Whats the difference between a “print reference work” and a “book”?

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Whats the difference between a “print reference work” and a “book”?

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Too many people feel dumb asking that question and I wish they’d ask it more because one of the most common mistakes in the background report or the annotation is confusing the two. After all, print reference works are books. So how are they different from books for part I of the bibliography? Generally, the difference is intent. A “reference work” is intended to be consulted or referred to. A “book” is intended to be read all the way through. But I’ve often sat “reading” a dictionary because it was interesting and many a book I’ve used only to “consult” the bibliography. Still, what I did with the work is not what the authors intended. If in doubt, ask me or a librarian for a second opinion.

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