Wellington City Libraries

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Books & Reading

Online "premium" databases you can access for free with your library card. Not a member? Join online


Free eBook and downloadable eAudiobook collection containing thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles, inlcuding New Zealand material


BorrowBox is Australia's leading provider of eBook and eAudio titles for adults and children.

Bridget Williams Books

Bridget Williams Books (BWB) is an award-winning New Zealand publisher. We have three online eBook collections available from BWB, including:

The NZ History Collection

The New Zealand History Collection provides online access to over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams Books. Comprising over ninety titles, it includes recent additions such as the widely acclaimed Great War for New Zealand by Vincent O'Malley, multiple works by late historian Judith Binney and A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes.

BWB NZ History Collection

BWB Texts Collection

BWB Texts Collection from Bridget Williams Books brings together a diverse group of short eBooks on the big issues facing New Zealand. Dive in to discover stories, insights and analysis by some of New Zealand's best writers and commentators.

BWB Texts Collection

BWB Treaty of Waitangi Collection

The Treaty of Waitangi collection from Bridget Williams Books gathers together some of the finest writing and scholarship on New Zealand's founding document online. It features unrestricted access to award-winning histories and commentaries, such as Claudia Orange's The Treaty of Waitangi, which can either be read in their entirety or searched across for quick reference. Optimised for mobile and tablet devices, this database is delivered entirely within the web browser and is accessible on any device.

BWB Treaty of Waitangi Collection

Books & Authors

Books & Authors logo

Explore the latest genre fiction, essential non-fiction and the authors behind the titles. Search or browse by author, title, or genre, or discover award-winning titles from the 1950s onwards. Includes over 140,000 titles, 50,000 authors, and thousands of read-alike and favourites lists, all to help you uncover new reading adventures or find long-remembered favourites. Join "My Reading Room" for free and you can save and modify reading lists, reviews you've written, books lists you've created, and more.

Search Books & Authors


LitFinder logo

LitFinder is international in scope, covers all time periods, and contains literature content, including more than 140,000 full-text poems, 840,000 poem citations and excerpts, 7,100 full-text short stories and novels, 3,800 full-text essays published in the 16th-20th centuries, 2,400 full-text speeches, and 1,250 full-text plays. LitFinder also includes biographies, work summaries, photographs, and a glossary. Within LitFinder 's collection, patrons have access to works from over 80,000 authors from 660 nationalities.

Search Litfinder

Bloomsbury Drama Online

Drama Online is a one stop shop for anyone with an interest in drama. This award winning database features over 1,200 classic and contemporary play texts, including the complete works of Shakespeare. Background to the plays are provided through critical scholarly works, theory and practical 'how-to' guides. There is also streaming video of live performances from Shakespeare's Globe and professional audio recordings from L.A. Theatre Works. Search for and sort plays and monologues using cast size, gender, roles, genre, period, author, setting and theme filters. There is plenty here to discover.

Search Drama Online

Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center logo

A comprehensive online literary site, Literature Resource Center addresses all facets of literary study in one highly searchable interface. Its extensive reference material includes biographical, bibliographical, critical, and contextual information on more than 120,000 authors and their works. Features include Scribner Writer's Series of 15-20 page signed essays on more than 1,600 authors and literary genres, as well as the full text of 200 frequently used Twayne Literary Masters books on individual World, US, or English authors, for a total of 600 full-text titles. Check out the full title list here.

Search Literature Resource Center

Book Psychic

How would you like personalised book recommendations based on what you have read? Book Psychic feeds you recommendations based on your entire reading history - and the more books you rate, the more personalised your list will become. Rather than search for titles and providing ratings, you can use your Goodreads and/or LibraryThing accounts to build on your recommendations.

Browse Book Psychic

Novelist Plus

This database, which includes fiction and nonfiction titles for all ages, provides expert reading recommendations from professional librarians and read-alikes for every title, author, and series, combined with an easy-to-use interface designed with readers and librarians in mind. Quick and easy-to-use resources include book discussion guides (perfect for book groups!), thematic book lists and reading and book-oriented articles.

Browse Novelist

Oxford English Dictionary Online

The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books. Updated quarterly with at least 1000 new and revised entries, OED Online offers unparalleled access to the 'greatest continuing work of scholarship that this century has produced' (Newsweek).

Oxford English Dictionary

Gale Student Resources in Context

Student Resources in Context logo

This database provides researchers with an expansive collection specifically designed to meet the needs of university undergraduates. Topics covered in depth include History, Geography & Cultures, Literature, and Science & Health. Content comes from reference books and encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines and a variety of multimedia sources. Text and criticism of Shakespeare's plays and poems is a feature.

Student Resources in Context

MasterFILE Complete

Designed specifically for public libraries, this multidisciplinary database provides full text for more than 2,000 general reference publications covering a range of subjects including literature, writing, book reviews, biography and much more, with information dating as far back as 1922. MasterFILE Complete also contains full text for more than 1,000 reference books and over 164,400 primary source documents, as well as an Image Collection of over 502,000 photos, maps & flags.

If you are looking for a particular publication click on the 'Publications' link at the top of the database page.

MasterFILE Complete

Other useful sites

These are sites that don't require a login (freely available online sites), that you may also find useful:

Te Puna Search

This is the National Library's New Zealand Union Catalogue -- detailing the holdings of all New Zealand libraries across the country. Te Puna Search (WorldCat Discovery) provides information about, and links to, the more than 9 million books, journals, and audiovisual items held in New Zealand libraries. Once you find the particular item you require you can go directly to the online catalogues of the holding libraries to see if it is available.

If you wish to borrow an item from another NZ library, please read the Interloans information.

Te Puna


Lets you search the collections of more than 10,000 libraries in New Zealand and around the world. When you have found an item of interest you can see the nearest library to you that owns it, and usually link directly to their online catalogue. By creating a free account you can create lists and bibliographies, add reviews or subject tags to the over 1.2 billion items in the catalogue, and more.



Goodreads is a social network for readers, owned by Amazon. Keep a virtual bookshelf of what you've read, build your to-read list, and discover new books by following what your friends are reading. Search the huge database of user and product reviews, interact with authors (follow what they're reading), review books, keep lists and contribute to lists. Apps also available for iOS and Android.

Visit Goodreads


LibraryThing is another popular social network for readers. Catalog your books from Amazon, the Library of Congress and 2231 other libraries. Catalog your movies and music too. Find new books to read. Talk about what you love with other committed bibliophiles. Track and lend your books.

Visit LibraryThing

Fantastic Fiction

Fantastic Fiction is an online catalog of authors and books for those of us who love to read fiction. Especially great for information about series (use the drop-down series search)

Fantastic Fiction


There are a number of places to get books online, but this recent addition is definitely worth a look. Manybooks.net has adapted over 10,000 e-texts created by the Project Gutenberg DVD and placed them online in a host of formats, including pdf, eReader, and as Palm document files. Visitors can begin by browsing by author, title, category, or language. Some of the languages covered in the database include Dutch, Esperanto, Swedish, Tagalog, and Welsh. You can browse through the most popular titles, recommendations or recent reviews from visitors, or special collections. Also includes an ebook cover page, where you can peruse the covers of many of the books contained within the archive.

Search Manybooks.net

Book Browse

This site provides access to many current books with access to reviews, author interviews and excerpts.

Book Browse

Popular Fiction Page

Visit our Fiction page for news, staff and reader recommendations, and website links.

Popular Fiction Page

Library Booklists

Complete lists of our new fiction (general, mysteries, science fiction & fantasy, short stories and large print) are available every month.