FAQs

Q: What is Book Therapy?

A: Book therapy or bibliotherapy is an age-old and time-tested method for using the power of reading to support better mental health and wellbeing, whilst remaining a cost-effective form of therapy.

This blog post provides more detail: The Concept of Book Therapy

Q: What is bibliotherapy?

A: Bibliotherapy, as explained above, uses the therapeutic power of storytelling to heal. The following blog post outlines a short history of bibliotherapy.

Q: How can Book Therapy help me?

A: Book Therapy can help you in a number of ways. What kind of issues can be treated with Book Therapy explores the ways in which Book Therapy can help. Self awareness, empathy and mental well-being are just some of the benefits that the therapy offers.  The Benefits of Book Therapy offers more insight.

Q: How does personalised reading work?

A: A personalised reading list is a curated book list based on your individual preferences and needs.

It can include fiction, non-fiction, poetry and philosophy depending on your preference; and can be classics or modern literature, children's books, best-sellers or little-known but powerful books, authored centuries or decades ago or hot-off-the-press, produced by a diverse set of writers and artists.

The books prescribed can serve as literary remedies for specific predicaments (for example, bereavement, friendship breakups, a ticking biological clock, fatherhood, redundancy, regret etc)  or they could be a travel prescription for a holiday read (take a peek at our book prescription for New York) or fulfill individual interests. 

You simply answer a few questions at the following link. I’ll email you a customised reading list of 7 - 10 book recommendations within 48 hours of purchase or your money back. 

It's one of the best investments you can make. The book prescriptions also serve as great gifts for book lovers and avid readers of all ages. Simply select ‘Gift Instantly’ above and a bespoke book prescription will be emailed to the gift recipient when it's ready.

Q: How does a human recommendation vs an algorithmic one compare?

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Q: What's the best platform for book recommendations? 

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Q: Can reading help with anxiety?

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Q: Can reading decrease anxiety?

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Q: Does reading relax the mind?

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Q: What can you read to calm anxiety?

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Q: What's the greatest best-selling book of all time?

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Q: Why is writing therapeutic?

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Q: What is writing therapy?

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Q: What books should everyone read?

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Q: Which books have inspired you the most?

A: There are so many books out there that are inspiring in different ways. 

Wearing my bibliotherapist (book consultant/therapist) hat, it really depends on your individual interests and needs.

The two books that have really made an impact on me and many of my clients have been Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Both these made it into my top 13 books that you need to read in 2018. You can read the reviews here along with the other 11 books that you may find fascinating too: 13 life-changing books you need to read in 2018

Q: What is your favourite novel set in a single day?

A: Great question! There are a few surprisingly :)

  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  2. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
  3. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  4. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  5. The Uncertain Hour by Jesse Browner
  6. Saturday by Ian McEwan
  7. The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

Q: What are the 3 most important non-religious, non-political books ever written?

A: Whilst there are a number of them, these three are significant:

1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The author, an Auschwitz Nazi death camp survivor, illustrates, that through suffering, we find meaning and the drive to keep us going. Our goal in life is not to attain pleasure or power but to ‘discover meaning’ and it is the pursuit of this meaning that provides the purpose of life.

Specifically, the book advocates finding meaning in three different ways: through making ourselves useful to others, through unconditionally loving others and through suffering.

A significant book that continues to shine its wisdom whatever your circumstance.

2. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

A captivating take on mythology and how they explain human nature and the psyche. All cultures have similar mythology and stories that act as metaphors for human psychology and behaviour.

As a race we all ultimately have one story, a monomyth, with elements of creation and destruction. For example, there are many parallels between Greek and Hindu myths centred around similar story lines. The Hero With A Thousand Faces brings together mythology across the full spectrum of human cultures, ancient and modern, ranging from Hindu, Greek, Jewish, Maori, Buddhist, Romans amongst others.

A fascinating examination of the human psyche, including our natural desires to explain our inner world through the power of stories.

3. The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

Banned in Russia, this classic was the inspiration for many of Mahatma Gandhi’s values and way of life. Often labelled the book that influenced him the most, the book emphasises morals, compassion, social justice and equality, particularly for the working class and the poor. It shines a light on humanity and its capacity to impact society for the better.

Raw yet radical writing that is not afraid to question outdated philosophies. A brilliant book that will keep you thinking long after you have read it.

Q: Can reading make you happier?

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Q: Where can I find literary guides?

A: Book Therapy publishes its own literary guides which can be found here.

Q: I am looking for some short non-fiction to read, less than 15 minutes.

A: Book Therapy Shorts or Literary Guides? Both are designed with the busy reader in mind compressing a variety of non-fiction into 15-minute digests. Here's a full list. Check them out and save yourself both time and money.


Book Therapy Shorts

Biography

Communication

Happiness

Productivity

Parenting


Literary Guides

Literary Travel Guides

Q: When I am reading, I have trouble focusing and have to re-read a page a few times. Why is that?

A: Reading is a form of escapism - a mind meditation in itself. However often we are preoccupied with the anxieties of daily life. Therefore what I have found is that in order to fully focus, you need to be reading about something that will help alleviate the things that are bothering you - be that a book on anxiety or finding a new job or working through a relationship issue or some sort of loss. This could be fiction or non-fiction depending on your preference of genres.

As part of my Book Therapy practice, I have catalogued a whole list of of books in A-Z format for all sorts life issues and predicaments ranging from:

Anger

Anxiety

Breaking up with a friend

Career issues

Comfort reads

Coming out

Connection (Finding)

Consolation in times of sorrow

Courage

Depression

Despair

Divorce

Identity crisis

Japanese wisdom

Leadership

Late-blooming Entrepreneurs

Parenting

Self-love

Women's Empowerment

Feel free to browse through the whole list of A - Z of Book Prescriptions

If what you are looking for is not here, feel free to reach out to me and I can curate a personalised reading list.

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 create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

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