“Excuse me. Where are the books for fun?” This is a question I am asked on a regular basis at the circulation desk, particularly at the end of finals week and during the breaks. While at times I’m tempted to ask what the individual’s definition of “fun” is, I am seasoned enough to know he or she is usually looking for some “pleasure reading,” a librarian’s term for reading for “fun.”
Patrons are often surprised to find that we do, indeed, have books that could be categorized as “fun” books. Depending on a book’s audience, year of publication, and cultural or scholarly relevance, enjoyable fiction books can be found in multiple locations in the library:
- The Popular Fiction Collection — This collection is located on the main level of the library, on a table found in front of the main computer area and on a larger table located in the Library Reading Room. These books are New York Times bestsellers of recent years, all genres. It’s important to note that they can’t be found in the catalog, so patrons cannot place holds on these items. But feel free to drop by the library and browse—all of these books are available for check out to SPU patrons and alumni.
- The Language and Literature section (PJ – PT) — More interested in classics, short story anthologies, contemporary lit, poetry, even books by SPU local novelists? You might be able to find what you’re looking for in the P section of the General Collection, located on the third level. It’s a fairly large section, so you may improve your success if you use the online library catalog to search for an item rather than browsing the area. If you choose to browse, try the PR and PS section for English and American literature and poetry.
- The Juvenile section — For a wide array of picture books, middle grade, young adult books, and even some graphic novels, visit the Juvenile section. You’ll find popular YA, such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Sara Zarr’s Once was Lost, and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. Use the library’s catalog to place holds on these books, or drop by the library to browse. You’ll find the Juvenile section on the third level, left of the staircase, adjacent to the Curriculum section.
Between these three sections, the library has an extensive collection of books for “fun.” Don’t hesitate to call or visit to see what we have available. If you’re unsure whether or not we have a title, drop by the reference desk—a librarian will be more than happy to assist!
-Melody Steiner, Access Services Technician