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Library Collections: By Format: Recreational Reading

About the Rec Reading Collection

The Murray Team introduces our new Recreational Reading collection.  Started in 2023, the collection includes bestsellers, award winners, and top picks from literary reviewers.  There are many genres for leisure reading and we will collect titles based on a variety of reading interests.  New titles will be added regularly.  Per our collection development policy, Murray Library endorses the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association.

Some of the benefits of recreational reading:

  1. Recreational reading relieves stress. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure is an effective way to manage stress by increasing enjoyment and relaxation.1 2 3 4
  2. It’s good for your brain and cognitive development. Recreational reading also can have benefits for your concentration, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and improving working memory.1 2 3 4
  3. Reading can help you be more empathetic. In studies including both children and adults, leisure reading has been shown to increase an individual's communication skills, understanding of themselves and others who are different from them, and develop overall empathy skills. 2 3 4

Adapted from The Benefits of Recreational Reading

Leisure reading can be found throughout the Murray Library by browsing. Here are some tips to find it.

The Recreational Reading collection is found at the entrance of Murray Library. The titles are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. These titles will rotate periodically to update the collection. These items can be checked out with a MU ID card or library card.

Browse the Main Stacks with these Library of Congress call numbers for literature to find novels, poetry, short stories, plays, etc.:‚Äč

  • PJ Oriental Languages and Literature
  • PK Indo-Iranian Languages and Literature
  • PL Languages and Literature of Eastern Asia, Africa, and Oceania
  • PR English Literature
  • PS American Literature
  • PT German and Scandinavian Literature
  • PZ Fiction and Juvenile Belles Lettres

Additional places to look:

  • Juvenile Fiction - Includes YA chapter books. Arranged alphabetically by author's last name. Near Fiddlehead Forest
  • Graphic Novels Room - Arranged alphabetically by publisher
  • Bridge to Freedom Room - The fiction collections is arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

The Library's Primo catalog may be used to find fun reading.

  • For example, you can limit to "Held by Library" or "Available Online." "Held by Library" will refer to physical books and "Available Online" will find eBooks to download.
  • You can also click on "Books" under "Resource Type."
  • You can also limit by "Author/Creator" to remove books that may be about your author rather than written by your author.
  • You can limit by language and also by genre.

Need some suggestions? Take a look at these best-of-the-best lists:

100 Books To Read Before You Die

The BBC has an esteemed list of 100 books they think every person should read before they die -- a literary bucket list, if you will

Great American Read

America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey)

Reader's Digest Best 100 Books of All Time

To land in the top 100, a book needed to truly stand out in the stacks and in our minds

Looking for a good book to read next? These award-winners might inspire you!

The Caldecott Medal

Named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children

The Christy Awards

Established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture

The Man Booker Prize

Fiction at its finest, in the United States and internationally

National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation has been giving genre awards since 1950

The Newbery Award

Named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children

Nobel Prize for Literature

One of the world's most prestigious literary prizes

Pulitzer Prize

An American literary prize since 1917

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