Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading

Posted by Bijal Shah on

After many, many months of researching, living, and writing about bibliotherapy (which was an incredibly, pleasurable experience!) my new book, Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading is almost ready! In the early proofreading stages, I can't wait to get it out to you all. Just sharing the cover here, but it's also available for pre-order at any of the bookstores you shop at:

It will be published on 15th February 2024 (a day after Valentine's Day) and will be available in both paperback and hardback - you're welcome to put in an order now!
I am so excited for you all to read it and cannot wait to hear your thoughts!

The book draws on my personal experience of bibliotherapy, work with clients, and research to explore the healing power of reading. From capturing the history of how therapeutic reading evolved - and the important role played by great writers such as the Stoics, Montaigne, Eliot and Wordsworth in its popularisation - to first-hand stories from clients who have struggled with grief, relationships, and illness, this book explores just how comforting and life-changing reading can be.

Some of you who have already completed our online Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health Course might find it helpful to see how the bibliotherapy sessions actually work in practice as you follow client stories as well as an expanded history of bibliotherapy in the book, plus there are tonnes of book recommendations and reading lists arranged by mental health themes in A-Z formats.


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


Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, and

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