What is Mood Reading?

Posted by Bijal Shah on

I recently spoke to Alice Hopkins on BBC Radio Berkshire about mood reading and its connection to bibliotherapy. (Listen at the following link, time stamp, 37 minutes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0h6fj7t, link expires on 29th February 2024)

Bibliotherapy, the use of literature to promote mental and emotional well-being, can complement the skill of mood reading by providing additional insights into individuals' feelings and experiences. When engaging in bibliotherapy, individuals explore literary works that resonate with their emotions or challenges, allowing them to connect with characters and storylines that mirror their own struggles or triumphs.

In the context of mood reading, bibliotherapy serves as a tool for enhancing emotional intelligence. By delving into books that address a range of emotions, characters, and situations, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of human experiences and emotions. This increased emotional awareness can, in turn, enhance their ability to accurately interpret and empathise with the moods of others through non-verbal cues.

Bibliotherapy and mood reading work hand in hand to foster emotional literacy, providing individuals with a broader emotional vocabulary and a more nuanced understanding of the human condition. As individuals explore diverse narratives and perspectives through literature, they may find resonance with characters facing similar emotional states, contributing to personal growth, empathy, and improved interpersonal connections.

Listen at the following link, time stamp, 37 minutes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0h6fj7t

Are you a mood reader? I'd love to know!❤ If you'd like to know more about Bibliotherapy, find out more in my new book, Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading 


A big hello and thank you for reading. Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I offer bibliotherapy sessions and curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course).

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc).

There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish two books called Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading and The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines.

I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications.

If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at bijal@booktherapy.io

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