The university library owns or provides access to academic books written by scholars, works of fiction such as novels or plays, biographies and a small number of university textbooks.
Works of non-fiction may be single-authored or edited. A single-authored book generally has a sustained, lengthy argument about a topic. The chapters generally build an argument chapter by chapter. An edited book has many or several authors analyzing a topic from related but slightly different perspectives. Each essay in an edited book can be read on its own. For a variety of reasons, you may need to consult books while doing research.
- reading an extended argument about a topic (single-authored works particularly)
- conducting research on a topic of broad scope
- getting context and background
- using the footnotes, endnotes, or bibliography to find additional resources
- in certain disciplines, like history and philosophy, scholars often prefer to publish their findings in books