Fiction vs Nonfiction Books

Reader’s Need Guide: What is fiction and non-fiction?

Imaginary or made-up storiesReal-life stories or events
Characters are often fictional and may not exist in realityReal people or events are described
Often written to entertain or engage readersUsually written to inform or educate readers
Narrative style with plot, character development, and dialogueTypically organized by topic or theme with factual information
Use of literary devices such as symbolism, metaphor, and ironyUse of research, evidence, and statistics to support claims
Often allows for creative expression and interpretationRequires factual accuracy and credibility
May have a moral or lesson, but not alwaysOften has a clear purpose or objective
Examples: Harry Potter series, The Great Gatsby, Pride and PrejudiceExamples: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, A Brief History of Time, The New Jim Crow

Book Genres are different ways to classify books so that readers can find them more easily. With an extensive collection, grouping similar book genres is a must. Readers need to know where to find a book, as well as multiple forms of books they might enjoy, whether they are in a reading room or a bookstore. However, classifying books is fraught with difficulties. Some authors write in various genres, and a single book can be considered more than one. And perhaps some people are irritated by categories and categorical lists. Regardless, book genres remain the most appropriate and effective method of classifying books for the audience.


The term ” fiction” refers to literature that is the result of the author’s imagination. Fiction genres include mysteries, science fiction, passion, dream, literary fiction, and crime thrillers. Examples include Jane Austen’s Pride and prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 1984 by George Orwell, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In addition, we have a large selection of popular movies and television shows on DVD in our Fiction Department.

Fiction is a term used to describe books and story collections that are based on fictional stories. Although these stories are not primarily about any natural person or event, they are impacted by real-world examples. The exciting fact about fiction is that it has declined in the United States for the past five years. In 2008, 47 percent of the US population read fiction, but that figure fell to 42 percent in 2019. In 2019, this equated to more than 270 million fictional books sold.

Non-Fiction Genre

The term “nonfiction” refers to literature that is based on actual events. It is the most general category of literature. Biography, industry, cooking, nutrition and exercise, pets, arts and crafts, home decorating, different dialects, travel, construction, religion, music and literature, history, consciousness, true crime, science, and humor are just a few of the topics covered in the Nonfiction Department. We, too, have a selection of well-known and award-winning series of documentaries and Videos.

Nonfiction, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as “ruth-telling.” It refers to fictional works based on actual events that are explained as they occur. According to research, most people in the United States prefer to read nonfiction, which includes educational and thematic subjects. In 2019, over 405 million nonfiction novels were sold in the United States.

Reading habits change with age. Fictional books primarily inspire teenagers and young children. Academics tend to prefer nonfiction works that are educational, event-based, and informative. Including within fiction vs nonfiction books, the variation of book genres corresponds to the diverse reading tastes of people. Billy Robins is an eight-year-old boy who, like many children his age, enjoys adventure. He enjoys spending time with his grandparents, who live on a farm in upstate New York. Every summer, he and his parents visit his grandparents’ farm. This summer will be extra special for him because his grandparents have given him a horse! He took an entire summer riding horses and assisting his grandparents. This epic journey genre title should be on your list of books to read.

For the most part, the crime genre produces the best fiction books. A break-in has occurred at The Coffee Connection, a café in Brooklyn Heights. There are many suspects in the eyes of police as they begin an investigation to determine whether it was a random crime or a planned crime. Would they be able to investigate correctly in-depth and if it has anything to do with coffee?

For those who are unaware, historical fiction is a fascinating book genre. This book genre includes books set in the past but is not based on actual historical events. A girl who lived through two civil wars and faced numerous challenges throughout her life. This girl perfectly expresses being a girl child and a woman amid a war that is taking place around her. Do you want to read more?

Nonfiction Titles will range from narratives and biographies to historical and policy commentary. This story is a great example. Russia is a significant country on the global map. This story focuses on Russia’s entire history and how the Russian empire came to be. What was the socialist revolution that enabled Russians to stand up to other countries? It also explains Russia’s foreign policy, which made it easy for the government to form alliances. Long story short, this book is the best nonfiction book for all readers who are interested in the study of history.

This book is a narrative of a real-life homeless crisis as experienced by Canadians. It is a thought-provoking nonfictional read because it is about a social and political issue of inequality. Numerous people in Canada’s urban and rural areas are homeless and live on the streets. On the other hand, wealthy communities do not prioritize providing them with a better place to live. This novel discusses the experiences and issues that those families face while living in poverty. This book is particularly illuminating for people in other parts of the world who are dealing with a similar problem in their own country, and it is a must-read.

This book is categorized as a biography. A biography falls under nonfiction because it is about a real-life person whose life is documented by another person (the author) who has closely lived or observed the former. Hae-Lyun Kang has written one of the best nonfiction books as a biography. This journal investigates previous lives, rebirthing, glass peering, numerology, meeting God, and traveling to South Korea and Japan well before the author’s brother shot Prince Charles.

The distinction between fiction and nonfiction is one of the most frequently asked questions among newcomers. Many people become confused between the two, so if you are, don’t worry. When it comes to entertainment or literature, it is critical to understand the genre. Understanding the distinction between fiction and nonfiction will enhance your appreciation of a film or book. It encourages you to read and helps you choose better books depending on your tastes.

The primary difference between fiction vs nonfiction books is that fiction is based entirely on fact and realization, whereas nonfiction is wholly based on imagination. Let’s take a closer look at the two genres to get a better understanding of them.

In a nutshell, fiction is made up of words. It’s neither objective nor based on facts. Fiction is a category that includes stories that are made up out of thin air. Novels, short story collections, poems, and storytelling are all examples of fiction books. There are numerous sub-genres of fiction. A love story, Science Fiction, Imagination, Thriller, Risky Fiction, Young Adult, Tragedy, Detective/Crime, Heritage Fiction, wizard realism, Feminist Fiction, and others are popular sub-genres of fiction.

The benefit of writing fiction is that it provides writers with a great deal of leeway because it is only dependent on their imagination. However, liberty does not mean simplicity. It’s also tough to write a novel solely from your imagination. The author must build an entirely new world, complete with fictional characters that may or may not be based on real individuals.

One of the most important distinctions is the way fiction and nonfiction are interpreted. Because fiction is contextual, it can be understood in various ways, whereas nonfiction is objective. Every individual has a distinct perspective on life, which determines how they view a book. It is why, when we’re writing fiction, we’re constantly asked this question to share our thoughts on the characters, poetic devices, script, and so on. When it comes to poems and poetry, poets primarily employ various rhetorical techniques to convey their ideas. We don’t always know what emotion is behind a verse, but as readers and literature students, we must dig deep and use our point of view to understand the meaning between the lines.

A fantasy writer creates the plot, scenes, characters, background, and everything else entirely from their imagination. The majority of the produced items could be based on a factual story or a real man. For their works of fiction, authors commonly fictionalize their anecdotes. Personal anecdotes and memories may also be included. When it comes to character development, authors can draw inspiration from their environment or people they know. They may blend their peculiarities into their character’s personality. However, it makes no difference how much a character resembles a natural person or how related a significant event is to the book’s plot. It will still fall under the category of fiction.

Producers frequently use true-life stories to create films. They don’t make any new ones, but they may add fictional details to the character and alter the plot to keep things interesting. It will be categorized as fiction rather than nonfiction because it is not factual. For such books or movies, they utilize the phrase “based on genuine events.” It’s here that the past, present, and nonfiction collide. These two genres are prevalent.

Many books based on reality and actual lives from the World War II and Cold War periods are classified as historical novels due to the absence of essential points and the extension of discovered finer points. For example, Heather Morris’s novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita, who survived the Auschwitz concentration camps. This book is classified as autobiography fiction. Even though it is a biography, it falls under the category of fiction. Additionally, it creates intricacies and fact-based inactions to make the story more interesting for a wider public. And on the other side, Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” also focused on the Auschwitz concentration camp, falls into the nonfiction genres of psychology and biography. It is a contentious issue, and people are divided on it. To better understand it, let us delve into the Nonfiction style.

Nonfiction is based on facts and is therefore reliable. It’s simple and straight to the point. Biographies, histories, reference books, self-help books, short story collections, educational materials, and so on are examples of nonfiction literature. These documents are written with extraordinary caution and specialized knowledge, as even a minor error can land the author in significant jeopardy. When writing nonfiction, there is no room for uncertainty or ambiguity. There must be no room for fiction or creation, and it must be relevant and reliable. It is why authors must be sure to incorporate citations and references while writing nonfiction.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

Fiction BooksNonfiction Books
Imaginary or made-up stories featuring fictional characters and eventsReal-life stories or events featuring factual information
Characters and events may be invented by the authorReal people and events are described by the author
May be categorized by genre such as romance, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.May be categorized by topic such as history, science, politics, biography, etc.
Often written to entertain or engage readers through plot, character development, and literary devicesUsually written to inform or educate readers through research, evidence, and facts
Language and writing style may be more creative and expressiveLanguage and writing style may be more straightforward and informative
Often includes elements such as dialogue, setting, and symbolismOften includes features such as tables, graphs, and references
May be more subjective in interpretation and analysisRequires factual accuracy and credibility
Maybe more subjective in interpretation and analysisExamples: A Brief History of Time, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The fictional genre is based upon the following: Fiction Types & Categories

Classic Fiction:

A novel or writer that has existed for many years and continues to elicit meaningful debate and thought across generations. As horrific as it may sound, It is contended that the author must be dead for a book to be considered a classic. Toni Morrison, for example, continues to write and is an active member of the literary community. While no one doubts her books will become classics, they are currently classified as literary fiction.

General Fiction:

They are more approachable than Literary Fiction and lack the genre elements found in other categories.

Historical fiction:

 Books can only take place at least 30 years before the author’s time of writing. Time frames are frequently used to divide subcategories.

Romance Fiction:

 A novel in which the main plot revolves around falling in love (of the intimate variety) and has a pleasant or pleasurable ending. Because this is a broad category with numerous sub-genres, the cases are organized by sub-genres.

Literary Fiction:

Books are considered to have artistic merit. Themes are frequently subtle, and there is some social criticism, political criticism, and personal commentary about what it means to be human. Other genre elements may be present, but the author uses them not to be a part of that community but to highlight an exciting concept in their work.

Mystery/ Suspense:

Novels in which the plot focuses on determining why something has occurred or will occur.

  • Special agent Investigator: A traditional mystery novel where the narrator is either asked to solve a crime or a series of crimes or volunteers.
  • Cozy Mystery: A mystery with low stakes set in a small town.
  • Police Procedural: A high-stakes crime is solved by a police detective who follows the law. Its descriptions of violence are typically graphic.
  • Psychological Thriller: A high-stakes plot that evokes anxiety to prevent rather than solve a crime.
  • Noir: An idealized mystery with a sarcastic main character.
  • Action/Adventure: High-stakes stories with frequent scene changes in which the author’s life is constantly jeopardized.
  • Adventure: Investigation and far-flung locales are featured.
  • Armed services: The protagonist is a soldier or spy, with storylines involving politics, diplomacy, and military operations.

Fantasy Fiction:

Stories are set in an entirely fictional world, or a version of this world with magic.

  • Epic/High Fantasy: Takes place in invented worlds.
  • Low Fantasy: Set in our universe but with magical elements.
  • Urban Fantasy: A kind of Low Fantasy usually set in a city and follows a jaded main character who is either in law enforcement or a gang banger as they encounter mythical creatures.
  • Historical Fantasy: A placing with magic in this world at least 30 years before the novel’s writing.
  • Grim Dark Fantasy: Fantasy is a type of high Fantasy that is violent and frequently suspenseful.

Science Fiction:

Novels that assume the impact of a current likelihood in the future. This section has the most subcategories of any. We will choose five of the most commonly used to demonstrate its many aspects.

  • Hard Science Fiction: It contains detailed descriptions of scientifically possible scientific facts in a scientific world (as opposed to the social sciences). Soft science fiction is distinguished by its emphasis on social sciences such as archaeology, sociology, anthropology, and folk tales.
  • Space Opera: Fictionalized books set in space.
  • Sci-fi: Set in a social and political environment that is worse than the current moment.
  • Retro futuristic: A historical setting in which steam-powered new tech plays a significant role in the plot.

Horror Fiction:

A book in which supernatural shenanigans ingrain fear and terror in both the writer and the reader.

  • Monster/Creature Horror: Represented by the beast and monster used to elicit fear, for example, spirits, werewolves, undead, vampires, and so on.
  • Psychological Horror: Uses the characters’ emotional and psychological states to frighten readers.
  • Colorful Horror: Creates a sense of horror by using gore and graphic violence.

Top Fiction Books Of All Time & Copies Sold

Book TitleAuthorCopies Sold (Millions)
“The Lord of the Rings”J.R.R. Tolkien150
“The Hobbit”J.R.R. Tolkien100
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”J.K. Rowling120
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”J.K. Rowling107
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”J.K. Rowling85
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”J.K. Rowling65
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”J.K. Rowling58
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”J.K. Rowling55
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”J.K. Rowling50
“The Da Vinci Code”Dan Brown80

Note: These are estimates of the number of copies sold and the actual figures may vary. Also, there are many other books, which are widely read and loved by people, but these are considered as the most popular and widely read books of all time.

The nonfictional genre is based on the following: Non-Fiction Types & Categories

Books in which the author uses factual information about a topic to the best of their ability.


Books that investigate past actual events. It can be based upon broad surveys of a particular region, territory, and period, and they can be narrowly focused on a single event or series of events. They are frequently well-researched and can use linguistic competence or be highly fictional.

  • Prehistory: Uses fossil evidence to create a history of what was before or early literate societies.
  • Military history is studying the history of war, battle, or characteristics of the armed services.

Biography Books:

Relates a person’s personal story.

  • Autobiography Books: If a writer recounts their entire life story, this is referred to as an autobiography.
  • Memoir: Often written in a plot, a memoir focuses on a specific attribute or concept of the author’s life as informed by the author.
  • Collections: A collection of themed, relatively brief biographies.
  • Letters: A series of interactions from a single person or multiple persons.
  • Diaries: The entries in a person’s or people’s diaries.

Fine Arts Books:

Books in which the emphasis is on the aesthetic rather than the fact-based.

  • Poetry: Composing, the author pays special attention to rhythm, tempo, and style, usually in lyrical verses.
  • Theater: the plays, novels about theatre, play production, stage productions, and so on.
  • Art: Novels that capture visual art, explain how to create illustrations, and provide visual art history.
  • Songbooks: popular music, music education, composition, and so on.


Books intended to make you laugh.

  • Comic strips are short, pictorial works of humor.


Books that investigate a particular religion, the history of religions, and the practice of worshipping a divinity or gods and goddesses. Holy books are included.


Old stories about religions that are no longer practiced.

Studies In Folklore:

Fairytales, legends, storytelling, and folklore collections and studies.


Academic investigation into the nature of knowledge, existence, and being.

Beliefs of the New Age and Alternatives:

Nontraditional spirituality or non-mainstream belief practices are examined in these books.

  • New Age: Publications that combine a broad spirituality with soul.
  • Spiritual healers and psychic powers: Books that investigate the ability of the consciousness to deceive the environment.
  • Astrology: The study of heavenly objects to predict social variables and personalities.
  • Books on fortune-telling: These are books that teach people how to foretell the future.

Health & wellness: 

Books that describe ways to stay healthy, such as how to protect or combat a specific medical issue; health and nutrition ideas; herbal remedies; nursing textbooks; physical intimacy, and so on.


Publications that explain physical or natural scientific concepts, such as mathematics, new tech, chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering.

Social science: 

Literature that examines communities and interpersonal interactions.

Anthropology is the study of humans and human behaviors in a cultural setting, both ancient and modern.

Sociology is the study of social relationships and systems.

Political Science: 

Novels that investigate systems of government and current political challenges.

Law: Novels that investigate the set of rules that a community or society recognizes as governing their actions, ranging from academic case reports to how the judicial system operates.


Texts that investigate psychological and spiritual functions as well as well-being.

  • Self-help: Provides methods for consciousness.
  • Childcare: Talks about parenting and child care.
  • Recovery: Addresses addictions such as narcotic abuse, alcoholism, codependency, and so on.


Publications about the schooling system, such as how-to guides for teachers, coursework guides, daily lesson collections, preschool guides, special education, and practice tests.


Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and quotation books are examples of books that provide essential, objective information.

Economics and Business:

Books on business management and creation, employable skills and career advice, personal and business finance, making investments, and the economics of money.


Books on communication, communicating in other languages, the best ways to connect, and the functional requirements of methods of communication.

  • TV/Cinema: Covers the technical factors of filmmaking and evaluations of TV shows and films.
  • Composition/Rhetoric: Books on all aspects of written communication, from other writing advice to structure textbooks.
  • Foreign Language: Learn how to communicate in a foreign language.

House and Garden:

Publications about designing, preparing, caring for, renovating, and otherwise adorning one’s home and garden.

Animal and Pet Care:

Publications about caring for and nurturing animals.

Leisure and Recreation:

Literature about recreational activities that are done or consumed mainly for fun.

  • Crafts: This category includes embroidery thread, craft projects, basket weaving, and other similar activities. Crafts differ from art in that they typically serve a practical as well as an artistic purpose.
  • Sports: Books about competitive sports. Instruction and coaching are included.
  • Books about clothing are referred to as fashion books.


Recipe collections and food history.

  • Cooking memoirs: Self-cooking stories that frequently include recipe ideas.

True crime:

 Texts that tell the story of a brutal act or a lawbreaker collect stories from various perpetrators or say to the level of a past and present crime.

A long list of references can be found at the end of almost any nonfiction book. If the writer makes any complaints or brings up any events or concepts in their book, they must include footnotes or add them to the citation page list. It is critical because nonfiction sets up facts, and there is no room for inaccuracies. Fiction, on the other hand, does not follow this rule. A fiction writer is not required to include such references. Fiction writers frequently use quotes from other books. For such cases, individuals must ensure that the original author and the book are appropriately credited. In addition, unlike fiction, nonfiction does not allow for multiple interpretations. On the other hand, authors share their own life experiences, experimental research, studies, findings, and so on, which may or may not be separate. These opinions and statements are not always universal, but they fall under the category of nonfiction.

Some of The Top Non Fition Books of All Time

  • “The Bible” – estimated to have sold over 5 billion copies.
  • “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung” (Mao Zedong) – estimated to have sold over 800 million copies.
  • “Dianetics” (L. Ron Hubbard) – estimated to have sold over 20 million copies.
  • “Think and Grow Rich” (Napoleon Hill) – estimated to have sold over 70 million copies.
  • “The Anarchist Cookbook” (William Powell) – estimated to have sold over 2 million copies.
  • “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (Dale Carnegie) – estimated to have sold over 15 million copies.
  • “Man’s Search for Meaning” (Viktor Frankl) – estimated to have sold over 12 million copies.
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (Stephen Covey) – estimated to have sold over 25 million copies.
  • “The Wealth of Nations” (Adam Smith) – estimated to have sold over 5 million copies. Please note that the above figures are not exact, and it’s hard to get the exact number of books sold by author.


Everyone who enjoys books enjoys both fiction and nonfiction equally. Every genre has its flavor, and while everyone has a favorite, it’s always a good idea to read a variety of books to broaden your horizons. With each new genre that a person tries, they will develop a new reading system. The majority of people use different methods to classify fiction and nonfiction books. They tend to go deeper and try to get the most out of nonfiction. When reading fiction, they take a more relaxed approach.


Q: What is fiction?

A: Fiction refers to any narrative work that is imagined or invented, rather than factual or based on real events.

Q: What is nonfiction?

A: Nonfiction refers to any narrative work that is based on factual information, rather than invented or imagined events.

Q: What are some examples of fiction?

A: Examples of fiction include novels, short stories, poetry, and plays.

Q: What are some examples of nonfiction?

A: Examples of nonfiction include biographies, memoirs, history books, scientific articles, and journalism.

Q: How do you differentiate between fiction and nonfiction?

A: Fiction is characterized by invented or imagined events and characters, while nonfiction is based on factual information and real events.

Q: Can fiction be based on real events?

A: Yes, fiction can be based on real events, but the events are still imagined or invented by the author.

Q: Can nonfiction be written in a narrative style?

A: Yes, nonfiction can be written in a narrative style, but the information presented must be based on factual research and real events.

Q: What is the purpose of fiction?

A: The purpose of fiction is to entertain, inspire, and evoke emotional responses from the reader.

Q: What is the purpose of nonfiction?

A: The purpose of nonfiction is to inform, educate, and provide insight into real-life events, people, and situations.

Q: Is it possible for a work to be both fiction and nonfiction?

A: No, a work cannot be both fiction and nonfiction. It must be one or the other, based on whether it is imagined or based on factual information.

Q: Which is more popular, fiction or nonfiction?

A: The popularity of fiction and nonfiction varies depending on the audience and the genre. Both fiction and nonfiction have their own dedicated readership.

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