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Reading Well

Reading Well helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books are all endorsed by health experts, as well as by people living with the conditions covered and their relatives and carers. You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself.

There are currently five book lists available:

Several of the lists feature titles from the Overcoming series or published elsewhere by Little, Brown Book Group.


Reading Well is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians as part of the Society of Chief Librarians' Universal Health Offer. It is funded by Arts Council England and Wellcome.

The programme is supported by a wide range of professional health bodies including Public Health England, NHS England and The Royal College of GPs. Visit the Reading Well website to see all of the supporting health partners.

Evidence and evaluation

There is a huge evidence base around the value of reading to support health and wellbeing, as well as the value of libraries as a non-stigmatised space that is both welcoming and empowering for people with mental health problems.

The Reading Well programme is evaluated each year to ensure that it continues to deliver positive outcomes. Health professionals, library staff and users are surveyed on their experiences of the programme, as well as information on reach being calculated through book loans and book sales data. To date, The Reading Well programme has reached over 635,000 users.

You can find out more about evaluation here.

Get Involved

  • Get in touch if you want to know more about Reading Well and how it works
  • See all of the current Reading Well book lists on the Reading Well website
  • Librarians can find resources for running Reading Well on our resources page
  • Print materials supporting Reading Well, including user leaflets and posters, can be ordered from this online shop
  • Primary Care practitioners can read more about the benefits of bibliotherapy in this booklet