A book divided in several chapters/topics, can also be considered to be divided in categories (or have categories)?

Not sure if category can be used in this case, or if it should only be used in the context of category theory.

3 Answers 3


Books can be sorted or put in categories. For example, a book about Philippine cuisine written by Dostoyevski could be sorted into the categories "Cooking", "Russian author", "Philippines". But it would be sorted into each of these categories as a whole. You can't divide the book into categories. A category is a superordinate concept, while chapters is a subordinate one.

  • The content of a book can be said to be divided into conceptual categories.
    – horatio
    Feb 23, 2011 at 15:22
  • @horatio: Why add the conceptual? Feb 23, 2011 at 16:55
  • 1
    Well, because I think RegDwight is correct, but one can easily say "the ideas expressed in this book can be divided into three categories: 'wrong, wronger, and wrongest'"
    – horatio
    Feb 23, 2011 at 18:15
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    RegDwight is (indeed) correct. I have never heard category being used in the same way chapter is used: ? I am reading the third category of this book.
    – apaderno
    Feb 23, 2011 at 21:00
  • @RegDwight: What about a book that is about "Cooking" and the "Philippines". Wouldn't you consider the book being about two categories? Feb 27, 2011 at 17:57

A catalog is a type of book that can have categories. The categories may be related to the book as a whole and have no relation to each other, or they may be related to each other using categories to delineate between subtleties.

Reference books, in general, and especially repair manuals, have categories.

I can imagine a book entitled "The Usage of English Around the World" having categories based on geography or history or any other method one may choose for categorizing how English is used throughout the world.

I can also imagine someone writing an autobiographical book having a category consisting of poetry they've written, another category for personal correspondence, another for diary entries, and another with newspaper clippings about them. Taken separately they do not provide a complete picture of the author's life, but taken together you could get a better understanding than with narrative alone.


Perhaps sections is what you're looking for.

The book is divided into sections, and each is comprised of ten chapters.

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