What Is a Book?


A book is a physical container of pages that holds both written and drawn material, and usually has a cover to protect it. It is a more flexible form than its predecessor, the scroll. A person who writes the words in a book is called an author, and someone who draws the pictures in it is an illustrator. The words in a book are written on paper, which is sometimes coated with special material for added durability.

A good book captures a reader’s imagination, educates them and helps develop reading comprehension skills. It also encourages and inspires them to be a better person. A good book should have a compelling plot, engaging characters and well-written dialogue. It should also have a clear theme or message and be easy to read.

Before a book can be published, it must go through various stages to ensure it is ready for readers. These include front matter and back matter. These sections are the parts of the book that make it look put-together and official. The front matter includes the title page, copyright page and table of contents, while the back matter includes the disclaimer and any supplementary information.

The first section of a book is the prologue, which is designed to entice the reader with intriguing events that may only be fully contextualized later on in the story. It can also contain useful background information on the subject, such as a historical or cultural context.

After the prologue, the main text begins, often spanning several chapters. It is then followed by the appendix, which contains supplemental material that can range from a glossary of terms to an index of key words and concepts. The appendix can also include a chronology, which lists important events in the book’s plot.

A book can be cataloged using one of a number of systems, including the Dewey Decimal System and the Library of Congress Classification system. This allows librarians to find books easily and quickly, although these systems can be biased toward subjects that were popular at the time of their development and have trouble handling new topics.

A book can be a container for other things as well, such as photographs and memorabilia. These are typically stored in albums that are ringed binder-style or similar, and can include a note from the artist or publisher on the cover. A book can also be used to store a collection of stamps, or even to hold notes for school. These are commonly known as memory books or scrapbooks.