Do College Libraries Have Fiction Books? (What to Expect from Your Campus Collection)

A female college student wearing a plaid shirt, browsing the fiction section of her college library.

Libraries serve the public in countless ways, especially for those who love to get lost in another world. But what about college libraries? Could students still check out the latest fiction novels along with their Economics 101 textbook? The answer depends on a few things. 

What’s So Different about College Libraries?

University libraries serve a purpose for students in ways ordinary public libraries don’t. Since their primary users are within an academic environment, college libraries reflect that. For instance, you will see sections based on genre or subject if you walk into a public library. 

You’ll see a children’s area or another community space open to the public. But when walking into a university library, you’ll find a bit of a different scene. Students are at the computers, scanning their ID cards for the printers, and of course, studying into the wee hours of the night. 

But just because these places of learning are geared toward students, doesn’t mean that they don’t carry fiction books. They certainly do. 

What Type of Books Are in College Libraries?

A college girl sitting on the floor and reading a book inside the library.

College libraries have all sorts of books. Here are the most common categories to expect:


Like we’ve said, universities do carry fiction. But the main difference between a bookstore or other public library and a university is that the fiction novels tend to relate to the courses offered at the school. For example, women’s studies may offer literature courses, lending the university to carry the works of prominent women fiction authors from a specific culture. 

The main difference is that you won’t find a flashy setup with the latest fiction releases like you would when you step into an Amazon bookstore, but there is certainly no shortage of fiction.


Some university libraries allow students to check out and take home textbooks. High-level niche courses are more likely to have these available for checkout. But more likely than not, college libraries will offer coursework materials to use inside the library only. 

Academic Journals

One of the unique features of a university library is access to countless academic publications. These are primarily online nowadays and can be found through your student account. 

Though free online research databases like Google Scholar exist for anyone with Internet access, there are plenty of restrictions that prevent students and others from discovering locked publications. You’re paying for these resources, so use them while you can!

Reference Books

Glossaries, maps, encyclopedias, dictionaries, language translation books, and so much more are also found at a college library. Even though you can pretty much find anything online these days, don’t count out the physical copies just yet. When you type a specific question into Google, you’ll get an answer. 

But when you’re reading through a reference book, you’ll get the distinct context that will enlighten you on your topic. And that could be the difference between a B paper and an A paper. 

Reference books aren’t the only resources available in the library. Whether you’ve only walked past your school library a few times or you’re one of those students who bring a pillow to rest on for all-nighter breaks, make sure to utilize expert librarians along with the many other resources that come with college life. Trust us. You’ll regret it if you don’t. 

Benefits of College Students Reading for Pleasure

A college girl with her earphones on smiling while holding a library book.

Some of you may be questioning why fiction books are even given any thought by most college students. Unless you’re cultural literature or creative writing major, why bother finding out? You’re already slammed with coursework and would rather spend your free time at the bars or watching trash TV. 

That’s all good. But keep these valuable facts about reading for pleasure in mind during your college career:

  • Research shows a strong correlation between high-achieving students and reading for fun.
  • Experts argue that leisure reading enhances students’ learning comprehension and may lessen the adverse effects of multitasking and short attention spans. Therefore, many believe that university libraries should encourage reading for pleasure by offering popular fiction choices for students. 
  • Reading for fun can be a way to relax during one of the most stressful times of your life. 

Wrapping Up

A college student doing some leisure reading with a book borrowed from the college library.

You will find fiction books of many genres within college libraries, but they will mostly be aligned with the coursework offered at your school. Regardless of your classes, consider the importance of reading for pleasure. Book lovers should never give up their passion for a good book, and non-readers should give reading a try.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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