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Common Nonfiction Genres

The word "nonfiction" refers to writing based on real people, events, and objects. While "nonfiction" may not seem to be a vast word, it includes a significant portion of all written literature. Indeed, you may be appalled to learn that nonfiction contains many more categories than fiction. This is because each genre has many subcategories. Because including all nonfiction genres and their subcategories would be almost impossible, we've created a list of some of the most prevalent nonfiction genres.


  • Self-help books, also known as self-improvement books, are written to aid readers in resolving personal issues. These books comprise a variety of subjects, from addiction and mental health to finances and parenting.


  • It depicts the lives of the author or writer. Typically, it is written in the first-person point of view and in chronological order.


  • Business books are top-rated, regardless of whether they are published for aspiring entrepreneurs or established firm CEOs. This genre includes a wide range of topics, from establishing and growing a company. It also provides productivity guidance and customer relations advice.


  • Similar to an autobiography, they are nonfiction about a person's life. Biographies are written by someone who has conducted extensive research into the subject's life. Generally, it is written from a third-person point of view. The author can write a biography with or without the permission of the subject.

Technical Books

  • This genre includes a diverse range of titles such as manuals, guides, textbooks, and handbooks. Technical books are often used as a reference and may contain step-by-step instructions for performing specific tasks and extensive information about a topic.

Academic Books

  • These are the kind of books that college students are obliged to read. They are the comprehensive summary of research in a specific area of study. Academic books may cover a wide variety of subjects, from physics and mathematics to linguistics and psychology.


  • It is a personal account of one's life that often concentrates on a particular event or period. It is more emotionally charged than an autobiography. It is also written from the first-person point of view.


  • Cuisine books are among the most popular nonfiction categories, ranging from cookbooks and fad diets to cultural, culinary guides and food history. Frequently, these publications contain recipes and step-by-step directions for food preparation. Additionally, they may include health information and guidelines for adhering to specific diets, as well as details about food's history and cultural significance.

Reference Books

  • As with technical publications, reference books are primarily informative and are used as a reference. However, reference books are often briefer, providing the material that is meant to be easily accessed. Reference books are seldom read cover to cover; instead, they are used to locate specific bits of information. Dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, and atlases are all examples of this genre.

Travel Guides

  • Travel guides are reference books that provide information on traveling in a specific country or region. These publications often provide helpful travel advice, suggestions for places to stay and activities to do, and information unique to the trip destination.

DIY and Home Improvement Books

  • Home renovation and do-it-yourself are other prevalent genres. These publications are instructional manuals that cover anything from gardening to cabinet installation and bathroom renovation.

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