What are the differences between these three words. They all seem to translate to "books".

書物、図書 and 本

  • 2
    And 書籍, and 単行本, and 文庫本… The Japanese love their books. Jul 16, 2011 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


typically means hard-bounded volume. 図書 can equally refer to magazines as well. 書物 has an academic flavour. See Tsuyosh Ito's comment below.

  • All of 本, 図書, and 書物 can refer to magazines as well. Jul 16, 2011 at 14:38
  • @Tsuyoshi_Ito In some cases I think so. But it's not the most salient. If you hear , what comes to mind immediately is not a magazine but a bound book. If you hear 図書, that is somewhat neutral.
    – user458
    Jul 16, 2011 at 15:04
  • 1
    I agree to your comment. I think that the problem is the use of “can refer to” in your answer. Probably what you wanted to say is not whether each word can refer to magazines or not, but what it typically refers to. I agree that 図書 is more neutral about whether it refers to a book or a magazine. Jul 16, 2011 at 15:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .