Reading for inspiration and pleasure

Use online resources for personal growth and development

We promote using library resources for enjoyment, relaxation and escapism, to increase understanding of self and social identities, and to develop empathy and knowledge of other cultures.


There’s more to the library than text books and study resources. Reading for pleasure can benefit and enrich you beyond your academic pursuits.

Overwhelmed with core and recommended texts? Fancy something a little lighter? Following the interest and appetite for our “Blind date with a book” initiative that we ran back in February, we want to continue to promote the value and benefits of reading for its own sake, helping to improve wellbeing and lifelong learning.

Many of our print general interest titles (fiction and non-fiction), are inaccessible currently, but why not take advantage of some of the following online sources for titles and collections:

Must read classics

Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

Classic books online from Library of Congress This resource provides access to many older titles electronically to enjoy. It also has a great list of author webcasts to listen to, including authors like Chinua Achebe and Isabel Allende.

Sci-fi, fantasy and horror

Digital fiction pub great if fantasy and sci-fi are more you’re thing, supporting speculative works and up and coming authors. You may discover the next Aldous Huxley or Neil Gaiman.

Graphic novels

Read graphic novels online a blogpost site dedicated to listing access to some fantastic visual delights. Personal favourites are Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

If you are a member of your local public library then don’t forget to check out their ebook collections that will be freely available.

And more…

Manybooks is a free digital library with extensive titles including many self published authors to explore.

Audible have currently opened up 100’s of audio book titles for free during school closures, you can also sign up for a 30 day free trial to open up even more choices.

BFI film player have a fantastic selection of free clips and footage for you to enjoy – check out the selections

If you are into jigsaw puzzles then there are loads to choose from here

If you need more convincing on the benefits of reading for pleasure and personal wellbeing then take a look at these links:

A society of readers reportĀ 

Open Book radio 4

Anything but silent – British Library podcast series

Our shared shelf – intersectional feminist digital bookclub

Share your suggestions with us too by using the comments field at the end of this post – we would love to hear what types of titles you would like to access! #KentTogetherAtHomeĀ 

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