The healing power of books should be taken as read

Clare Allan, author of Poppy Shakespeare and one of our guests for New Beginnings on Friday, has written about Get Into Reading in her column in the Guardian today.

As a child of academic parents, it would never have occurred to me that I needed permission to read any book (TV was a different matter), but the mental health system is packed with people who have suffered their whole lives from the failure of others to recognise and respond to them as thinking, feeling, intelligent human beings. Parents, teachers and society in general have repeatedly reinforced the message that the doors to the treasure house are barred to the likes of them. Unfortunately, much mental health treatment does little to challenge it.

Thankfully, there are signs that this is starting to change. David Fearnley, a forensic psychiatrist at Ashworth high security hospital on Merseyside, runs a Get Into Reading group with patients…

Read it in full here.

1 thought on “The healing power of books should be taken as read”

  1. I read this article about 10 minutes ago and have already texted a number of like-minded people who I think would love this idea.

    Unfortunately I cannot go on ay courses to “lead” a reading session, however I’m sure just getting a few friends around and talking about books we love, books we can’t get into, can’t understand, is a fairly easy thing to do.

    I think this is a fantastic idea, and removes the ‘housewifey’ view of book clubs (no disrespect meant to housewives). It makes it more exciting and flexible as well as far more open to people who want to get into reading but can’t find their way in. I love the idea of learning from other people, hearing their interpretation of a book, passage or just a sentence. How a book made them feel, or inspired them.

    I do believe books can be a great source of help to people. I graduated in July last year (politics and history…lots of reading) and cannot for the life of me get a job, so this would give me not only something constructive to do, but also help keep my brain ticking over…hopefully with some lively discussion.

    Jane Davis I applaude you for starting this reading revolution, and thank you!

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