Fun, popular, and recreational reading UMN Libraries guide

Why read fun books?

Reading for pleasure during college is important for a variety of reasons. Benefits of reading include:

  • reduces stress
  • improves vocabulary
  • encourages critical thinking
  • reading before bed can improve sleep
  • improved performance (e.g. scores, grades, etc.) across many subjects from English to Math to Science to History, etc.  
  • increases empathy

Read more about reading for pleasure at The Impact of Pleasure Reading on Academic Success (PDF).

Epic Summer Reading Quest

Read books, complete quests, win prizes

The royal heir is missing.

The woods are dark and unsafe.

A dragon is rampaging across the lands.

Someone needs to save the kingdom and it might as well be you!

This summer, embark on an epic quest to explore new worlds through books.

You are in control of your destiny

Choose your quests carefully. Follow the prompt to complete the quest; for example: Travel the haunted woods by reading 5 horror books. You may complete each quest once; you may not use the same book to complete more than one quest. (Maximum 13 entries per person.)

Paper copies of the Epic Summer Reading Quest will be available at Wilson, Walter, Health Sciences, and Magrath Libraries. Or, download the Epic Summer Reading Quest handout and print from home. Send us your completed quests before September 10th to be entered in a prize drawing. 

Browse popular reading collections in Wilson, Walter, and Magrath Libraries

Stop by our popular reading collections in Wilson, Walter and Magrath Library. Your Ucard is your library card. Use it to check out books and other materials. 

Wilson Library is the home of the Robert and Virginia McCollister Collection for Contemporary Literature on the 1st Floor of Wilson Library. Fun reading books.


Walter Library has a collection of popular reading on the 2nd floor.




Magrath Library has a collection on the 2nd floor, near the service desk. 




Request item

If you don't want to go to a library to check it out, you can use our "Get it" service to have a book sent to a library close to you (or your home). 

Step 1: Find item

Step 2: Select Library or "home" delivery (faculty/staff/instructors can request "office" delivery)

Need recommendations? Try UMN Libraries Book Matchmakers

Having trouble finding a book you really love? Looking for something fun or different in your reading life? Fill out a short form about your reading life and our expert book matchmakers will email you a list of three books from the University of Minnesota libraries that match what you are looking for.

Ebooks Minnesota

Ebooks Minnesota is an online ebook collection for all Minnesotans. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, for readers of all ages, and includes over 10,000 titles! 

Public Libraries

UMN students can sign up for a library card from Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis campus) or Ramsey County Library (St. Paul campus) or other public libraries. This gives students access to free ebook/music/magazine downloads (and a lot more). 

Arvonne Fraser Library in Dinkytown

Arvone Fraser Library"Arvonne Fraser Library (previously known as Southeast Library) sits on the east bank of the University of Minnesota and serves residents of the University community. The building was designed by master architect Ralph Rapson and originally functioned as a credit union for university and state employees. It opened as a library in 1967."

Read online newspapers and magazines (no paywalls!)

New York Times front page

Popular newspapers guide

Consult our guide to find newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, and other news sources available from the Libraries like the New York Times, Wall Street Journals, etc. 


Guide for reading magazines, current news, commentary, and opinion

Consult our guide of current journals and magazines of news, commentary, and opinion. Here is a sample of what is sometimes called 'Long form journalism" -- longer, in-depth articles written by journalists but usually about or with experts like researchers or professors. They are written with less jargon then scholarly journal articles and are great sources to consult as you learn more about a topic. They feature stories about current or controversial topics. You can "browse" and read current issues or search. Examples include the Atlantic, the Economist, National Geographic and more. 

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2022 10:22 AM