Written by Sierra Dahl 

A man reading a book beside a woman reading a book
A man reading a book beside a woman reading a book photo by Burst from Pexels 

The University of North Texas Libraries is no stranger to the academic, research, and scholarly interests of both students and employees that guide the majority of interactions they have with patrons. Most UNT students utilize the online articles and databases available through the library or check out textbook reserves or books needed for assignments. However, many students are unaware of the various methods of obtaining books purely for entertainment from the UNT Libraries. Reading for fun has a multitude of benefits for readers. 

Recreational reading can result in improvements in academic achievement. The book The Power of Reading collected over twenty years of research on reading and found that recreational reading improved the ability to comprehend academic-style books and the ability to write in a style that is professional (Brookbank, Davis, & Harlan, 2018, p. 29). Additionally, several studies have found that leisure reading can make college students “more articulate, develops higher order reasoning, and promotes critical thinking.” (Dewan, 2010, p. 48) 

Whether it be the latest volume of your favorite manga series, a bestselling murder mystery fiction book, a famous play, or the funniest picture book you read as a child, the UNT Library is always able to help you get a copy of a book you are interested in. 

Searching Online for UNT Library Materials 

You can browse the UNT Libraries’ collections by searching in the online catalog. First, you can utilize the UNT Library Catalog and hit search without typing in the box. You can then select “Books” under resource type and use the Genre limiter located on the left side of the webpage. Diverse genres such as “fantasy fiction,” “mystery and detective fiction,” and “wit and humor” can be selected to view books in that genre. E-books can be found via the catalog and read using the green button that says “FIND IT Online”. Additionally, you can use the “Subjects” section of catalog entries to find more books that focus on a particular topic. This is especially helpful for finding books similar to ones you enjoy. For instance, if you loved Garlic & the Vampire and wanted to read more graphic novels that focus on vampires, near the end of the entry, you can select the subject “Vampires > Comic books, strips, etc.” to view more items that fit those criteria.  

Searching the Stacks for UNT Library Materials 

The Stacks located on the 3rd Floor of Willis Library can be intimidating to most individuals. However, they contain a bounty of interdisciplinary knowledge and entertainment. Classic literature, poems, plays, and anthologies are just a few of the enjoyable books that are located on the third floor. Graphic novels, comics, and manga can also be found on the 3rd floor of Willis Library. You can use the catalog to locate a specific book or just browse the shelves. If you are new to browsing our collection, a resource you might find helpful is the Scholar Speak post “Understanding the Library of Congress Call Number System”

If you enjoy popular adult nonfiction and fiction novels, you can check our Bestsellers collection located on the 2nd floor. This fun collection includes novels by the notable authors James Patterson, Nora Roberts, and Stephen King. If young adult novels interest you more, you can find thousands located at the Sycamore Library in the Juvenile Collection. Sycamore Library also houses picture books, middle-grade novels, both fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults, and young adult graphic novels. 

Gaining Access to Books the UNT Libraries Doesn’t Own 

Occasionally, the UNT Libraries will not have the item you are searching for. However, there is no need to buy the book yourself or search a public library’s shelves for a copy. Instead, you can request the book using the UNT Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. The Interlibrary Loan service is able to search other libraries to locate a copy of a requested book and have it delivered to the Willis Library Service Desk free of charge. First-time users will need to create an ILLiad account by going to the Accounts Login page on the library website and clicking “create ILLiad account. For more information about ILL, such as who can use it and the checkout period, go to the ILL page on the library website. Requests can also be made for books in the UNT collection that are currently checked out. The UNT ILL department will put in their best effort to find an available copy for you. 

Did this blog help you learn about finding books at the UNT Libraries to read for fun? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services. 

References (APA format):  

Brookbank, E., Davis, A., & Harlan, L. (2018). Don’t call it a comeback: Popular reading collections in academic libraries. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 58(1), 28-39. https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.58.1.6838  

Dewan, P. (2010). Why your academic library needs a popular reading collection now more than ever. College & Undergraduate Libraries17(1), 44-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/10691310903584775 

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