Reading Well promotes the benefits of reading for health and wellbeing. The programme has two strands: Books on Prescription and Mood-boosting Books.

Reading Well Books on Prescription

Reading Well Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and well-being using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries.

There are currently two book lists available, for common mental health conditions and dementia.


Reading Well Books on Prescription 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.

The scheme is supported by:

• British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
• British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
• The British Psychological Society
• Mind
• National Association of Primary Care
NHS England through its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT)
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Nursing
• Royal College of Psychiatrists

The Books on Prescription for dementia list is also supported by:

• Alzheimer’s Society
• Carers UK
• Dementia UK
• Innovations in Dementia

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books scheme is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

We suggest that people using the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme may also like to try some mood-boosting fiction or poetry, but the books are not prescribed, endorsed or recommended by health professionals.

Reading Well Mood-boosting Books is delivered by The Reading Agency, working with public libraries, NHS trusts and colleges throughout the UK.