“A Novel” Reminder

February 19, 2019 | 1

Stroll through the fiction section of a bookstore or library, and you’ll notice the phrase on countless spines: “A Novel.” Is this really necessary information when you’re in the fiction section? “As the genre became more and more experimental, publishers put ‘A Novel’ on book covers to reassure people that they were approaching something familiar,” writes Eliza Brooke in Vox. It turns out that many people still need the reminder.

Image credit: Bauman Rare Books

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

One comment:

  1. Yes, “A Novel” is beneficial. Not all books end up in bookstores conveniently segregated into fiction and nonfiction and their subgenres. And sometimes, even in categorized bookstores, books wander into sections they’re not supposed to be in. Books have to be able to explain what they are for themselves without depending on their location in a store.

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