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Reading for Pleasure

Selected resources from the University of Birmingham Library collection to help develop a lifelong love of reading.

Resources on Bibliotherapy and Wellbeing

What is Bibliotherapy?

Liz Brewster and Sara McNicol define bibliotherapy as 'The therapeutic use of books and other materials with individuals or with groups of people'. 

Book cover of Bibliotherapy

Caroline Shrodes believes that an interaction between reader and literature can release emotion for productive use, particularly to overcome difficult or negative experiences.  

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that literature expands our capacity for empathy, developing our moral imagination.

Benefits of reading

The 3 statements above suggest that reading has the potential to unlock our emotions and make us more aware of our own and other people’s wellbeing needs. You may find that some of the books recommended as a 'good read' will have this effect. 

Find out more

If you want to learn more about Bibliotherapy, the following online resources focus on the individual and group benefits of reading with a therapeutic purpose:


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The Reading Well logo

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Here at the Main Library we have UBWell@MainLibrary -  a relaxing space on the ground floor dedicated to wellbeing. You will find lots of information and resources to help you live well, both for the mind and the body. 

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Wellbeing Resource List

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We also have a Wellbeing Resource List that recommends reading on all kinds of topics from mindfulness to eating to exercise. Click on the icon above.
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