Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Finding Fiction

At the Central Library

The Central Library's Fiction Collection is located on the Ground Floor, on the Northern side of the building.

The collection is divided into six main areas:

General Fiction

General Fiction is in alphabetical order by the author's surname. The sequence starts next to the escalators, behind the self-issue machines.

Murder Mystery Novels

Murder mystery novels are located in the far left-hand corner of the building. Murder mysteries have a red label on the spine. This genre is defined by there being a death, or body in the novel, and a character involved in investigation or detection of a crime.

Science Fiction and Fantasy novels

Science fiction and fantasy novels are located in the far left-hand corner of the floor immediately before the murder mysteries. These books have blue spine labels. The genre definition of the Science Fiction is that the plots are possible, in the Fantasy novel, the plots are fanciful, and improbable.

Short stories

Short Stories are located on the ground floor next to the adult books on CD, opposite the Issues desk. Short Stories have a white spine label. The genre is defined as collections of stories by many authors, with one or more editors. The collection is in alphabetical order of title. (Books of short stories written by one author are held with the author's other works in the main Fiction Collection.)

Graphic novels

Graphic Novels are located on the wall at the far north end of the fiction collection. Graphic novels are illustrated novels, and often bring together several issues of a comic to tell the whole story in one volume. There is a folder of photocopied book covers held with the collection, or you can browse all the titles in our catalogue.

Large Print

Large print books are found behind the escalator.

New Zealand novels

There is no separate collection for New Zealand fiction. Novels by New Zealand authors are distinguished by a white Koru on a black spine label, and will be found in either the General Fiction or one of the genre areas, depending on their subject matter.

If you need to find a book by a New Zealand author (e.g. for a reading list requirement), we've compiled some webpages to help: NZ fiction and we post regular lists of new New Zealand novels on our blog.

Fiction at all libraries

Branch fiction collections are smaller, and General Fiction, Murder Mysteries, Science Fiction and Short stories are shelved together. Large Print is shelved separately as at the Central Library.

Deciphering Availability Information

When you look up a book on the library's catalogue, information about whether the item is available or out on loan will appear below information about the book. Sometimes you'll see extra information that can be hard to decipher. Here's a quick guide to help you work out what these phrases mean.

(Remember, library staff are available and happy to help you find items if you have any difficulties!)

Fiction, Kept At Desk

These are items that are held at the Fiction desk as they are age restricted novels or popular novels that continually go missing. Please ask at the desk for these items.

Central Storage

Items that this phrase appears for are items that are kept in the Fiction Closed Stack in a staff area of the library due to age, lack of room or popularity (or being precious last copies!). Please ask at the Fiction desk for these items.


Search by genre

Murder/Mystery books by sub-genre

Science fiction by sub-genre

Search Tips

Searching using Author or Title

If you know the title or author

  • Enter this in the search box.
  • Click the down arrow and select Author browse, or Title browse options.
  • Click Search.
  • Click on any of the highlighted titles for the full record of the item.

If you only know part of the title

  • Enter what you do know in the search box.
  • Click the down arrow and select Keyword search option
  • Click Search.

Searching using Subject or Fiction genre

Basic search

  • In the search box enter the subject required, e.g. Historical novels.
  • Click the down arrow and select Subject browse option.
  • Click Search.
  • This leads to the subject headings. Click on subject required to list titles.

Advanced Search

  • For a more precise search, enter details in the search box, e.g. Vietnam War Fiction.
  • Click the down arrow and select Keyword search option.
  • Click Search.
  • The Keyword search option links to a list of Titles.

Searching from a full Item Record

Any area on the Full Record that is underlined in blue can be used to link to other similar items.


  • Click on the underlined Author field to link to the Author list.
  • Click on the Author name required for the full list of titles.

Subject or Genre Headings

  • Click on any Subject underlined in the full item record to link to the Subject Headings list.
  • Click on Subject required for the full list of titles.

Popular Topics I Library Catalogues