Bristol Reads

We created our Bristol Reads collection as a space to allow our library members to develop and grow the love of reading for pleasure. Bristol Reads holds 100s of books and is a collection developed to foreground diverse writers. The collection celebrates a variety of works from international fiction to graphic novels, contemporary poetry and non-fiction books covering cooking to mud-larking to environmental protest.

The Joy of Reading!

Reading for pleasure can improve mental wellbeing and has many physical benefits. Putting time aside to read for pleasure can help ease stress as it can lower ones blood pressure and heart rate, this also means that reading before bed can aid in readiness for a goodnight’s sleep. With the potential to widen vocabulary, improve brain connectivity and increase understandings of empathy, reading is considered to improve wellbeing on so many levels.

Bristol Reads Locations

It can feel difficult to allow time for reading in your down time while studying so we have made space for the Bristol Reads collection in four of our libraries; the Arts and Social Sciences Library, Education Library, Chemistry Library and the Wills Memorial Library. It is now easier to pop in to pick up your next read while travelling across campus or browse during a study break!

pile of books
Some new additions to the Bristol Read collection
A reclining chair in front of two bookcases full of books, on top of one is a fern in a plant pot. The Bristol Reads sign is hung above the shelves.

Have Any Recommendations?

We want to keep our collection current and of interest to all, so if you have any suggestions for additions to the Bristol Reads collection please let us know by suggesting a purchase.

Recommendations from the Library Staff

Here are some of our staff favourites from the Bristol Reads section, regularly updated to give you fresh reading inspiration!

The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin

I'm always looking for an excuse to recommend The Fifth Seasonby N K Jemisin. It's a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel about the struggle for survival of a woman with the power to control seismic activity that vividly imagines the political consequences of a society structured around controlling people with such power, who are both extremely feared and vital to its continued existence. The book also begins the Broken Earth trilogy, for which Jemisin became the first person to win three consecutive Hugo awards. 

- Adam Coffee, Library Assistant

Spring by Ali Smith 

I loved this magical realism tale of the influence that one person could have on the immigration detention and removal system and the entwined story of a grieving film maker who gets swept up in the process. A fascinating and well researched book that brings real life experience into this fictionalised story.
- Katherine Wall, Library Support Assistant

Incredible Journeys: Exploring the Wonders of Animal Navigation by David Barrie

It is quite amazing about not only the animal world, but also age-old human navigation skills - now largely lost - and ends with chapters on the effects of modern technology and climate change on all this. Despite the slightly depressing sound of that, it's an uplifting book in its way, partly because it is so fascinating and partly because there are some pointers to a better way forward. Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year, 2019. 
- Julia Elliot, Library Assistant 

The Binding by Bridget Collins

If you’re looking for some historical fantasy with a strikingly modern feel The Binding by Bridget Collins is for you! Beautifully written and nurturing a sense of gentle suspense, this queer story is embedded within a world of atmospheric magic and romance in a part gothic part medieval setting. The way that Collins plays with time and perspective to sustain the mystery that entwines the two main characters is mesmerizing to read.
- Amber Thomson, Student Engagement Coordinator
a pile of books
We have the shortlist for the Jhalak Prize 2023 in our Bristol Reads collection
Navy sign reading 'Bristol Reads' in bright pink
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