I have been scouring the internet for a few days and have not been able to find what I am looking for, so I decided to come here and ask you fine people if you have an answer to my line of inquiry.

I have been looking for what a group of books is called and why it is named so, id est, the type of series that it is and why it is called that.

For example, chronicles are multiple pieces of literature that take place in the same place or involve the same character(s). Words like chronicle and saga are examples of what I am looking for.

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    A generic group of books is called "some books"
    – Oldcat
    May 2, 2014 at 19:42
  • Yes, but that's not what I want. I want something more specific. May 2, 2014 at 20:06
  • I was looking for a similar word recently and I realized I was looking for the word "canon". Dec 26, 2021 at 18:18

7 Answers 7



1. A collection of books; a library.
2. A catalog of books.


a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject: an anthology of Elizabethan drama; an anthology of modern philosophy.

There are different terms like omnibus, bibliography, collection, novel sequence, roman-fleuve as well.

You might be asking for narrative genres also.

A narrative (or play) is any account of connected events, presented to a reader or listener in a sequence of written or spoken words, or in a sequence of (moving) pictures.

Narrative can be organized in a number of thematic and/or formal/stylistic categories:

  • non-fiction (e.g. New Journalism, creative non-fiction, biographies, and historiography);

  • fictionalized accounts of historical events (e.g. anecdotes, myths, and legends);

  • and fiction proper (i.e. literature in prose, such as short stories and novels, and sometimes in poetry and drama, although in drama the events are primarily being shown instead of told).

And here is a list of all literary genres which covers narrative genres:


An explanation for your specific examples:

chronicle novel

A long novel or connected sequence of novels in which the narrative recounts the fortunes of a family or similar group of recurring characters over many years, usually covering at least two generations.

This category of fiction overlaps with the saga novel, where the emphasis is on changes within a family; but where the story attempts to reflect typical developments in social history over a sustained period, the term ‘chronicle novel’ may be preferred, especially if the story's events are connected with notably historic dates and events.

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    This is a good example, but it's not the one that I want. Thank you. May 2, 2014 at 18:48
  • Hmm, I'm foggy then...are you looking for something along the lines of types - Colonial literature? Revolutionary literature?
    – Third News
    May 2, 2014 at 19:46
  • Maybe a good example would be Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. What type of series is it? It is a mythopeoia, yes, but that's the genre. May 2, 2014 at 19:57
  • Are you asking this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Series_of_books
    – ermanen
    May 2, 2014 at 20:02
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    I guess that that is going to be the closest thing to what it is that I am looking for. I am content with that. May 2, 2014 at 21:13

Consider library of books.



a: a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films, are kept for use but not for sale

b: a collection of such material


a collection resembling or suggesting a library


a: a series of related books issued by a publisher

b: a collection of publications on the same subject


I -- and maybe others here -- am still not clear on the sense in which you mean "a group" of books.

If you mean a group of books that follow on each other, either telling one long story that was just too big for a single book, or at least related stories centering on the same characters or otherwise related, that's called a "series". Like, "the Harry Potter series". I've always found it curious that if there are exactly three books in such a series, it is called a "trilogy", but there is no commonly used word for a series of two books or four or any other number. (Nobody says "bilogy" or "quadrilogy".)

If you mean a group of books in the same general category of fictional writing, like mysteries versus romances versus science fiction, etc, those are called "genres".

If you mean a group of books that are physically collected in one place, like all the books that I own and that I keep in one room in my house, this is called a "library".

"Chronicles" and "saga" don't mean a group of books. The American Heritage Dictionary, for example, defines "chronicle" as "1. An extended account in prose or verse of historical events, sometimes including legendary material, presented in chronological order and without authorial interpretation or comment. 2. A detailed narrative record or report." I've never seen a definition that implies it must be in multiple volumes. It's true that many fantasy series these days call the series as a whole "The Chronicles of Irving Milqbiscuit the Barbarian" or whatever, so maybe the word "chronicles" is coming to mean a series of fantasy novels, but I don't think it's a recognized meaning now. I don't think I've seen that usage outside of the rather narrow field of fantasy novels. I've never heard anyone refer to "The Chronicles of Perry Mason" or "The Chronicles of Diesel engine repair manuals".

  • My meaning is none of those things. I guess, to use your syntax, I am talking about a series of books that are a collection of stories that are long enough to be novels, are in no particular chronological order, are fictitious, all take place in the same universe, are always written in the narrative mode, are sometimes told in epistolary, and are published separately, but written by the same person. They whole body of these works can be considered to be one larger work. May 2, 2014 at 22:34
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    There is no single word for what you ask. For instance Niven has the Known Space Series, H Beam Piper has his "Future History" and "Paratime" works, Lovecraft the Cthulhu Mythos (although other writers wrote in it). Sometimes these are called 'Shared Worlds' when the system is open to other writers. Basically a term is coined for each case.
    – Oldcat
    May 2, 2014 at 23:51
  • @FuzzyMcNubNubs I think that would still be considered a "series". Especially in science fiction and fantasy where you might have many stories set in the same fictional world or universe. People talk about Niven's Known Space series, Asimov's Foundation series, Baum's Oz series, what-his-name's Discworld series, etc.
    – Jay
    May 5, 2014 at 3:46

One might say "a series of books", or just "a series".


a set of books, articles, etc., that involve the same group of characters or the same subject

  • Yes, but I guess what I am looking for is the type of series. May 2, 2014 at 18:39
  • @FuzzyMcNubNubs Ah, based on the edit to the question, are you looking for a list of the different kinds of "groups of books" that exist?
    – Trying
    May 2, 2014 at 18:51
  • A list would have been ideal, but I would settle for less than. May 2, 2014 at 19:10


Antilegomena An`ti*le*gom"e*na, n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. ? against + ? to speak; part. pass. ?] (Eccl.) Certain books of the New Testament which were for a time not universally received, but which are now considered canonical. These are the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistles of James and Jude, the second Epistle of Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, and the Revelation. The undisputed books are called the Homologoumena. [1913 Webster]]1

chronicle and saga:

roman-fleuve is an example of a chronicle:

A novel sequence is a set or series of novels which share common themes, characters, or settings, but where each novel has its own title and free-standing storyline, and can thus be read independently or out of sequence -Wikipedia


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    This is nice to know, but it is not what I am looking for. Thanks. May 2, 2014 at 19:11

These are the name for a series of books. Most use the typical Greek prefixes, but a few variants have popped up in my research. Some among the academia have yet to acknowledge or agree on the exact names, but here it is. One book- A book. Or a Monology or a Solo.
Two Books- A duology,or a diology or duet Three books- A trilogy, or trio. Four books- A Cycle, or a Quartet Or a Tetralogy Five books- A Pentalogy or a Quintet Six books- A Hexlogy or a or sextet Seven books- A Heptalogy or a Wonder (Seven Wonders of the World) Eight books- A Octalogy or a octet Nine books- A Nonalogy or nexus or nonet Ten books- A Decalogy or dectet or a decade of books!

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    Can you please cite a source for this answer? Dec 29, 2016 at 23:18

I too have been searching for a similar term.

What is the collective word for a listing of all the works of one author. A singer might have a "discography" to list their recordings, for instance.

I have found "catalogue", which seems to work, but there is a niggler at the back of my mind that tells me there is a more specific term. Hopefully someone here can nail it down better.

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