What Is A Light Novel Vs Novel

When it comes to literature, there are many different genres and mediums available for readers to choose from. Two popular types of reading materials that are often compared are light novels and novels. While both types of literature have similarities, there are some distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

What Is a Novel?

A novel is a long-form piece of literature that typically contains over 40,000 words. Novels are usually fictional stories that involve complex plotlines and well-developed characters. The length of a novel can vary greatly, with some being as short as 50,000 words and others exceeding 100,000 words.

Novels are often divided into different genres, including romance, science fiction, mystery, and many more. Each genre has its own unique characteristics and themes that are explored within the story. Some examples of popular novels include “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

What Is a Light Novel?

A light novel, on the other hand, is a relatively new style of Japanese literature that has become popular in recent years. Light novels are often short and easy to read, typically containing between 40,000 and 50,000 words. They are usually illustrated with anime-style artwork and are often targeted towards a younger audience.

Light novels also have their own unique genres, including fantasy, romance, and science fiction. However, unlike traditional novels, light novels often contain elements of manga and anime, including an emphasis on action, adventure, and character development.

Light novels gained popularity in Japan in the 1990s and have since spread to other countries, including the United States. Some popular light novel series include “Sword Art Online,” “Goblin Slayer,” and “No Game No Life.”

What Are the Differences Between a Novel and a Light Novel?

While both novels and light novels are forms of literature, there are some key differences between the two. One of the most obvious differences is the length of the book. Novels are typically much longer than light novels and often explore more complex themes and ideas.

Additionally, the target audiences for novels and light novels are often different. Novels are generally written for a more mature audience, while light novels are often targeted at younger readers. This is reflected in the content of the book, with light novels often featuring more fantastical elements.

Another difference between novels and light novels is their illustration style. Novels are typically not illustrated, while light novels often feature anime-style artwork.

Finally, light novels often have a faster pace than traditional novels, with more emphasis on action and adventure. This is due in part to their roots in anime and manga, which often focus on these elements.

Can a Novel Be a Light Novel?

While the terms “novel” and “light novel” are often used to describe two different mediums, it is possible for a book to be both a novel and a light novel. This would typically occur if a novel were originally published in Japan and contained anime-style illustrations.

However, in most cases, a book would be classified as either a novel or a light novel based on its length, themes, and intended audience.


In conclusion, novels and light novels are two different types of literature that have their own unique characteristics and audiences. Novels are typically longer and more complex, while light novels are shorter, easier to read, and often contain elements of anime and manga.

When deciding which type of book to read, it is important to consider your own personal preferences and interests. Whether you prefer the rich, complex themes of a novel or the fast-paced action of a light novel, there is sure to be a book out there that is perfect for you.