I know that it’s hard to imagine that you’ll have time for pleasure reading, especially right now when you’re looking at that three-ton Organic Chemistry textbook you just bought. But just in case you’re looking for a good read — something to peruse before bed, to stash in your backpack then take out while you’re waiting in the block-long line for Chipotle, etc. — here are a few ways to find recent fiction in MSEL:

1. Check out the McNaughton books.
McNaughton Plan books are located in the sitting area near the circulation and information desks on M Level of MSEL. Recent bestsellers are there. Mysteries, fantasy, biographies, chick lit, the latest literary blockbuster — they’re all available for a 2-week checkout (with one renewal). We receive 30 or so new McNaughton titles every month.

2. Spend time on D Level.
It’s the joke around MSEL that the JHU creative types are banished to D Level. Tucked away in the stacks, you can always find an Art History major, a poet from Writing Seminars, some one from the Humanities Center. Well, I like to think that we’re not banished there … we’ve located a perfect safe haven!

On D Level, you can browse the following call number ranges to find works of recent fiction. All of these ranges are in the Blue Label section of D Level (to the left when you exit the staircase) and cover the years 1961 to present.


American: PS 3550-3626
British: PR 6050-6126
French: PQ 2660-2686
German: PT 2600-2688
Italian: PQ 4860-4926
Russian: PG 3475-3490
Latin American: PQ 7000-8560
Spanish: PQ 6651-6726
Caribbean, African, Indian: PR 9205-9570
Chinese: PL 2261-2979
Japanese: PL 782-866
Korean: PL 989-993
Canadian: PR 9199.2-9199.3

Remember, many books in our collection are in the off-campus shelving facility, unpoetically named the Libraries Services Center. You can use the Libraries Catalog to locate these. Having trouble? You can always ask a librarian.

Happy reading!

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