Health and wellbeing

Reading Well Books on Prescription

Everybody can experience a time in their life when they may need some extra emotional support. Books on Prescription, or BOP, aims to give you that support via your local library in partnership with health professionals.

How it works

You may have been given a prescription recommending a particular book by your GP or other health worker, you may have picked up a copy of a BOP booklist or you may have seen a book in one of our BOP library displays that you feel will help you.

You can borrow the books from your local library including the mobile library and the home library service.

If you can’t find the books in your library, ask a member of staff to help you. If a book is not in stock they will order it for you free of charge.

If you’re not a member of the library you can join at any time and take books home with you the same day.

The Books

There are 3 different sets of BOP books to help you to understand and manage your own health and wellbeing using self-help reading.

BOP Core list

BOP Dementia

Shelf Help BOP for young people

All of the books on the 3 lists have been recommended by health experts, are high quality and have been tried and tested by people who have experienced the health conditions and found the books useful.

BOP Core List

The core list of 30 books is aimed at adults who are experiencing common issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. The books follow a self-help approach, enabling you to learn more about and manage the issues that are affecting you through step-by-step practical activities.

You can download the BOP Core  booklist  or browse the list on our catalogue  Books on Prescription Core list

BOP Dementia

There are 25 books on the list which you might find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or want to find out more about the condition. The books include information and advice, help after diagnosis, practical support for carers and personal stories.

You can browse the BOP Dementia booklist on our catalogue Books on Prescription Dementia collection

Reading in a Group is a book club for people living with dementia and their carers; we meet at York Explore and new members are welcome. For more information see the Reading Groups page.

Memory Bank is an award-winning series of DVDs developed by the Yorkshire Film Archive, available free to borrow. They use archive films to bring past events and experiences to life, prompting stories and memories to share and enjoy.  They’re great for reminiscence, memory and life story work, for older people and those with dementia.  Browse the Memory Bank collection on our catalogue and place free reservations now.

Shelf Help

Shelf Help is BOP for young people aged 13-18. There are 35 books on the list which have been chosen by young people and health experts to help you with difficult experiences that can affect your wellbeing. The books have information and advice as well as personal stories about dealing with feelings such as anxiety, depression or stress and experiences such as bullying.

You can browse the list on our catalogue Reading Well for Young People


Home Library Service

If you can’t get to a library, the Home Library Service can help by bringing books, including large-print books, and audio-books to you in your home.

Recommended Health Websites

We pay for access to the Concise Medical Dictionary and the Dictionary of Public Health so you don’t have to!  For quick and reliable definitions and explanations. If you’re not in the library you will need your library card and PIN number to access.

Mednar is a free, publicly available deep web search engine that uses advanced federated search technology to return high quality medical information.

The General Medical Council registers doctors to practice medicine in the UK. This site includes the medical register which lists all doctors licensed to work in the UK.

Healthwatch York provides information about local services to make sure you know how to access the help you need. It also listens to your views about local services to make sure these are taken into account when services are planned and delivered.

York Teaching Hospital Trust provide acute services for people living in and around York and also a range of specialist services over a wider catchment area.  Their website contains information and news about the services that are available from the trust.

Yor Sexual Health is a website specifically for people living in North Yorkshire and York and contains everything you need to know about accessing sexual health services in the area.

The Reading Agency runs Books on Prescription in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians with funding from Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust. It is endorsed by health organisations, including NHS England and Public Health England, and delivered through public libraries.

Alzheimer’s Society offer information and support to people affected by dementia.

The Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (DEEP) brings together groups of people with dementia from across the UK. DEEP supports these groups to try to change services and policies that affect the lives of people with dementia.

YoungDementia UK is a charity that supports people whose lives are affected by young onset dementia.

Carers UK offers advice, information and support for carers.

Age UK offers advice, information and support for older people.

My CAMS Choices has been created by young people with experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMS) to show how young people can be supported by the service.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.