Reading for Mental Health

Feel better with a book...

“One sheds ones sickness in books- repeats and presents again ones emotions, to be master of them.”  DH Lawrence.


Reading has a surprising number of positive health benefits, and can support the recovery from mental and physical illness.

Reading can be a great way to relax and research has demonstrated that just six minutes of reading may be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds (University of Sussex, 2009).


Here are a few of the benefits from reading a book, short story or poem:

  1. Improved mental stimulation.
  2. Stress reduction and release of tension.
  3. Increased knowledge. Each piece of text you read fills your head with new information.
  4. A wider vocabulary.
  5. Improved memory and recall.
  6. Better analytical and critical thinking skills.
  7. Increased ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate.
  8. Stronger writing skills and styles.
  9. A sense of calm and tranquillity.
  10. It has a minimal impact on your finances and is free if using your local Library!


Shetland Library has a selection of ‘mood boosting books’ available for loan. If you would like further assistance in locating a particular book or text please approach staff for help.