Who doesn’t want to create fantasies and be a part of an alternate reality? The most common and widely used genre of book is fiction. Typically, fictions come in the ranges 4.25 x 6.87, 5 x 8, 5.25 x 8, 5.5 x 8.5, 6 x 9. Some examples of fiction books are A Little Life, Normal People, The Kite Runner and so on and so forth.
A short story or a long short story that has been converted into a stand-alone novel and published is often termed as novellas. These are the books that people mostly prefer to carry with them on short vacations as they are a) lightweight and b) can be finished during the holiday. They come in dimensions 5 x 8. Examples of these are The Metamorphosis, A Christmas Carol, and The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor.
This category has a versatile collection of books. From Memoirs to Cookbooks to even biographies come under non-fiction. Some notable examples of these are Becoming by Michelle Obama, Diana, The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook by Kendra Aronson and more. Most common sizes of non-fiction books are 5.5 x 8.5, 6 x 9, 7 x 10”.
The most dreaded category on the list has to be academic books. Everyone goes through the phase where carrying books of Organic Chemistry and History seems like a pain in the back. These are measured and printed according to the school desk size so that they are able to match the eye-line and so they fit enough educational content. 6 x 9, 7 x 10, 8.5 x 11 are the most preferred sizes for textbooks.
As the name suggests, Children’s books are bigger than the rest of the storybooks as they need to include large-sized fonts so they kids are able to read and interact with the book. The size also makes it convenient for the book to be held in two hands rather than one. They come in 7.5 x 7.5, 7 x 10, 10 x 8 are mostly for the age group 0-14. Books like Alice in Wonderland, The Peter Rabbit (Interestingly, this has a fascinating story behind its publishing) come in this category.
If you have ever glanced at a bookstore’s shelf of phonebooks, you must have observed that they come in every shape, size, and type. That’s exactly how the publishing world sees it too! Photobooks don’t have a particular measurement. They can be tweaked and resized according to the nature of the photographs within the book. Take a look at Humans of New York or 100 Photographs: A Retrospective of 50 Years of Photography by Jagdish Agarwal.
The sizes of the books are not bound by a rule set in stone. If you are self-publishing, you can choose the size of your book as you deem fit. For instance, several spiritual books have text written in square books of dimensions 5 x 5. A colouring book of landscapes features rectangular books of odd dimensions like 11 x 9. So, don’t worry about breaking the norm. When it comes to sizes, the sky is the limit!