Reading Well

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

The books are all recommended by health experts, as well as people with lived experience of the conditions and topics 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.

Reading Well was recognised by the Royal Society for Public Health as a finalist for the 2017 Public Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.

Where can I find the books?

Visit the books page for our booklists.

You can borrow books from the collections from your local library. 99% of English library authorities run a Reading Well scheme as part of the Universal Public Library Health Offer. Welsh Government have funded every library authority in Wales to deliver the scheme bilingually in Welsh and English.

Many of the Reading Well titles are available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.


So far, Reading Well has reached over 1.2 million people and 90% of people surveyed have found their book helpful.

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


Reading Well is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected as part of the Libraries Connected Universal Health Offer. It is funded by Arts Council England and Welsh Government.

The programme is supported by:

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Mood-boosting Books

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.

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

We have also worked in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support to produce book lists recommended by people who have been diagnosed with cancer.