Books on Prescription

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

You'll find information about the Reading Well schemes for adults on this page. Information for younger readers is on the Reading Well schemes for children, teens and young adults web page.

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Photo of books spilling out of a medicine pot with the heading 'Books on Prescription'

The Healing Power of Words

Milton Keynes libraries are playing their part in helping people tackle all kinds of problems, from binge-eating, stress and relationship problems to managing chronic pain. 

Reading Well is a national collaboration between the Reading Agency and Libraries Connected. There are currently two schemes running: Books on Prescription and Mood Boosting Books. Their aim is to improve the nation’s health through books and reading. Reading has none of the side effects associated with prescription drugs and often achieves good results more quickly.

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The Books on Prescription scheme aims to bring the healing benefits of reading to people suffering from a range of common health conditions. There is good evidence that self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions including depression and anxiety. 

The scheme has the backing of the Royal College of GPs as well as major nursing and mental health organisations. Milton Keynes Central Library now holds a special collection of titles which have been written by experienced health care professionals and are available to borrow.

These books provide helpful information and step-by-step self-help techniques.

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Reading Well for Dementia

Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia recommends books you might find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or would like to find out more about the condition.

The books provide information and advice, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, and personal stories. They are also endorsed by health professionals.

Visit the Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia web page for full details and book lists.

Reading Well for Mental Health

Reading Well for mental health was launched by The Reading Agency in June 2018 and provides helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.

Visit the Reading Well Books on Prescription for Mental Health web page for full details and book lists.

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Reading Well for Long Term Conditions

Reading Well for long term conditions provides information and support for people living with a long term condition and their carers. 

The book list 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.

The books have all been recommended by people with lived experience of long term conditions and health professionals.

Visit the Reading Well Books on Prescription for Long Term Conditions web page for full details and book lists.

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

Visit the Reading Well Mood-boosting Books web page for full details of the scheme and book lists.

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Last Updated: 4 April 2022