Reading Well helps people understand and manage their health and wellbeing using books endorsed by health professionals, as well as people with living with the conditions covered and their relatives and carers. The scheme is quality assured and the books were selected by health professionals through a selection framework that followed NICE guidelines. The book lists are all endorsed by professional health bodies. The books are available to access free of charge in your local library.
There are currently four Reading Well booklists available which are designed to provide quality assured health information and self-management advice to anyone with experience of the conditions and topics covered, as well as their relatives and carers:
• Reading Well for mental health provides helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences (ages 18+)
• Reading Well for young people recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 12-18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams (also includes titles on autism and Asperger syndrome)
• Reading Well for dementia provides information and advice, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, and personal stories for people who have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or would like to find out more about the condition (includes a title on learning disability and dementia)
• Reading Well for long term conditions provides information and support for people living with a long term health condition and their carers. It covers general advice and information about living with a long term condition, common symptoms and titles focused on specific conditions such as arthritis, bowel conditions, diabetes, heart disease and stroke
A fifth booklist, Reading Well for children, will be launched on 3 February 2020 to support the mental health and wellbeing of children aged 7-11. The new list will provide children and their families and carers with information, advice and support for coping with feelings and worries, daily life and getting through a tough time.
The scheme is developed by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected and delivered through public libraries. This means the books can be recommended by a health professional and taken free of charge from a local library, or users can self-refer and borrow the titles like they would any other library book.