It is the rural idyll that has given happiness to generations of book-lovers.
Now Cider With Rosie is to be recommended by GPs across the country, in the hope that its therapeutic qualities will help those with mental illness.
The book, which chronicles the Gloucestershire childhood of author Laurie Lee, is one of a new list of ‘mood-boosting’ books which experts hope will help those with depression, anxiety and stress.
Stress-buster: Reading can help you relax and escape and this is a good strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety
The list also includes Bill Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Salmon Rushdie’s Haroun And The Sea Of Stories.
It will be advertised on leaflets distributed by GPs from May as part of the ‘Books on Prescription’ scheme, supported by the Department for Health.
The official list of was drawn up by the Reading Agency via book groups, many catering to people with anxiety and depression.
And it may not be long before the likes of Fifty Shades Of Grey By EL James are also being recommended, as readers have been invited to submit their own suggestions.
The book is one of a 27-strong list of 'mood boosting' books which will help those with depression
It is hoped those with ‘mild to moderate’ mental health conditions will try out the idea before turning to prescription drugs - many of which can have unpleasant side effects.
Debbie Hicks, director of research at the Reading Agency, said: ‘Readers chose books which they thought had qualities that promote well-being.
‘We have funny and humorous titles and you also get books that have quite breath-taking experiences in them.
‘Reading is a really good stress-buster. It can help you escape to another world and get out of your everyday life.
‘There’s lots of evidence that reading can really help you relax and escape and this is a good strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety.’
The scheme was announced yesterday by the Society of Chief Librarians as part of a new national strategy for Britain’s libraries.
It will run alongside the ‘Books on Prescription’ scheme, which allows GPs to ‘prescribe’ self-help books stocked at local libraries.
On each prescription leaflet will also be a recommendation for the patient to dip into the ‘mood-boosting’ reading list.
Almost every library in the country has agreed to stock the approved list of self-help books and mood-boosting books.
In addition, the books will be distributed in colleges, hospitals and workplaces around the country.
Research by Mindlab International recently revealed that out of a range of activities, reading reduced stress the most - by 67 per cent.
But experts warned it is intended to supplement any treatment a patient is undergoing - rather than acting as a fail-safe ‘cure’.
The suggestions for the 27-title reading list were submitted by more than a dozen reading groups, with a panel of judges at the Reading Agency selecting the best.
They said Bill Bryson’s 19996 book was chosen for its humour value, while the Secret Garden, published in 1910, was selected for its escapism.
Cider with Rosie, published in 1959, has stood the test of time as a favourite of the nation having sold over 6 million copies worldwide.
Also featuring on the list are Lucy Diamond’s 2011 ‘chick lit’ novel The Beach Café, E. H. Gombrich’s 1935 non-fiction A Little History of the World, and Jasper Fforde’s 2005 crime comedy The Big Over Easy.
Put a smile on your face: Bill Bryson's travel book and E H Gombrich's chronicle of human history
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2271640/Can-good-book-help-beat-depression-GPs-draw-list-27-mood-boosting-reads-help-mental-illness.html#ixzz2Jr32xqoT
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