Over the last couple of years I’ve been putting together a small waiting room library of books for my patients to read. I thought of the idea after visiting a restaurant where they had left cookery books lying around for patrons to look at while waiting for their food.
The challenge was choosing suitable reading material, beyond that of our usual selection of magazines, newspapers and disease specific information pamphlets. I wasn’t convinced that making gory, illustrated medical textbooks available to those waiting would be conducive to relaxation either. Although I sometimes run behind a little, things are never so bad that a patient might complete a Russian novel there’s probably time, to read a couple of poems, browse a few cartoons or even read a short story.
As a result, I started to put this little collection together and it has been a hit with my patients. There’s a couple of books of poetry for strange times, a book of photographs of bad hairstyles (not sure why a 1970′s me wasn’t included), a book including important medical facts such as ‘why men have nipples’, a collection of essays on famous hypochondriacs (which goes down better than you might expect), a hilarious book of New Yorker medical cartoons and a book on meditation (for those waiting more than 40 minutes).
As some of my patients will be coming back to see me for many years to come, I’d like to try and keep the selection fresh.
What would you like to see included?