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Books for health

Discover the benefits of our Books on Prescription, carers' collections, mood-boosting books, and more

Reading Well - Books on Prescription for young people

Reading Well for young people is a list of 35 books for 13-18 year olds, which provide high-quality information, support and advice on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures like bullying and exams. The scheme helps young people to understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional resilience. The collection has been chosen with a panel of young people who have experienced mental health issues and is held at Central Library

See the full Reading Well booklist.

Books on Prescription

The Books on Prescription scheme consists of books that have been recommended by mental health practitioners as a treatment option for people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

We work closely with Camden libraries and have produced a list of self-help books for psychological well-being that includes Books on Prescription books.  The list also shows which borough you can get them from. 

How does it work?

Doctors and mental health professionals, can “prescribe” these books by selecting the most appropriate text from the list and filling out a prescription for the book or books. The patient will take this along to the library and take out the book(s). If you are not a member already we will join you up straight away with no fuss. You can borrow these books without a prescription too.

Read more about the scheme and see the full list of books. Many of these titles are available from Islington and Camden Libraries' general stock too. 

Books on Prescription - Dementia

This national scheme was launched in January 2015 and consists of a collection of 25 books that you might find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia, or want to find out more about the condition. It works in the same way as the general Books on Prescription scheme. You can see a full list of the books which are in stock at Archway, Central, N4 and Finsbury Libraries.

Mood-boosting Books

Mood-boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are recommended by readers and are available from your local Islington library.

Macmillan Cancer support books

We have added the books on the Macmillan Cancer Support Core Book List to our stock, distributed across our libraries. We have also bought the 20 Mood-boosting Books on Cancer from the reading agency compiled in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. Click here for details.

The Carers' Collection

The Carers' Collection is a joint venture with Islington Carers' Hub. There are collections of books for carers at Archway, Central, N4 and Finsbury libraries. They include books about caring for people:

  • with dementia 
  • in old age
  • after a stroke
  • and many other conditions

Mental health support factsheet

Our factsheet details Islington organisations that provide information and support on a wide range of mental health issues.

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