Unrequired reading at the Library

Miss reading for fun? Having trouble finding unrequired reading in the libraries’ collections? With over 11 million print & electronic books, it can be hard to browse the library collections to find reading for fun. But have no fear, librarians are here! Read on to learn about specific collections at University of Chicago Libraries dedicated to leisure reading and top tips to find your next favorite fun read.

D'Angelo Law LIbrary Book Display

Books on display at the D’Angelo Law Library

Tip #1: Visit D’Angelo Law Library. The D’Angelo law library collects novels, mysteries, science fiction,  humor, science, history, and biography (Supported by the Alison T. Dunham Memorial Fund). Find authors such as Jonathan Franzen, Chuck Palahniuk, Jennifer Weiner, and many more! The collection is easy to locate and recently purchased titles can be found on display on the fourth floor.

Tip #2: Browse the Reg’s Young Adult Fiction. In 2015, College student Maya Handa won an Uncommon Fund grant to buy young adult fiction for the Reg’s collections. You can view some of the purchased book covers on display next to the dissertation office or browse for yourself by visiting the PZ call numbers on the 3rd floor.

Tip #3: Check out the Class of 2000 Books. As its gift to the University, the Class of 2000 has established a book fund for the purchase of popular fiction and media for Regenstein. The gift is intended to provide students with mysteries, science fiction, other contemporary fiction, and media that would not ordinarily be purchased by the Library.


Tip #4: Search the library catalog. The library has a lot of great books for you to read, but you have to know what you’re looking for. Find new book recommendations by browsing book recommendation engines like:

Selection of Class of 2000 Books

A few books purchased using the Class of 2000 fund. Photo by Rebecca Starkey.

  • Amazon: The online shopping giant pulls purchase histories from users. Usually browsing the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section brings up great recommendations. It has allowed readers to review books for over 20 years, making the site a massive resource for book recommendations.
  • GoodReads: Described as the ‘Netflix for Books,’ GoodReads has a recommendation engine that uses a reported 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary preferences. GoodReads also allows you to create your own virtual library, connect with friends, and create wishlists.
  • WhatShouldIReadNext: Just type in a book or author you enjoyed and see your recommendations flow in. The site’s recommendation inventory is less expensive when compared to Amazon or GoodReads, but the nice thing about this resource is that you can also browse recommendations by subject. Really enjoyed Americanah? See all other books about Nigeria!

Once you find a book that you want to read, just type it into the catalog to find it in the library. If it’s not here, remember that you can also browse search in Big 10 university libraries and Ivy League libraries through UBorrow and BorrowDirect.

Tip #5: As always, if you are having trouble finding a book in the collections, or have any questions, Ask a Librarian!

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