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Popular Reading at Booth Library: Home

Find a fun book to read with this guide to recreational reading materials at Booth Library.

Popular reading collections

Looking for a fun book to read?  Booth Library offers a number of resources to help you find recreational reading materials, both fiction and nonfiction.  Please ask a librarian if you'd like help finding what you need.

In the library's Atrium on the first floor, at the bottom of the central staircase, you'll find several collections of recreational reads that are set up for easy browsing.

Best Sellers

The tall, four-sided rack of books in the Atrium contains recently acquired popular materials in hardcover, including mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, adventure stories, historical novels, literary fiction, and more - plus a wide range of contemporary nonfiction, like memoirs, popular history, and self-help books.

Bestseller display rack

Books in the Best Sellers collection may be checked out for two weeks. 

Several racks of current, popular magazines can be found alongside.  Although these don't check out, feel free to sit back and relax with a magazine between classes!

Read & Relax

Also in the Atrium is the Read & Relax collection, a low set of bookshelves with popular paperbacks of all types.  The library often has displays on timely topics on the top of the shelves, too.

Read and Relax Collection

Books in the Read & Relax collection may be checked out for four weeks.

Graphic Novels (GraFX)

Booth Library offers a large collection of graphic novels, on two shelves in the first floor Atrium.

Graphic novel collection

Graphic novels may be checked out for eight weeks.

Other collections with popular materials

Ballenger Teachers Center collections

The Ballenger Teachers Center (BTC), on the main (3rd) floor, has a large collection of juvenile materials, ranging from picture books for young children up to Young Adult materials. The BTC offers book displays on popular topics, such as dystopian literature.  Books in the BTC's juvenile collection can be checked out for 4 weeks (for students; 16 weeks for faculty) and can be renewed.  They are organized according to the Dewey Decimal classification.

Digital Library of Illinois- for ebooks and audiobooks

Through the Digital Library of Illinois, Booth Library patrons (including community patrons) can check out and download ebooks, audiobooks, and videos to your e-reader of choice using your library ID.  After clicking through to the site, choose Sign In from the upper right, pick Eastern Illinois University-Booth Library from the drop-down, and log in with the 14-digit number on your Panther Card (or community borrower card) to see the selections available.

Help! Where is the fiction section?

Unlike many public and school libraries, Booth Library doesn't have one large section just for fiction.  The library does have an extensive collection of fiction, though! 

In addition to the collections listed on the left side of this guide, you'll find many works of fiction (and popular nonfiction) in the Book Stacks, on displays, and elsewhere. 

For most of its collections, the library uses the Library of Congress classification to organize its materials.  For example, you'll find literature by and about British authors under call numbers starting with PR, while call numbers starting with PS represent American literature. 

All materials at Booth Library, including the ebooks in the Digital Library of Illinois, are cataloged in the EIU Library Catalog.  And if the library doesn't own the book you want to read, you're welcome to place a request from another library through I-Share (which covers many academic libraries in Illinois) or through our interlibrary loan book request form.

Book displays

Booth Library faculty and staff are always busy creating new book displays on current events, popular authors, or other subjects of interest.  You'll find most of them on tables in the library's central hallway on the main level (3rd floor).  In most cases, these books are available for you to check out.

The library's regularly updated Booth News page highlights these displays, with lists of the items that are available there.

Online tools for reading suggestions

NoveList Plus is a system that lets you search for recreational reading by subject, genre, author, title, and many other criteria.  If you like books by a certain author, NoveList will give you book summaries and suggest other books that will provide a similar reading experience.  NoveList is also connected to Booth's library catalog, so once you find an interesting book, you can jump over to see whether the library owns a copy.  Give it a try! 

NoveList database

In Gale Books and Authors, new in 2023, you can browse for popular fiction and nonfiction books by genre, search for authors by name or other categories, consult book lists, and more.  This database is also linked to Booth's library catalog.

Gale Books and Authors homepage

Goodreads is a free public site that provides recommendations and, for those who create accounts, will help you track what you've read.

In addition to suggesting books by topic, LibraryThing will let you catalog your personal book collection and participate in online book discussion groups.

Want more help or suggestions?

Booth Library's reference librarians are here to help you find the books and other materials you need.  Please get in touch with us with your questions!


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Sarah Johnson

Mailing Address: Booth Library
Eastern Illinois
University 600 Lincoln Ave
Charleston, IL 61920

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