I admit I was not familiar with the phrase 书籍, until I used Google translate now to translate 'I like reading all sorts of books' (of course, I take the Google translate translation with a pinch of salt!). But I was wondering why 书籍 was used as opposed to simply 书. I am familiar with the use of 籍 in 国籍 meaning 'country of citizenship' so have an idea of 籍 as meaning 'belonging to' or something of the sort (again, Google translate verifies this as 'membership'). So its use in the phrase 我喜欢读各种书籍 I assume to mean something like 'I like reading books belonging to various categories'.

Is this the general gist? In this case, is the 籍 omittable, or would I have to rephrase the sentence?

  • We can omit 籍, especially in spoken language. 我喜欢读各种书。 I like reading all kinds of books. 籍-基本字义 1
    – young99
    Jul 3, 2017 at 12:06
  • 书和书籍有什么区别?
    – young99
    Jul 3, 2017 at 13:07
  • see previous Q: What is the difference between 钱 and 金钱 (and 款)? same remark applies to 书/书籍:(a) monosyllabic verb + monosyllabic object: e.g. 看书 (b)disyllabic verb+disyllabic object:e.g. 浏览书籍 (c)monosyllabic verb + disyllabic object 看书籍 (看电影) (d) *disyllabic verb + monosyllabic object: *浏览书
    – user6065
    Jul 3, 2017 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


牛(cow) and 羊(goat) are both farm animal; The term '牛羊' is a general term for 'farm animal' including sheep, horse and all others farm animals.

刀(knife) and 剑(sword) are both cold weapon; The term '刀剑' is a general term for 'cold weapon' including axe, spear and all other cold weapons.

书(book) and 籍(record) are both bound written material; The term '书籍' is a general term for 'bound written material'.

To classify written materials more strictly, novel and textbook are 书, not 籍; Accounting book and record book are 籍, not 书. The term '书籍' refers to everything in book form, including dictionary (典) and all other bound written materials.

In modern Chinese:

  • '书籍' is a general term for 'book'

  • '书刊' is a general terms for 'printed publication'

  • '书册' and '书本' are general terms for 'bound printed material'

Examples of when to use '书' and '书籍' in sentences:

  1. 这是一本园艺 (this is a gardening book)

  2. 所有园艺都在这里 (all the gardening books are here)

  3. 有关园艺的书籍都在这里 (all the books related to gardening is here)

In #1 and #2 you can use 书 or 书籍 interchangeably, but most of the time people would choose to use one less character and just say XX书 instead of XX书籍

In #3. you can also use 书 or 书籍 interchangeably, but the more general 书籍 is preferred because a reference book or a novel might also relate to gardening.


书: spoken/written language, can/can't be count 书籍: written language, very formal, usually can't be count BTW, 书 can be a verb means "write".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.