Reading Well – Books on Prescription

Reading Well logo

Reading Well Books on Prescription helps people to manage their own health and well-being through recommended self-help books. Because everything changes when we read.

Reading Well Books on Prescription is a national scheme for England delivered by The Reading Agency and Libraries Connected with funding from Arts Council England.

GPs and other healthcare professionals are able to prescribe self-help books for patients. You can borrow the books from your local library. The scheme is free, and is supported by:

  • The Royal College of General Practitioners,
  • The Royal College of Nursing,
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists,
  • The British Psychological Society,
  • The Department of Health’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT),
  • The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies,
  • The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapies,
  • and Mind.

Rutland Libraries hold copies of the titles on the scheme’s booklists for:

You can reserve books online via our catalogue. The books are available from any Rutland Library. Any library member can borrow them. You don’t need a prescription from a health professional. 

Reading Well follows clinical guidelines for the treatment and support of these health needs. The books were selected by health professionals following a rigorous and evidence-based approach (see the Protocol for Book Selection).

For full details of the scheme, please see:

Reading Well for Teens

The Reading Well for teens book collection offers teenagers information and advice. The books promote mental wellbeing and help to break down common barriers around mental health issues. They cover topics such as:

  • body image,
  • neurodiversity,
  • sexuality and gender identity,
  • difficult experiences including bereavement and bullying,
  • as well as social pressures.

The booklist is for teenagers aged 13-18. It includes a range of reading levels and formats to support less confident readers and encourage engagement. Some of the recommended books suggest useful self-help techniques. There are also personal stories, graphic formats, and fiction. Alongside the books are a selection of quality assured age appropriate digital resources. The books have been chosen by young people, leading health professionals and library staff.

The book selection panel included colleagues from Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing, British Psychological Society, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, NHS England, Mind, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the School Library Association.

Find out more:

Reading Well for Children

Reading Well for Children

Reading Well for Children recommends reading to help children understand their feelings and worries. The book collection has been chosen by children, carers, health experts and librarians. It has been endorsed by leading health organisations such as NHS England, Mind and the Royal College of GPs.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11). The books support a wide range of reading levels. They can support less confident readers, and encourage children to read together with Family and carers.

Reading Well for Children Book Jackets


Will there be a prescription charge?

No. The service is free.

What do I do with my prescription?

Bring it to your library. You can look for the item yourself on the shelves, or, ask a member of staff who will be able to assist you.

I’m worried that people I know will find out I have a condition, will the service be confidential?

Yes. Library staff are both professional and respectful.

You do not need to see a member of staff. If you prefer, you can issue the book to yourself using our self-service kiosk. Self-service kiosks are available at our libraries.

I am not a library member, does that matter?

No. Staff will ask you to sign a membership form when you bring in your prescription. Rutland Libraries will accept ID such as a bank card or driving licence for joining.

What if the book I need is not available?

Rutland Libraries carry more than one copy of the books on the prescription lists. Rutland also shares a library catalogue with Leicestershire. If the item is already on loan to someone else, or is in another library, then we can reserve it for you. There is no charge for this. You can request to pick the item up from your nearest Rutland Library.

What do I do with the book when I have finished with it?

Please return it to any Rutland Library.

What if I want more information on my condition?

The library service holds books on many conditions, and we may have more titles that could help, or may be able to request books in for you. A search on our Catalogue will show more books on your topic. If you cannot find what you need on the catalogue, please speak to a member of staff who may be able to help. Your GP will also be able to give you further advice.

Do I have to have a prescription to borrow these books?

No, the books are part of our self-help collections, and anyone can borrow them.

I am a health professional, how do I prescribe?

Prescription sheets and posters are available for health colleagues. Contact Oakham library 01572 722918 or email for information.