Books Alive!

Real Stories From Real People

Conversations about personal life experiences to challenge stigma and discrimination. Our inspirational volunteers become ‘living books’ to share their stories, and give you the opportunity to ask the questions you wouldn’t normally ask.

Books Alive! is an innovative project designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach – a mobile collection of ‘Books’ where visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with ‘people on loan’; where the ‘Books’ are people and reading is a conversation.

Books Alive! events can be held in public spaces, as part of conferences or team building events, with students or with any group of interested people.

With the current restrictions because of coronavirus, we haven’t been able to hold public events. Instead we held a virtual Books Alive! week livestreamed on Facebook and Youtube, and you can access the recorded interviews above in our new Library.

Most recently, our ‘living books’ shared their experiences online with social work students from Solent Southampton University as part of a ‘Discovering Diversity’ event with break out groups. The event was a great success and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students who described their Books Alive! experience as “unique”“powerful” and said, “I have learned the importance of seeing the person, not the diagnosis”

Books Alive! is delivered by our volunteers who all have personal experience of prejudice, stigma or discrimination. Each ‘living book’ chooses their own title, some regulars include ‘Bi-Polar’, ‘Post-Natal Depression’, ‘Transgendered’ and ‘Spendaholic’. We’re always looking for volunteers to join Books Alive! as ‘living books’ or as event helpers!

Would you like to have a Books Alive! online event for your own organisation, university or workplace? Are you interested in becoming a Books Alive! volunteer? Contact Carolyn Barber at info@goodmentalhealth.org.uk or 02393 106 042.