Meaning of BOOKS in English



1. a book

2. a book about imaginary people and events

3. a book about real people, places, or events

4. a book about someone’s life

5. a book that gives you information about a subject

6. someone who writes books

7. the people in a book

8. to produce a book


part of a book : ↑ PART (3)

see also






1. a book

▷ book /bʊk/ [countable noun]

▪ I think Muriel Spark is a great writer, I love her books.

▪ What book are you reading at the moment?

book by

▪ a book by Charles Dickens

book about

▪ I’m reading a book about a little girl who was a slave in 19th century Atlanta.

book on something

a book giving information about a particular subject

▪ Do you have any books on astronomy?

book of something

a book containing several examples of the same kind of writing

▪ She wrote a book of short stories, but it never got published.

library book

a book that you borrow from a library

▪ I went and got a library book about it.

secondhand book

a book that has already been owned by someone else

▪ a secondhand book dealer

▷ paperback /ˈpeɪpəʳbæk/ also softback /ˈsɒftbæk‖ˈsɔːft-/ [countable noun]

a book with a cover made of stiff paper :

▪ Usually the hardback comes out first and the paperback comes out after.

▪ a softback romantic novel

in paperback

published as a paperback

▪ The two books you need for the regular assignment are both inexpensive and in paperback.

▷ hardback /ˈhɑːʳdbæk/ [countable noun]

a book with a hard cover :

▪ The hardback version spent three weeks on the Times bestseller list.

in hardback

published as a hardback

▪ The book is published by HarperCollins, and costs $15 in hardback and $4.95 in paperback.

▷ best-seller /ˌbest ˈseləʳ/ [countable noun]

a very popular book that a lot of people buy :

▪ Already a best-seller in Japan, Quovis comes out in English later this year.

▪ Her book has been an international best-seller for over a decade.

▪ Nader’s book, ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’, became a surprise best-seller.

best-seller list

an official list of books that people are buying the most

▪ J K Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books were number one on the best-seller list for months.

2. a book about imaginary people and events

▷ novel /ˈnɒv ə lǁˈnɑː-/ [countable noun]

a book about people and events that the writer has imagined :

▪ The new Sidney Shelton novel is to be adapted for film later in the year.

▪ This is the study where Hemingway wrote the legendary novels ‘Death in the Afternoon’ and ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.

novel by

▪ The movie is based on a novel by Anne Tyler.

historical novel

about people and events in the past

▪ Butler has also written several historical novels under the pen-name of Jenny Melville.

romantic novel

about love

▪ Johnston’s nudes look like cover art for romantic novels.

first/debut novel

the first novel that someone writes

▪ Keller’s debut novel is about a Korean woman who was sold into prostitution during World War II.

▷ fiction /ˈfɪkʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

books about imaginary people and events :

▪ His first novel won a prize for modern fiction.

▪ I’m taking a class in Victorian fiction.

romantic fiction

about love

▪ This small band of women writers dominated the romantic fiction market for a number of years.

historical fiction

about people and events in the past

▪ Anthony’s first books were historical fiction.

crime/detective fiction

▪ Why is Miami such a ripe setting for crime fiction?

▪ Chandler remains the greatest exponent of detective fiction.

▷ literature /ˈlɪt ə rətʃəʳǁ-tʃʊər/ [uncountable noun]

books, plays, and poems, especially famous and serious ones that people think are important :

▪ the Nobel Prize for Literature

▪ She is a professor of language and literature at Arizona State University.

▪ Mitterrand’s oratory and writings displayed a wide grasp of history, philosophy, religion and literature.

French/Hispanic/Hebrew etc literature

▪ I teach Japanese literature.

▪ She’s studying European literature at the University of Illinois.

▷ science fiction /ˌsaɪəns ˈfɪkʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun] also sci-fi /ˌsaɪ ˈfaɪ◂/ informal

stories about things that happen in the future or in other parts of the universe :

▪ Science fiction is often wrongly regarded as a ‘lesser’ form of literature.

▪ Joanne says she is not a fan of science fiction, and has never read her husband’s book.

▪ Such developments sound like science fiction, but they’re not.

science fiction [adjective]

science fiction writer/movie/book etc

▪ the sci-fi writer William Gibson

▷ whodunnit /huːˈdʌnɪt/ [countable noun] informal

a book about an imaginary murder case, in which you do not find out who did the murder until the end :

▪ If you enjoy a whodunnit, you’ll lap up Janet Laurence’s ‘Hotel Morgue’.

▪ an Agatha Christie whodunnit

▷ thriller /ˈθrɪləʳ/ [countable noun]

an exciting story, for example about a crime or war, in which surprising events happen suddenly and you never know what will happen next :

▪ They discovered a mutual love of mysteries and thrillers.

political/psychological/spy etc thriller

▪ Stephen King’s new psychological thriller

▪ He has written a spy thriller that recalls Fleming’s James Bond series.

▪ His latest work is a legal thriller set in Boston.

▷ short story /ˌʃɔːʳt ˈstɔːri/ [countable noun]

a short piece of writing in which the writer tells a story :

▪ She started out writing short stories for the magazine ‘Black Mask’.

▪ I understand your novel was inspired by a short story by Katherine Mansfield.

▪ a collection of American short stories

3. a book about real people, places, or events

▷ non-fiction /ˌnɒn ˈfɪkʃ ə nǁˌnɑːn-/ [uncountable noun]

books about real events, people, or places :

▪ The books in the library are divided into fiction and non-fiction.

▪ He also produced works of non-fiction.

non-fiction [adjective]

▪ a disturbing non-fiction account of events in Vietnam

4. a book about someone’s life

▷ biography /baɪˈɒgrəfiǁ-ˈɑːg-/ [countable noun]

a book about someone’s life, written by another person :

▪ She’s the author of three acclaimed biographies.

▪ This is a competent and well-researched biography.

biography of

▪ Boswell’s biography of Dr Johnson

authorized biography

approved by the person being written about

▪ ‘Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now’ is an authorized biography of the former Beatle by Barry Miles.

unauthorized biography

not approved by the person written about

▪ He has slammed an unauthorised biography which he claims contains ‘factual errors’.

▷ autobiography /ˌɔːtəbaɪˈɒgrəfiǁ-ˈɑːg-/ [countable noun]

a book in which someone writes about their own life :

▪ Although she has written three novels, this autobiography is her first published work.

somebody’s autobiography

▪ In her autobiography, Doris Lessing writes about her childhood in Zimbabwe.

▪ The incident is recounted in his autobiography.

▷ memoirs /ˈmemwɑːʳz/ [plural noun]

the story of your own life which you have written yourself, especially about your involvement in important political or military events :

somebody’s memoirs

▪ The duke’s memoirs will be serialised in The Sunday Times.

▪ Reading Bready’s unpublished memoirs, I was struck by her courage and resilience.

▪ ‘I felt lost, abandoned,’ she wrote in her memoirs.

▷ diary /ˈdaɪ ə ri/ [countable noun]

a book in which you write down the things that happen to you each day, and your private thoughts :

▪ I wouldn’t really show anyone my diary, not even you.

keep a diary (of something)

write in a diary each day

▪ During his illness, David kept a diary, which his family hopes to publish.

▪ I decided to keep a diary of our trip to Toronto.

▷ journal /ˈdʒɜːʳnl/ [countable noun]

a diary, especially one written by a famous or important person :

▪ In the 1837 journal, Darwin gives an account of his voyage to South America.

▪ Her book draws on letters, diaries, journals and historical sources.

somebody’s journal

▪ I was given access to his private papers and journals.

▪ Jewish life is poignantly described in Wiesel’s journal, ‘The Jews of Silence’.

5. a book that gives you information about a subject

▷ reference book /ˈref ə rəns ˌbʊk/ [countable noun]

a book that you look at in order to get information, for example a dictionary or encyclopedia :

▪ Do not remove reference books from the library.

▪ ‘The Elements of Style’ is a classic reference book written by the late E.B. White.

▪ Talk to the career counselors and check out the reference books on career choices.

▷ encyclopedia also encyclopaedia British /ɪnˌsaɪkləˈpiːdiə/ [countable noun]

a large book or set of books containing facts about a lot of different subjects, usually arranged in alphabetical order :

▪ ‘Does anyone know when Mozart was born?’ ‘Look it up in the encyclopedia.’

▪ a thirty-volume encyclopaedia

▪ the Encyclopedia of Science

▷ textbook /ˈtekstbʊk/ [countable noun]

a book that contains information and ideas about a subject, that you use when you are studying that subject :

▪ The grant covers the costs of tuition, fees and textbooks.

geography/biology etc textbook

▪ Most economics textbooks skip over the subject of investing and financial markets.

academic/college textbook

▪ I can’t get hold of any of the college textbooks he recommended.

6. someone who writes books

▷ writer /ˈraɪtəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who writes books, stories, or articles in as a job :

▪ When I was young, I wanted to be a famous writer.

▪ Greene was one of the finest writers of his generation.

American/German etc writer

▪ Do you have any books by modern American writers?

(the) writer George Eliot/Arthur C. Clarke etc

▪ Among his influences, he places Wynton Marsalis and writer Stanley Goode.

writer of

▪ Rush is a poet and writer of fiction.

ghost writer

someone who is paid to write a book for a person, as if it was their own work

▪ It seems likely that Campbell’s book is almost wholly attributable to a ghostwriter.

▷ author /ˈɔːθəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who writes books, or who wrote a particular book, especially a literary book :

▪ Balzac was one of her favourite authors.

▪ A little gentle encouragement is all that is needed to put this promising author into the ranks of the high-flyers.

German/French etc author

▪ The prize was won by the German author, Heinrich Böll.

(the) author Marcel Proust/Steven King etc

▪ Among the guests was the author Salman Rushdie.

author of

▪ Who was the author of ‘Catch 22’?

▪ We will be interviewing Lisa Mainero, author of ‘Office Romance’.


someone who writes a book with another person

▪ With co-author Eyre, Barlow has produced a book charting the history of African music.

▷ novelist /ˈnɒv ə lɪst, ˈnɒv ə ləstǁˈnɑː-/ [countable noun]

someone who writes books about imaginary people or events :

▪ Charles Dickens was one of the greatest 19th century novelists.

French/Hispanic etc novelist

▪ Japanese novelists deal with the question of old age in a way few other writers can aspire to.

(the) novelist Barbara Cartland/Carlos Fuentes etc

▪ The book quotes from the diaries of novelist Evelyn Waugh.

▪ Budding gay novelist Larry Kramer is enjoying success at last.

7. the people in a book

▷ character /ˈkærɪktəʳ, ˈkærəktəʳ/ [countable noun]

a person in a story :

▪ Her female characters often have strong, important relationships with other women.

character from

▪ She reminds you of a character from Dickens.

▪ Sisyphus, the character from Greek mythology

main character

the most important one

▪ The main character is a soldier in the First World War.

▪ He writes Westerns in which the main characters are gay.

title character

an important character whose name is mentioned in the title of the book

▪ King Henry is the name given to a donkey, the title character in the children’s book, ‘King Henry Saves Christmas’.

fictional character

not a real one

▪ Ancient literature uses fictional characters to illustrate moral dilemmas.

▷ hero/heroine /ˈhɪ ə rəʊ, ˈherəʊɪn/ [countable noun]

the most important man or woman in a book :

▪ By the story’s end, the heroine finds herself in the hero’s arms, and all ends well.

▪ ‘Cinderella’ is the story of a downtrodden heroine who wins out over her sisters.

hero/heroine of

▪ Paul Morel is the hero of ‘Sons and Lovers’.

8. to produce a book

▷ publish /ˈpʌblɪʃ/ [transitive verb]

to arrange for a book that has been written to be made available for people to buy :

▪ ‘Moby Dick’ was first published in London in 1851.

▪ ‘I’ve had a remarkable life,’ says the 60-year-old author, who has published 35 books.

▪ King has made history by publishing a novel on the World Wide Web.

publication /ˌpʌblɪˈkeɪʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to prepare a book like this for publication.

publisher [countable noun]

▪ She sent off the completed manuscript to 34 publishers before getting it accepted.

publishing [uncountable noun]

▪ How long have you worked in publishing?

▪ Electronic publishing is a rapidly expanding field.

▷ bring out /ˌbrɪŋ ˈaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to produce a new book :

▪ Fay Weldon has just brought out a new collection of stories.

▪ Scribner will bring out a memoir by Candace Gringritch in the autumn.

▪ He phoned to say they want to bring out a second edition.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .