What to Read?

Our Library Catalogue has many features to help you find new, great books! You can create lists of your favourites, follow other people's lists, search for award winners, staff picks, and much, much more.

Visit this page to learn more about the catalogue or go straight there and start searching! If it is your first time visiting the catalogue, you will have to register with your library barcode number and 4-digit PIN, at which time you may choose a username for future logins.

Advice for Readers

NoveList - This database has advice for readers of all ages. Find fiction by subject, author, or read reviews and read-alikes and much more.

Teenreads.com - A popular current reads website with reviews, reading recommendations, interviews and more about popular authors, books, series and characters.

No Flying No Tights - A website filled with reviews of comics from all genres and formats (including manga).

TumbleBookCloud - This VIRL database is an online collection of ebooks and read-along chapter books, graphic novels, educational videos, and audio books.

Tumble Book Cloud

Spotlight on Webcomics

There are loads of great comics out there on the internet you can read for free. Some of them have collections in books but we don't carry all of them on our shelves. Happily, the internet is here to fill that need.

For many webcomics the main page is the most recent installment of the story and might not make sense on its own. If it looks like something you might want to get into, try looking for a link that says "The Beginning" or "For New Readers."

Just like with comics on paper, there are all sorts of different kinds. Here are a few of our librarians' favourites:

  • Bad Machinery by John Allison. An ongoing collection of stories about weird-mystery-solving teens in England. Occasional ghosts. Frequent arguments.
  • Girl Genius by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio. Girl Genius is an ongoing "gaslamp fantasy" story following the career of Agatha Heterodyne — a hapless student at Transylvania Polygnostic University who discovers that she has more going for her than she thought.
  • Skin Horse by Shaenon Garrity and Jeffrey C. Wells. The stated mission of Project "Skin Horse" is to aid and assist the U.S. population of nonhuman sapients. For better or worse, most Skin Horse agents are themselves nonhuman. Any humans willing and able to work there may be presumed deeply weird.
  • Family Man by Dylan Meconis. In 18th century Europe a young scholar by the name of Luther Levy has an increasing stock of Questions and a diminishing supply of Answers. Self-pity won’t pay the rent, though, and Luther has become desperate for employment, no matter how risky.
  • Sam & Fuzzy by Sam Logan. Troubled by ninja mafiosos? Gangster gerbils? Vampire stalkers? Don't worry! Sam and Fuzzy can fix your problem. Now, if only someone could fix theirs…
  • Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell. This is the story of Antimony Carver, a young girl who attends a mysterious school called Gunnerkrigg Court. It has mythological politics and science and strange forest creatures
  • Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques. The story of a group of young adults in a slightly science fictionized town (there are a few robots) who work in coffee shops and libraries and snarkily deal with each other and their (sometimes sexy) relationships.
  • The Abominable Charles Christopher by Karl Kerschl. The story follows the adventures of a childlike sasquatch through a forest full of colourful animal characters.
  • Axe Cop by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle. Just your normal everyday story of a cop with an axe, as written by a kid with a great imagination (and an older brother to make the excellent art).
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings. Dr. McNinja is an excellent doctor and an excellent ninja. He fights zombies and dinosaurs and time-travellers and the occasional clone of himself. It is at least 4 kinds of awesome.

Popular Authors and Series in the Library

Here are the websites and related links of some of the authors and series most heavily borrowed from VIRL's Young Adult (YA) collection:

Local Authors (not a complete list):

Susan Juby, Nanaimo's own author of Alice, I Think.

Joelle Anthony

Catherine Knutsson

Sara Cassidy

Iain Lawrence



Vancouver Island Regional Library is not responsible for the content of external websites.

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