BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

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Code Description
W Lifestyle, sport and leisure
Note: many headings in Section W relate closely to headings in other sections. Use Section W for popular accounts for general readership; prefer Sections A, K, P, R, T, etc, as appropriate, for serious, specialist and academic works. Do not use “W” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section W below
WB Cookery / food and drink etc
WC Antiques and collectables
WD Hobbies, quizzes and games
WF Handicrafts, decorative arts and crafts
Note: use WF* codes for practical, ‘how-to’ and hobbyist approaches; prefer codes from Section A where appropriate for art history and criticism approaches
WG Transport: general interest
WH Humour
WJ Lifestyle and personal style guides
For dating and singles, use VFVG “Dating, relationships, living together and marriage”; for sex manuals, use VFVC “Sex and sexuality, sex manuals”
WK Home and house maintenance
For housing and property, see also VSH “Housing and property for the individual – buying / selling and legal”; for interior design and decoration, use WJK “Interior design, decoration and style guides”
WM Gardening
See also: TVS “Horticulture”
WN Natural history
Use WN* codes for popular works only; prefer sub-sections PS “Biology, Life Sciences”, RG “Earth Sciences”, RN “The Environment”, TV “Agriculture and Farming” for specialist and academic works. For popular science, us PDZ “Popular science”
WQ Local interest, family history and nostalgia
WS Sports and outdoor recreation
WT Travel and holiday
Note: with WT* codes, assign also the most specific Geographical qualifier available wherever possible
WZ Miscellaneous items

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