Reference Book :: its characteristics and types

What is Reference Book:
 Any written or printed composition of some length is called a book. It covers all kinds of reading materials in any form, which serves the purpose of readers whether for general or recreational reading or for study and research or for more consultation as source of information. On the other hand a reference book is usually consulted briefly to determine specific information.
Book which are written so that this can read consecutively for inspiration, enjoyment or information is called ordinary or general book, than books which are design to be consulted or refereed to from time to time, for a specific piece of information, ordinarily these don’t lend themselves to continuous reading.

Broadly speaking any book can be called a reference book provide the information contained in it’s so organized so that it become readily accessible is called reference book.

Characteristics of Reference Books:

A Reference book is designed by its arrangement and treatment to serve certain purpose. Some of the characteristics of reference books are:
  1. They are intended primarily for occasional consultation.
  2. They are consulted for definite items of information.
  3. The information included in them is collected from a vast number of sources.
  4. It is a miscellany of information and facts.
  5. The arrangement of information is such that it can be conveniently and quickly recalled.
  6. It follows some methods of arrangement e.g. Alphabetical, Chronological or other methods.
  7. They include only the bird-eye-view of the topics and rarely deal them in depth.
  8. They usually concentrate on facts.
  9. They are normally not issued on loan and kept for use in the library only.
  10. Information in a reference book is so organized that anyone can easily get their desired information.

Types of Reference Books:
The followings are several types of reference books:

  1. Language Dictionary.
  2. Encyclopaedia.
  3. Biographical Sources.
  4. Directories.
  5. Bibliographies.
  6. Audio visual Materials.
  7. Year-Books, Almanacs, and Supplements to encyclopaedia.
  8. Geographical sources, Gazetteers, guide-books, maps, atlases etc.
  9. Current sources: Handbooks, manuals and sources of statistics.

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4 thoughts on “Reference Book :: its characteristics and types

  1. This is by far the best explanation I have found.

    I am curious as to what material that assisted you in concluding with your response.

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