A Novel Approach



At a crossroads? Getting married or having an affair, moving abroad, changing jobs or having a child? Get insight from great literature on life’s big moments. The Center for Fiction will handcraft a year’s worth of reading for you or your loved one based on a 45-minute personal consultation (in person or over the phone). And even if you don’t plan on having a big year, we can still help select books that will be perfect for wherever you are right now!


Purchase A Novel Approach, $200

A 45-minute consultation and a detailed reading list tailored just for you.

Purchase A Novel Approach with Books, $375

All of the above plus one book per month from the reading list mailed to you. (Prices may vary for international shipping.)


Proceeds from A Novel Approach support our KidsRead/Books for NYC School program.



How Literature Saved My Psyche: Attending a Book-Themed Therapy Session at The Center for Fiction


"It was a delightful cocktail of paranoia, depression and a crippling fear of dying that led me to three different therapists before the age of 20. The first was a hairy, stout ball of a man who sported a dirt-colored 5 o’clock shadow. He was a strict Freudian and, not being much for countertransference, would just sit there and look at me. I took to just sitting there and looking back at him, engaging in a 45-minute-long staring contest that usually culminated in my shouting that he was a bastard for not caring about my problems, which were fascinating. He didn’t look nearly enough like my father for this to be productive."  READ more in the observer



Bibliotherapy and The Center's Noreen Tomassi in More Magazine 


"In quaint headquarters, tucked among the blank towers of midtown Manhattan, the Center for Fiction feels like somewhere you'd be more likely to run ito Bartleby the Scrivener than your therapist—unless she's a "bibliotherapist" like Noreen Tomassi, the center's executive director, who manages a service called A Novel Approach. For $125, Tomassi will handpick 12 books, basing her choices on a 45-minute phone call, an e-mail exchange or, preferably, a face-to-face session with you..."  READ MORE




Noreen Tomassi, interviewed by Tracy Young


When did you start to think, wow, bibliotherapy could work for people? In October 2012, a board member suggested we try this, and I began to talk to people about the idea.  So many people reacted enthusiastically that I thought it was worth a try and might be especially good to roll out in advance of the holidays with the option of giving it as a gift. 


Were you surprised that it caught on so quickly? Not really. I think people who read a great deal believe that books can have a real impact on their lives and will help them to navigate life more successfully. But people now seem to have endless choices, so they appreciate any recommendations or guidance that can help them sort through the barrage of information that confronts them.  READ MORE




Reading is one way to think about life's big moments, but if you'd like to try your hand at writing, we suggest one of our online workshops. They're the perfect outlet for expressing yourself no matter what genre you're writing in or where you live in the country! Find out more