Although the name might change to something more original in future, for now it's LitTherapy.com, which I'm hoping to shape into a useful bibliotherapy resource that we can all contribute to and make use of.
At the root of this project is my belief that bibliotherapy isn't something we should pay for. Some people may find it useful to pay for bibliotherapy sessions, but I think that sharing our knowledge and experience has just as much potential.
After all, if you think of all the books that we've read, and all the books that other booklovers have read, there's a pretty impressive combined knowledge to harness. Bibliotherapists have a tricky job of finding the one book to suit someone's character, feelings and situation perfectly, but with a bit of sharing I think there's much more chance of success.
For now, the site is in its basic stages. There are different categories of feelings, situations and problems, and I've started adding books between them. At the time of posting, there are 218 books, 174 authors and 58 categories, but this is growing every time I have a spare five minutes.
Also, in the next few days some changes should be implemented on the author pages (including alphabetical order by surname), search functions for the site, and individual book pages where content can be added.
I've also decided to jump in the deep end and launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (probably starting tomorrow). If the campaign is successful, I'll be able to work on adding the following features:
- A subcategory function to increase the chance of a user finding an appropriate book in each category. For instance, subcategories within 'depression' would include mood-boosting books and books with characters to relate to: two very different types!
- The capacity to add books to a personal bibliotherapy plan in a user area, ready to implement for whatever problem or feeling you're facing
- A way to vote up or down books
- The possibility to submit new books to categories
- The option to comment on books and share your own experiences (encouraging users to speak out about mental health in particular)
- A way to recommend particular books to other users, making use of our own reading knowledge and experiences.
When I've launched the campaign, hopefully tomorrow (early next week at latest), I'll post on the blog again. If you think LitTherapy has potential, it would be great if you could retweet or mention it on your social media! But I'll outline little ways to help in my next post.