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Bibliotherapy – The power books have to heal you

Bibliotherapy – the prescription of books as a remedy to ills – has been around since 2013, when the Reading Agency charity published a list of books that GPs could offer to patients, tackling topics from depression to dementia to chronic pain. Since then, 1.2 million readers have borrowed the scheme’s books from libraries. It’s so successful that it’s about to be extended to children as well. Winifred Robinson discusses how it works with Professor Philip Davis who studies the effects of literature at Liverpool University. He’s the author of a book called Reading for Life, having researched its effects on dementia, depression and worked with reading groups in prisons and homeless shelters.

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