In the absence of a clear context regarding how known or unknown is the number of books available for me to read, should I use what book to read or which book to read?

I don't know what book to read (= I don't know how many books there are for me to choose from.)

I don't know which book to read (= I know how many books there are for me to choose from, and choose one from that specified number.)

Are these assumptions correct or not? If not, why?


1 Answer 1


"what book" is quite a general question. In a bookshop the shop assistant might ask "What (kind of) book do you want? A novel, a garden book, a children's book and so on?

"which book" is always asking with reference to a special group of books. When the shop assistant points at a table with a lot of books, he might ask "Which book do you want to see?". He might as well ask "Which of these books do you want to see?"

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