Books by Prescription

bib·lio·ther·a·py – the use of reading materials for help in solving personal problems or for psychiatric therapy; also : the reading materials so used.

The Irish Medical Times reports that “A scheme to promote bibliotherapy as a form of medication has been launched in Ireland”

Doctors and other mental health professionals will now have the option of “prescribing high quality self-help books to people with mild or moderate psychological problems.”

The Dublin public library system plays a major role in the process. The patient goes to one of the participating libraries and “hand their prescription in over the library counter and then receive the relevant book as well as automatic library membership.”

The program will also be available to the inmates of Mountjoy prison.

“If bibliotherapy were a new form of medication, it would be hailed in the media as a major breakthrough… the evidence for the usefulness of bibliotherapy may be compelling, but in the absence of powerful ‘interested parties’ very little has been made of this evidence.” Prof Neil Frude, a clinical psychologist with the National Health Service in Wales, where the first book prescription program was launched.

Do you think the “absence of powerful ‘interested parties’” means the drug companies?

Can this ever happen here?

This is probably how it would work with our current pathetic system.

The public libraries would never be involved.
The drug companies would start buying up the publishers.
The patient would take his prescription to the bookstore to get it filled.
The patient would show his proof of insurance to the bookstore clerk.
The patient would pay the deductible.
The bookstore would bill the insurance company or Medicare for reimbursement.

What does one do when the system is in worse shape than the patient?

Salon article “A Spoonful of Dickens” from 2000
Artist Remy Markowitsch’s installation “Bibliotherapy”an exhibition and publication project on the subject of books, reading and what people read. It oscillates between art and science, literature and therapy…”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a reply