About Bibliotherapy

Inscribed above the entrance to the library of Pharaoh Ramses II were the words, “the house of healing for the soul” – long considered the oldest library motto in the world. A couple of thousand years later, doctors prescribed books at the Al-Mansur Hospital in Cairo as a medicinal treatment. But Egypt isn’t alone in believing in the power of books – history shows us that in the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe and America, books were ‘prescribed’ to mental health patients to help with their suffering, including to soldiers who were told to read Jane Austen in the first world war to overcome PTSD.

Bibliotherapy has been around since ancient times, even if it wasn’t always called by its modern name. The word ‘bibliotherapy’ was coined by Samuel McChord Crothers in an Atlantic Monthly article in 1916. He described the discipline as a ‘process in which specific literature, both fiction and non-fiction, was prescribed as medicine for a variety of ailments.’

Bibliotherapy has come a long way since World War I. It has now become a widely accepted alternative form of therapy in the community, including in libraries, general medical practice, psychology and education, amongst other areas.


A session comprises of a consultation followed by a prescription.
To book a session please write to
Details of the session are given below:


Step 1

Bhakti will email you a questionnaire to fill, to understand your reading habits and preferences and inquire about what’s happening in your life. For example, are you experiencing a career change, a new baby or relationship, retiring, or feeling lost – share anything, big or small, that will allow Bhakti to make better recommendations. She will then set up a time with you for a 45 minute video call.


Step 2

Bhakti will email you a ‘prescription’ of eight books to read. The list of books will be lovingly curated based on your interests, preferences and where you are in your life, along with a brief explanation of why she picked each book.

If this captures your interest, book a bibliotherapy session with Bhakti here {}

To book Bhakti for a speaking engagement or to purchase a bibliotherapy gift card for a friend, please email {} us.