Books and reading

Other catalogues

  • Library Hub Discover: access to details of materials held in many UK national, academic and specialist libraries. Search a database of 169 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues (replaces the COPAC and SUNCAT)
  • WorldCat: books, journals and media collections of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide

Library subscriptions

Your library card number will be required to access:

  • Access to research: articles from academic journals and conferences (available for use in the library only)
  • eBooks and eAudiobooks: Enjoy our eLending book collection on your mobile device using the BorrowBox app.
  • Newsbank - Access UK and Ireland: provides access to current local, regional and national newspapers (plus back copies of older editions). Digital editions are now available for national newspapers.

Reading Groups

  • Not a Reading Group – a ‘Reading Friends’ activity: Fridays, weekly at 11 am, via Zoom. There’s no required reading or discussion about a specific title, instead you can talk about books that you’ve read, those that you’ve enjoyed, those that you would recommend and those you are looking forward to reading. For the zoom details please select Not a reading group from the dropdown list on our form.

'Not a Reading Group' has now joined 'Reading Friends', the Reading Agency’s ‘Read, Talk, Share befriending programme. More information can be found on the Reading Friends website.

  • Reading groups for everyone: UK's largest reading group network, hosted by the Reading Agency
  • Reading groups online: advice from the BBC about how to set up an online reading group and you can access books online from the library for free

Find your next read

  • Book sorter: all the books in the book-sorter have been added by children, to help other children find their next read. Just select the choices, drop them into the book sorter and it will choose the sort of book you’re after
  • Fantastic Fiction: search for book via author, title or series and browse bibliographies of over 50,000 bestselling fiction authors
  • Little Parachutes: useful (and friendly) collection of picture books that help children cope with worries, health issues and new experiences (big and small)
  • Reading ahead: adult fiction suggestions according to type and level of read
  • Super summary: study guides for a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles
  • Which Book: search for books via mood and emotion, country, race, age, sexuality, gender and plot
  • Book Recommendations: enjoy adult book recommendations made by library staff. A great opportunity to read something new or discover something you may have missed.

Other webpages

  • BookTrust Books and Reading: a digital hub with resources from the wonderful community of children’s authors and illustrators. Listen to authors read their stories and offer tips, advice and story starters for creative writing at home. Follow illustrators as they show you how to draw your favourite characters and find online books as well as games, quizzes and recipes to have a go at.
  • Peters 100 books for parents: list of books that primary aged children could read at home, along with downloadable activity sheets for each book. Collated by publishers, librarians and curriculum specialists.
  • Project Gutenberg: over 56,000 eBooks available to download for free or read online
  • Researchify audiobooks: free children's classics & audiobooks – in text format and audio (through YouTube)
  • Roald Dahl Museum: enjoy an online tour of the Roald Dahl Museum, where you can be inspired to ‘Make Stories like Dahl’ or to ‘Make a Wonka factory machine’
  • No Fear Shakespeare – Spark Notes: provides the full text of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets side-by-side, with translations into modern English. It also provides summaries of each play as well as a guide to the main characters, themes and significant quotes. Also offers links to further study.


Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ Schemes

The Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ Schemes help people manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and all titles are available free in any of our libraries. Many titles are also available as eBooks.

  • Reading Well for Mental Health: helps people to read well and to stay well, by providing helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions; or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs. The books are penned by bestselling and highly-regarded authors including Matt Haig (How to Stay Alive); Cathy Rentzenbrink (A Manual for Heartache); Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Topknot); Ruby Wax (A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled) and many more.
  • 'Shelf Help': provides a range of titles especially selected for 13-18 year olds, providing advice and information about issues such as anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.
  • Reading Well for Children: is a new book list of expert endorsed reading to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The list is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
  • Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia: books which provide information about dementia and normal ageing, as well as support and advice on how to live well after diagnosis, practical advice for carers, personal accounts and suggestions for shared therapeutic activities (all available as eBooks).