suggests that it may have developed from wooden wax tablets.
In the 5th century, Isidore of Seville explained the relation between codex, book and scroll in his Etymologiae (VI.13): "A codex is composed of many books; a book is of one scroll. It is called codex by way of metaphor from the trunks (codex) of trees or vines, as if it were a wooden stock, because it contains in itself a multitude of books, as it were of branches."

Middle Ages


The fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D. saw the decline of the culture of ancient Rome. Papyrus became difficult to obtain, due to lack of contact with Egypt, and parchment, which had been used for centuries, began to be the main writing material.
Monasteries carried on the Latin writing tradition in the Western Roman Empire. Cassiodorus, in the monastery of Vivarium (established around 540), stressed the importance of copying texts. St. Benedict of Nursia, in his Regula Monachorum (completed around the middle of the 6th century) later also promoted reading. The Rule of St. Benedict (Ch. XLVIII), which set aside certain times for reading, greatly influenced the monastic culture of the Middle Ages, and is one of the reasons why the clergy were the predominant readers of books. The tradition and style of the Roman Empire still dominated, but slowly the peculiar medieval book culture emerged.
Before the invention and adoption of the printing press, almost all books were copied by hand, making books expensive and comparatively rare. Smaller monasteries usually had only some dozen books, medium sized perhaps a couple hundred. By the ninth century, larger collections held around 500 volumes; and even at the end of the Middle Ages, the papal library in Avignon and Paris library of Sorbonne held only around 2,000 volumes.
The scriptorium of the monastery was usually located over the chapter house. Artificial light was forbidden, for fear it may damage the manuscripts. There were five types of scribes:
  • Copyists, who dealt with basic production and correspondence
  • Calligraphers, who dealt in fine book production
  • Correctors, who collated and compared a finished book with the manuscript from which it had been produced
  • Rubricators, who painted in the red letters
  • Illuminators, who painted illustrations
The bookmaking process was long and laborious. The parchment had to be prepared, then the unbound pages were planned and ruled with a blunt tool or lead, after which the text was written by the scribe, who usually left blank areas for illustration and rubrication. Finally the book was bound by the bookbinder.
Different types of ink were known in antiquity, usually prepared from soot and gum, and later also from gall nuts and iron vitriol. This gave writing the typical brownish black color, but black or brown were not the only colors used. There are texts written in red or even gold, and different colors were used for illumination. Sometimes the whole parchment was colored purple, and the text was written on it with gold or silver (eg Codex Argenteus).
Irish monks introduced spacing between words in the seventh century. This facilitated reading, as these monks tended to be less familiar with Latin. However the use of spaces between words did not become commonplace before the 12th century. It has been argued, that the use of spacing between words shows the transition from semi-vocalized reading into silent reading.
The first books used parchment or vellum (calf skin) for the pages. The book covers were made of wood and covered with leather. As dried parchment tends to assume the form before processing, the books were fitted with clasps or straps. During the later Middle Ages, when public libraries appeared, books were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft. The so called libri catenati were used up to 18th century.
At first books were copied mostly in monasteries, one at a time. With the rise of universities in the 13th century, the Manuscript culture of the time lead to an increase in the demand for books, and a new system for copying books appeared. The books were divided into unbound leaves (pecia), which were lent out to different copyists, so the speed of book production was considerably increased. The system was maintained by stationers guilds, which were secular, and produced both religious and non-religious material.

Wood block printing

The Chinese inventor Pi Sheng made movable type of earthenware circa 1045, but there are no known surviving examples of his printing. Metal movable type was invented in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty (around 1230), but was not widely used: one reason being the enormous Chinese character set. Around 1450, in what is commonly regarded as an independent invention, Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. This invention gradually made books less expensive to produce, and more widely available.
Early printed books, single sheets and images which were created before the year 1501 in Europe are known as incunabula. ''A man born in 1453, the year of the fall of Constantinople, could look back from his fiftieth year on a lifetime in which about eight million books had been printed, more perhaps than all the scribes of Europe had produced since Constantine founded his city in A.D. 330.''

Modern world

Steam-powered printing presses became popular in the early 1800s. These machines could print 1,100 sheets per hour, but workers could only set 2,000 letters per hour.
Monotype and linotype presses were introduced in the late 19th century. They could set more than 6,000 letters per hour and an entire line of type at once. The centuries after the 15th century were thus spent on improving both the printing press and the conditions for freedom of the press through the gradual relaxation of restrictive censorship laws. See also intellectual property, public domain, copyright. In mid-20th century, Europe book production had risen to over 200,000 titles per year.

Transition to digital format

The term e-book is a contraction of "electronic book"; it refers to a digital version of a conventional print book. An e-book is usually made available through the internet, but also on CD-ROM and other forms. E-Books are read by means of a physical book display device known as an e-book reader, such as the Sony Reader or the Amazon Kindle. These devices attempt to mimic the experience of reading a print book.
Throughout the 20th century, libraries have faced an ever-increasing rate of publishing, sometimes called an information explosion. The advent of electronic publishing and the Internet means that much new information is not printed in paper books, but is made available online through a digital library, on CD-ROM, or in the form of e-books. An on-line book is an e-book that is available online through the internet.
Though many books are produced digitally, most digital versions are not available to the public, and there is no decline in the rate of paper publishing . There is an effort, however, to convert books that are in the public domain into a digital medium for unlimited redistribution and infinite availability. This effort is spearheaded by Project Gutenberg combined with Distributed Proofreaders.
There have also been new developments in the process of publishing books. Technologies such as print on demand, which make it possible to print as few as one book at a time, have made self-publishing much easier and more affordable. On-demand publishing has allowed publishers, by avoiding the high costs of warehousing, to keep low-selling books in print rather than declaring them out of print.

Collections of books

Private or personal libraries made up of non-fiction and fiction books, (as opposed to the state or institutional records kept in archives) first appeared in classical Greece. In ancient world the maintaining of a library was usually (but not exclusively) the privilege of a wealthy individual. These libraries could have been either private or public, i.e. for individuals that were interested in using them. The difference from a modern public library lies in the fact that they were usually not funded from public sources. It is estimated that in the city of Rome at the end of the third century there were around 30 public libraries, public libraries also existed in other cities of the ancient Mediterranean region (e.g. Library of Alexandria). Later, in the Middle Ages, monasteries and universities had also libraries that could be accessible to general public. Typically not the whole collection was available to public, the books could not be borrowed and often were chained to reading stands to prevent theft. The beginning of modern public library begins around 15th century when individuals started to donate books to towns. The growth of a public library system in the United States started in the late 19th century and was much helped by donations from Andrew Carnegie. This reflected classes in a society: The poor or the middle class had to access most books through a public library or by other means while the rich could afford to have a private library built in their homes.
The advent of paperback books in the 20th century led to an explosion of popular publishing. Paperback books made owning books affordable for many people. Paperback books often included works from genres that had previously been published mostly in pulp magazines. As a result of the low cost of such books and the spread of bookstores filled with them (in addition to the creation of a smaller market of extremely cheap used paperbacks) owning a private library ceased to be a status symbol for the rich.
In library and booksellers' catalogues, it is common to include an abbreviation such as "Crown 8vo" to indicate the paper size from which the book is made.
When rows of books are lined on a bookshelf, bookends are sometimes needed to keep them from slanting.

Identification and classification

During the 20th century, librarians were concerned about keeping track of the many books being added yearly to the Gutenberg Galaxy. Through a global society called the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), they devised a series of tools including the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD).
Each book is specified by an International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, which is unique to every edition of every book produced by participating publishers, world wide. It is managed by the ISBN Society. An ISBN has four parts: the first part is the country code, the second the publisher code, and the third the title code. The last part is a check digit, and can take values from 0–9 and X (10). The EAN Barcodes numbers for books are derived from the ISBN by prefixing 978, for Bookland, and calculating a new check digit.
Commercial publishers in industrialized countries generally assign ISBNs to their books, so buyers may presume that the ISBN is part of a total international system, with no exceptions. However many government publishers, in industrial as well as developing countries, do not participate fully in the ISBN system, and publish books which do not have ISBNs.
A large or public collection requires a catalogue. Codes called "call numbers" relate the books to the catalogue, and determine their locations on the shelves. Call numbers are based on a Library classification system. The call number is placed on the spine of the book, normally a short distance before the bottom, and inside.
Institutional or national standards, such as ANSI/NISO Z39.41 - 1997, establish the correct way to place information (such as the title, or the name of the author) on book spines, and on "shelvable" book-like objects, such as containers for DVDs, video tapes and software.
One of the earliest and most widely known systems of cataloguing books is the Dewey Decimal System. This system has fallen out of use in some places, mainly because of a Eurocentric bias and other difficulties applying the system to modern libraries. However, it is still used by most public libraries in America. The Library of Congress Classification system is more popular in university libraries.
Information about books and authors can be stored in databases like online general-interest book databases.

Paper and conservation issues

Though papermaking in Europe had begun around the 11th century, up until the beginning of 16th century vellum and paper were produced congruent to one another, vellum being the more expensive and durable option. Printers or publishers would often issue the same publication on both materials, to cater to more than one market.
Paper was first made in China, as early as 200 B.C., and reached Europe through Muslim territories. At first made of rags, the industrial revolution changed paper-making practices, allowing for paper to be made out of wood pulp.
Paper made from wood pulp was introduced in the early-19th century, because it was cheaper than linen or abaca cloth-based papers. Pulp-based paper made books less expensive to the general public. This paved the way for huge leaps in the rate of literacy in industrialised nations, and enabled the spread of information during the Second Industrial Revolution.
However pulp paper contained acid, that eventually destroys the paper from within. Earlier techniques for making paper used limestone rollers, which neutralized the acid in the pulp. Books printed between 1850 and 1950 are at risk; more recent books are often printed on acid-free or alkaline paper. Libraries today have to consider mass deacidification of their older collections.
Stability of the climate is critical to the long-term preservation of paper and book material. Good air circulation is important to keep fluctuation in climate stable. The HVAC system should be up to date and functioning efficiently. Light reacts negatively to collections therefore care can be given to the collection by implement light control. General housekeeping issues can be addressed including pest control. In addition to these helpful solutions, a library must also make an effort to be prepared if a disaster occurs, one that they cannot control. Time and effort should be given to create a concise and effective disaster plan to counteract any damage incurred through “acts of god” therefore a emergency management plan should be in place.
The proper care of books takes into account the possibility of physical and chemical damage to the cover and text. Books are best stored out of direct sunlight, in reduced lighting, at cool temperatures, and at moderate humidity. They need the support of surrounding volumes to maintain their shape, so it is desirable to shelve them by size.

Uses for books

Aside from the primary purpose of reading them, books are also used for other ends:
  • A book may be studied by students as the subject of a writing and analysis exercise in the form of a book report.
  • A book may be evaluated by a professional writer in order to produce a published book review.
  • A book may be read by a group of people to use as a spark for social or academic discussion, as in a book club.
  • Books are sometimes used for their exterior appearance to decorate a room, such as a study.
  • A book can be an artistic artifact; this is sometimes known as an artists' book.
book in Afrikaans: Boek
book in Arabic: كتاب
book in Guarani: Kuatiañe'ẽ
book in Aymara: Liwru
book in Azerbaijani: Kitab
book in Bambara: Gafɛ
book in Bengali: বই
book in Min Nan: Chheh
book in Belarusian: Кніга
book in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Кніга
book in Bosnian: Knjiga
book in Breton: Levr
book in Bulgarian: Книга
book in Catalan: Llibre
book in Chuvash: Кĕнеке
book in Czech: Kniha
book in Welsh: Llyfr
book in Danish: Bog
book in Pennsylvania German: Buch
book in German: Buch
book in Estonian: Raamat
book in Modern Greek (1453-): Βιβλίο
book in Spanish: Libro
book in Esperanto: Libro
book in Basque: Liburu
book in Persian: کتاب
book in French: Livre (document)
book in Galician: Libro
book in Korean: 책
book in Croatian: Knjiga
book in Ido: Libro
book in Indonesian: Buku
book in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Libro
book in Inuktitut: ᕿᒥᕐᕈᐊᑦ/qimirruat
book in Ossetian: Чиныг
book in Xhosa: Incwadi
book in Zulu: Incwadi
book in Icelandic: Bók
book in Italian: Libro
book in Hebrew: ספר
book in Swahili (macrolanguage): Kitabu
book in Latin: Liber (litterae)
book in Latvian: Grāmata
book in Luxembourgish: Buch
book in Lithuanian: Knyga
book in Hungarian: Könyv
book in Malay (macrolanguage): Buku
book in Mongolian: Ном
book in Dutch: Boek (document)
book in Dutch Low Saxon: Boek (literetuur)
book in Nepali: पुस्तक
book in Japanese: 本
book in Neapolitan: Libbro
book in Norwegian: Bok
book in Norwegian Nynorsk: Bok
book in Occitan (post 1500): Libre
book in Uzbek: Kitob
book in Low German: Book
book in Polish: Książka
book in Portuguese: Livro
book in Romanian: Carte
book in Quechua: Liwru
book in Russian: Книга
book in Albanian: Libri
book in Sicilian: Libbru
book in Simple English: Book
book in Swati: Íncwadzí
book in Slovak: Kniha
book in Slovenian: Knjiga
book in Serbian: Књига
book in Finnish: Kirja
book in Swedish: Bok
book in Tagalog: Aklat
book in Kabyle: Adlis
book in Thai: หนังสือ
book in Vietnamese: Sách
book in Tok Pisin: Buk
book in Cherokee: ᎪᏪᎵ
book in Turkish: Kitap
book in Ukrainian: Книга
book in Walloon: Live (po lére)
book in Yiddish: ספר
book in Contenese: 書
book in Samogitian: Kninga
book in Chinese: 图书

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Holy Writ, Scripture, Spenserian stanza, accuse, airing, allege, ante, antistrophe, arraign, article, back matter, balance, balance the books, bandying, bespeak, bet, bill, booklet, brief, bring accusation, bring charges, bring to book, broadcast, broadcasting, brochure, bruiting, bruiting about, budget, burden, calendar, canto, capitalize, carry, carry over, carve, cast up accounts, catalog, chalk, chalk up, chapter, charge, charge off, check in, chorus, chronicle, chunk, circulation, cite, clause, close out, close the books, codex, column, compendium, complain, continuity, couplet, credit, cue, cut, debit, denounce, denunciate, diffusion, display, dissemination, distich, docket, earmark, employ, engage, engrave, enlist, enroll, enscroll, enter, enumerate, envoi, epode, evulgation, fascicle, fasten on, fasten upon, file, fill out, finger, folder, folio, front matter, gathering, grave, handbook, hang something on, hazard, heptastich, hexastich, hire, impanel, impeach, imply, impute, incise, index, indict, inform against, inform on, inscribe, insert, insinuate, installment, inventory, issuance, issue, itemize, jot down, journalize, keep books, keep score, laws, lay charges, leaflet, libretto, line, line up, lines, list, livraison, lodge a complaint, lodge a plaint, log, lyrics, magazine, make a memorandum, make a note, make an entry, make out, manual, mark down, matriculate, measure, minute, monograph, monostich, note, note down, novel, number, octastich, octave, octet, order, ottava rima, page, pamphlet, paperback, paragraph, parlay, part, passage, pentastich, periodical, phrase, pigeonhole, pin on, place upon record, play, playbook, poll, post, post up, preengage, prefer charges, press charges, printing, program, promulgation, propagation, publication, publishing, put down, put in writing, put on paper, put on report, put on tape, quatrain, record, recruit, reduce to writing, refrain, register, regulations, report, reproach, reserve, retain, rhyme royal, scenario, scene plot, schedule, score, script, scroll, section, sentence, septet, serial, sestet, set down, sextet, sheet, shooting script, shot, side, sign on, sign up, sign up for, signature, slate, soft-cover, spread, spreading, spreading abroad, stake, stanza, stave, strain, strike a balance, strophe, syllable, tabulate, take down, take into employment, take on, take to task, tally, tape, tape-record, task, taunt with, tax, telecasting, tercet, terza rima, tetrastich, text, textbook, ticket, tome, tract, treatise, triplet, tristich, twit, ventilation, verse, videotape, volume, wager, words, work, write, write down, write in, write out, write up
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