Edit: A more enhanced discussion of media tags is happening at Should we do away with the media tags (books, novel, TV, movies, etc.)? which would make this question irrelevant.
I want to enhance Zypher's answer.
Let's point out the differences between a novel and a book:
A novel is a book-length work of fiction. Just being fictional and bound isn't enough -- collections of short stories, novellas, and other fictional texts can be bound, but they don't thereby become a novel.
A book, by contrast, is a volume of fictional or non-fictional work. Although these are often bound, again, binding isn't essential. For example, books can be electronic with scanned images. The lack of binding doesn't mean that it isn't a book. Additionally, a book -- in common usage -- tends to have a copyright and be the product of a publisher. One could debate this aspect (e.g., is an unpublished diary a book?)
In short, a novel is usually a book, but a book isn't necessarily a novel. The terms aren't interchangeable. Just remember that novel normally refers only to works of fiction. If the book isn't fiction, it isn't a nove
So i think we need two different tags.
Books includes both comic books and novels, so book is not synonymous with novel. Rather, Books is generic and novel is specific. Having both a specific term and a generic tag, however, isn't desirable. If we decide a generic book tags is preferable, then we should do away with the novel tag.
As it is now, we have novel questions that missing either the book or the novel tag. It's probably going to remain that way because it's not intuitive 9or logical) to need to put the generic AND the specific tag.
Personally, I would prefer with more specific terms. If it's a comic nook, tag it with the comic-book tag. If it's a novel, tag it with the novel tag. Having specific tags will make search more easy, IMO.
1. There's no separated media tags for movies/films that differentiate them from other works.
2. A minimum of 71.5% of books questions are tagged incorrectly, but I suspect it's really at least 80%. Correctly tagging them all is a waste of effort, because:
3. Users are going to continue using books the way novel is intended, because that's what makes sense for the word. Four years worth of cumulative evidence has shown us that.
books is supposed to be for specific the book version of a work that's also a movie.
Use this tag only to differentiate the book from the movie or other media.
I think this is a bit of a silly usage, to say it's only for that purpose. movie and film are synonyms. Neither one of them say they're only for differentiating the movie from the book version. However, movie is often used that way. Outside of story-identification, the main usage of movie is actually to differentiate between the written other versions of the work.
- story-identification x454, 71.5%
- aliens x37, 5.8%
- novel x34, 5.4%
- young-adult x32, 5.0%
- tolkien x26, 4.1%
- lord-of-the-rings x24, 3.8%
- magic x18, 2.8%
- time-travel x16, 2.5%
- suggested-order x15, 2.4%
- story-identification x430, 81.4%
- books x34, 6.4%
- young-adult x31, 5.9%
- aliens x29, 5.5%
- time-travel x18, 3.4%
- magic x13, 2.5%
- post-apocalyptic x13, 2.5%
- spaceship x11, 2.1%
- short-stories x10, 1.9%
As you can see here, the primary usage of books is story-identification, which is not only the "wrong" usage, but the the same primary usage as novels. In fact, separately, their number of questions tagged as such is very close to the same, but [tags:books] is actually higher. When two words have a near 50/50 split of when they're chosen for the same purpose, that's an excellent sign of a synonym.
After the top single used with it, we see some overlap. aliens, time-travel and young-adult. Something to note is that those three tags are primarily used for story-identification, so they're likely used in questions with 3+ tags, than just books or novel alone.
Currently the top-voted policy is:
Novel is always a book, but a book is not always a novel. So I say go with the more inclusive term.
Yet, I can see when that makes a reasonable difference to how we tag questions. The times when a book is is not a novel is usually when it's a short story or some other media which we already have another tag for.
Going back to my executive summary, there's very strong reasons for making the two tags synonyms, but no strong reasons for keeping them separate. The strongest argument for keeping them separate has been completely ignored by the majority of the community. The other reasons, such as my last quote, seem like arguments to create additional tags, for things that aren't novels but are books.
Split books into novel and short-stories.
Whether or not it makes sense to have media tags at all (a discussion that seems to be still ongoing), it's undeniable that books is a broader tag than the others. We don't have a screen tag to cover both films and TV, so why should we have a books tag to cover both novels and short stories?
If we get rid of books, then our media tags become less confusing and have no overlap: