Reading Well Scheme

Reading Well is a national scheme supporting people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books on reading lists can be recommended by a health professional and borrow free of charge from any Newham libraries using library card, or users can self-refer and borrow the titles as they would any other library book.

The books are all chosen and recommended by health experts, as well as by people with lived experience of the conditions and topics covered and their relatives and carers. There are five booklists available (see attached) that are targeted at different age groups:

• Reading Well for mental health

• Reading Well for long term conditions

• Reading Well for dementia

• Reading Well for children (primary schools)

• Reading Well for teens (secondary schools)

Reading Well is run by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected as a key strand of the public library Universal Health Offer.

How does it work? 

The books on reading lists can be recommended by a link worker or other health/social care/voluntary sector professional and borrowed free of charge from any of Newham libraries using library card, or users can self-refer and borrow the titles like any other library book. 

To access this scheme, sign up to the library online and you will be immediately be able to access books for free online or in a library. Alternatively, you can go into your local library and ask a member of staff.


The book lists provide: 

•                 Information and advice for managing conditions or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences 

•                 Support following diagnosis 

•                 Suggestions for shared activities 

•                 Support and practical advice for carers 

•                 Personal accounts of people with lived experience and their relatives and carers 


Why are public libraries important for health and wellbeing? 

Evidence shows that people see their library as a safe, trusted and non-stigmatising place to go for health information. As well as Reading Well, they offer: 

•                 Health information and signposting 

•                 Social and recreational activities such as reading groups and self-help groups 

•                 Reminiscence collections 

•                 Assisted digital access 

Contact your local library to find out how you can get involved. 

Activities for older people
Activities for children and young people
Arts and creativity
Mental health support
Family support groups and organisations
Preventative services for children and young people
Managing a long-term health condition
Mental health
Services for older people
Social prescribing
Youth support
Additional needs catered for:
Physical disability friendly
Dementia friendly
Key words - separate with a comma: reading well, reading, mental health, read, book, books