Earlier this year we were focusing on the mental health benefits of reading; whether boosting your wellbeing is covered in the subject matter or simply how reading makes you feel. So from books that carry you to the edge of the ocean, address the potholes of modern life, make you snort with laughter or allow you to forget everything else, let's embrace them all and the benefits that reading can bring.

Photograph of a dog wearing glasses and reading a book

The postive impacts of reading

For some people, reading a good book is as much a part of their daily routine as cleaning their teeth or eating and drinking. For others, reading is a passion or a hobby that they try to fit into their busy lives wherever possible. So, what could be better for a book lover, particularly those in the latter category, than being given more great reasons to read? More excuses to plan time to curl up with a book as the day stretches in front of you, and to reap the plentiful benefits it brings...

Read the full article here.

Read Along Week 5

For the final read along, we have a slightly different approach. Oliver Burkeman turns decades of self-help advice on its head and paradoxically forces us to rethink our attitudes towards failure, uncertainty and death. It’s our constant efforts to avoid negative thinking that cause us to feel anxious, insecure and unhappy. What if happiness can be found embracing the things we spend our lives trying to escape? Wise, practical and funny, The Antidote is a thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting read, celebrating the power of negative thinking. It is 6 hrs 15 minutes and read by the author.

Laughter is the best medicine

The medicinal benefits of laughter are numerous. Laughing has been proved to trigger physical and emotional changes in the body, which in turn can strengthen your immune system, boost your mood, reduce anxiety and even lessen pain. It is thought that a small amount of time watching comedies for instance (and by association laughing) can sometimes be more beneficial than meditating or listening to calming music. For example, simply viewing an episode of the sitcom Friends has been shown to reduce anxiety three times more effectively than sitting and resting.

As part of our Reading for Wellbeing month, we have scoured our collection for the funniest titles we could find to provide you with some laughter. So for books to make you smile, giggle or belly laugh out loud, see our article here.

Read Along Week 4

This week's choice is for adults, exploring how nature succeeded in pulling Joe Harkness from the depths of despair to recognise and embrace the beauty in life. After a breakdown, Joe tried medication, counselling and mindfulness. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? The positive change in Joe's wellbeing was so profound that he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching. In Bird Therapy, Joe explains the impact that it had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves. It is 5 hrs 30 minutes and read by the author.

I can't remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will.
Chris Packham

Read Along Week 3

Allow yourself to be swept away to the magical setting of the foothills of the Himalayas with Asha & the Spirit Bird by Jasbinda Bilan. It is clear to see why this delightful book has won so many awards, and is bursting with hope and light, making it is the perfect choice for our wellbeing read along. Suitable for Key Stages 2/3 and upwards, this evocative and mystical adventure is 5 hrs 45 minutes and read by Antonia Whillans.

Read Along Week 2

This week we have a completely different choice. Matt Haig's books cover such a broad spectrum, from children's books like A Boy Called Christmas and adult fiction such as How to Stop Time, to his insightful observations on the challenges of modern living in Notes on a Nervous Planet and his brutally honest, yet still at times funny, memoir, Reasons To Stay Alive. It is 4 hrs 30 minutes and read by the author.

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Read Along Week 1

What better way to kick off our Reading for Wellbeing month than with a book that will make you laugh out loud? The Kid Normal books are always a guaranteed laugh and last year this writing duo published 'the Loudest Library' for World Book Day in 2020. We have two other Kid Normal books in our collection, but at just 1hr 30 this is the perfect to listen to on school nights.

Kid Normal and the Loudest Library by Greg James and Chris Smith

Bookcover of Kid Normal and the Loudest Library

Reading for wellbeing throughout March

Here at Calibre, we’re a real champion of mental health and wellness. That reading provides proven benefits to keeping our minds happy and healthy is a fact – the escapism you can find in a really good book is the perfect antidote to the busy and often stressful modern world.

With one of our favourite days of the year, World Book Day, taking place on 4th March 2021, we wanted to play our part in celebrating not only the joy of books and reading on this one day, but to encapsulate all that is great about books throughout the whole of the month of March. We are also delighted to be supporting the Reading Agency's 'Read, Talk and Share' campaign which runs throughout the whole of February and March and aims to tackle loneliness and support mental health through the proven power of reading.

Our plan is to bring you great articles and resources on the joy of reading, but also with a focus on health and wellbeing, which is so important to us all at the moment in the current circumstances.

With this World Book Day taking place in lockdown, the organisers are celebrating a #ShareAStory initiative over a 3-day period, from 3rd to 5th March. We will be sharing some of our favourite stories with you through our social media channels and invite you to join in and share your favourite stories with us. We will also be providing some great resources throughout the month and details of books that are either designed to provide self-help with mental health and wellbeing or are simply so good that they will provide that welcome distraction to you that you may be looking for.

So please keep checking our page throughout the month, and hopefully you will find some great reading material – a little dose of reading vitamins if you will – to send you off healthy and happy into the Spring, and more importantly to keep you reading.

World Book Day

World Book Day is here again! Book tokens are distributed to children across the country so they can choose from a brilliant selection books on offer, and so our members don’t miss out we've added several of last year’s contributions to our library - such as The Case of the Drowned Pearl by Robin Stevens, The Day we met the Queen by Onjali Q Rauf, and Kid Normal and the Loudest Library - and hope to do the same again this year.

We thought we would take a look at some of the books we already have ready for you to listen to from this year’s authors, and we hope to be able to add some of 2021’s new books to our library in the coming months. 

Tom Fletcher

The Christmasaurus

The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet (with Dougie Poynter)

The Dinosaur that Pooped the Past (with Dougie Poynter)

Eve of Man (with Giovana Fletcher)

Julia Donaldson

Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door

A Twist of Tales
‍ 

Sita Brahmachari

Artichoke Hearts

Book covers
Katherine Rundell

The Explorer

The Good Thieves

One Christmas Wish

Rooftoppers

Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise

The Wolf Wilder

Holly Jackson

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder  ‍

Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days

Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer

Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil

Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones


This year, World Book Day is also offering arange of free audiobooks on their website so that everyone can join in with the celebrations.

Resources

Reading

readingforwellbeing.org.uk

readingagency.org.uk

booktrust.org.uk

Mental Heath Support

youngminds.org.uk

mind.org.uk

Podcasts

Photograph of a whole rainbow over the sea with waves on the beach in the foreground


We have searched the internet high and low to give you a great selection of podcasts that will help you keep a healthy mind and promote your wellbeing.

Fearne Cotton - Happy Place

Bryony Gordon - Mad World

Gretchen Rubin - Happier

We would love to hear what your favourite book is so please connect with us on Twitter or FaceBook with the hashtag #ShareAStory - and maybe you can bring your story to another member.

The shop is closed until 29th December

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we have had to close our online store temporarily as we cannot process any new orders. We will reopen again on the 29th December.