Finding Free Fiction on Campus

Are you looking for a break from textbooks and academic journals? Do you miss immersing yourself in the exciting worlds of novels, comics, and short stories? Don’t let these resources pass you by – here are four of my favourite places on campus where I get my hands on fiction for free! 


UBC Library Great Reads CollectionUBC Library Great Reads Collection

The UBC Library is a treasure trove of academic materials, but did you know that it is also home to the Great Reads collection? Launched in 2011, the Great Reads initiative aims to give students and community members easy access to a variety of leisure-reading materials. Some of my personal favorites from this collection include Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, and All the Light We Cannot See. 

You can browse the collection through their website


Koerner Library and Education Library

Alongside the Great Reads collection, the Koerner Library and the Education Library are also my go-to places to satisfy my fiction cravings! 

Individual reading between bookshelves in Koerner Library

The Humanities and Social Sciences collection at Koerner Library is home to a variety of materials on subjects ranging from English to Anthropology to History. Here, I’ve borrowed classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, as well as books like The Years from the 2022 Nobel laureate in literature, Annie Ernaux. 

If you’re like me and enjoy the occasional jog down memory lane or just love children’s literature and Young Adult (YA) literature, the Education Library is the place to go. Not only can you find well-known series like The Hunger Games trilogy or the Percy Jackson books (my childhood favorite!), but you can also find stunning graphic novels like Ms. Marvel or the 2021 National Book Awards finalist, The Legend of Auntie Po. 


The Out On The Shelves Library

Here’s one of my favorite UBC fun facts: did you know that there is a non-profit library in the UBC AMS Student Nest building?

Tucked away on the second floor, room 2102,  is the Out On The Shelves library, a volunteer-run library (not officially associated with the UBC libraries) that maintains a commitment to anti-oppressive social justice work. Founded in the 1980s, they are also Vancouver’s oldest LGBT2QIA+ library! 

Their collection includes fiction books like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe as well as nonfiction books like A Genealogy of Queer Theory and Gender Trouble. You can also browse their collection through their website


UBC Student Publications 

It’s not just the UBC libraries that are home to collections of brilliant prose and poetry – don’t forget that many of our peers and members of the UBC community are talented authors and artists! I like to read and support student work through a variety of student-run journals, such as (but not limited to):

  • The Garden Statuary: UBC’s undergraduate literary journal and part of the English Student Association. 
  • decomp: a literary and multimedia journal and part of the Social Justice Institute at UBC. 
  • Tributaries: the undergraduate journal for the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration (ACAM) studies program.
  • Beacon: the multimedia journal for the Bachelors of Media Studies. 

These journals publish a variety of academic and creative work and also routinely call for submissions, so if you’re interested in publishing your own work, keep an eye out for their announcements!


If you know of any other places on campus where fiction can be found for free, please leave them in the comments below!

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