Somerset libraries launch new ‘Reading Well’ book collection

A new, free book collection launches on Monday 24 July in Somerset Libraries to support people living with a long term health condition.

Part of a national ‘Reading Well’ initiative, Somerset Libraries are launching the collection to provide people living with long term conditions, and their carers, with high-quality book based information, support and advice on a range of conditions.

On average people living with long term conditions spend just four hours a year with a health professional and 8,756 hours self-managing. There is therefore an enormous need for accessible, quality assured health information to help people understand and manage their symptoms.

Developed with health experts and people living with long term conditions and their carers, the new Reading Well scheme encourages people to take an active role in making decisions about their health and understanding and managing a range of long term their conditions.

There is a recommended reading list of 28 books. The list includes health information, memoir and self-management titles and covers conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as common symptoms such as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.

Katie Clarke-Day, who lives with multiple long term conditions and was involved in the development of Reading Well, said: “I believe that the Reading Well scheme will give people living with or caring for someone living with various long term conditions the knowledge and skills that they need to have confidence in managing their condition. Having this information easily accessible will help people to navigate the at times overwhelming world of long term conditions and the impact they have on people’s lives.”

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member with a responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council, said:We are delighted to be able to bring this valuable resource to the people of Somerset. Our libraries play a crucial role in the health and wellbeing of the community by offering a wealth of information that is free, accessible and recommended by health experts. Our pioneering collections on Dementia and Autism have already been hugely successful and I look forward to seeing  the positive impact of this latest collection.”

The books can be ordered in to any library in Somerset, whilst permanent collections will be available at Taunton, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Frome, Minehead, Burnham, Chard, Crewkerne, Street, Wellington, Wells, Cheddar, Glastonbury, Ilminster, Langport, Martock, Priorswood, Shepton Mallet, Somerton, Wincanton, and Williton libraries.

The Long-Term Conditions collection joins a host of other successful health collections in Somerset Libraries including collections on Adult and Young People’s Mental Health, Dementia and Autism.