November 10, 2016

Fan of manga? Try light novels!

If you or your patrons enjoy graphic novels, and, more specifically, manga, take a look at our newly created genre, light novels. A light novel is a short illustrated novel of Japanese origin. While these works are mainly prose, they are interspersed with manga-style illustrations. Titles can be part of a series or standalone publications; illustrations can be in color or black-and-white. Light novels are generally written for teens or adults (adult titles suitable for teens will include the genre “Adult books for young adults”), and for those who are reluctant readers, these short, illustrated stories make the ideal gateway into the comics/graphic novel format. (For more on graphic novels and comics, take a look at some of the resources in NoveList.)

Although they are distinct genres, frequently light novels will be adapted into manga, and occasionally manga will be adapted into light novels. Tokyo Ghoul is a popular manga series that began in 2011 by Sui Ishida; in 2013 it was adapted into a light novel series written by Shin Towada, with illustrations by original creator Ishida. On the other hand, the first in the light novel series Sword Art Online was published in 2009, followed by the manga series beginning in 2012. 

Since light novels and manga reflect different forms and structures, to avoid confusion, NoveList librarians use separate series statements to reflect light novels and manga with the same title.

To find light novels in NoveList, simply do a genre search:

GN "light novels"

light novels

Since most light novels are translated from Japanese, appeal can be hard to define. If you are trying to engage a reluctant reader and you know what type of storyline they prefer, you can include a storyline limiter:

GN "light novels" AND AP "plot-driven"

While many light novel titles will be fantasy based, there are a significant number of horror titles. If you know your patrons like books with a lot of scare, include Horror in your search:

GN "Light novels" AND GN "Horror"

light novels horror

Please be aware when your patrons are ready to delve into manga titles, those searches use our comics and graphic novels genre headings. For instance, if you are looking for horror manga, a search should be constructed like this:

GN "Manga" AND GN "Horror comics"

As a new genre, our collection will continue to grow, so continue to check back to see all of the new titles we’ve added!

P.S. Asking yourself "What's the deal with this GN and AP stuff?" Get a quick lesson on searching with NoveList's field codes and start searching like a pro!


Suzanne Temple is a Metadata Librarian at NoveList.





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