Hephzibah Anderson, whose moniker I envy, is the bibliotherapist who now has a BBC column. She will give you a book on prescription recommendation if you are in need of some textual healing so go on then, ask!
Hephzibah quotes research by University of Sussex to try and measure:
..”that reading is a more efficacious stress reliever than listening to music, going for a walk or sitting down with a nice cup of tea… “After just six minutes with a book – any book – their subjects found stress was reduced by up to 68 per cent. With the right book, that really could be time well spent.” Well, I don’t know if you can clinically measure the enjoyment someone gets from a book as opposed to a cup of tea, but might just catch that research with my next coffee.
Hephzibah says, “That’s why we’re launching our very own bibliotherapy column. Send us an email to tell us what ails and what irks you, be it broken resolutions or a broken heart, whether you’re feeling lost in life or stuck in your career. I’ll recommend you some books old and new, mostly though not exclusively fiction, that are sure to speak to your predicament, offering insights and encouragement as well as a little escapism. And at the very least, you’ll discover some great new titles. To quote the sign in Mr Mifflin’s bookshop, “Malnutrition of the reading faculty is a serious thing. Let us prescribe for you”.