Ella Berthoud started reading on a journey from Tehran to London, on the parcel shelf of a Wolsey 1300 when she was five. She spent the next thirteen years reading books in inappropriate places like ski-lifts and trampolines. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where she read as many novels as she could at once. She continued on to University of East London where she studied Fine Art, and combined her twin passions of reading and painting by listening to books while creating works of art. She has worked as an artist in residence at Pentonville Prison, Friends School Saffron Walden and Queenswood School.
Ella first started talking about bibliotherapy with Susan Elderkin when they were at Cambridge together. Over the ensuing years they prescribed literature to their friends and family, while Ella worked as an artist and Susan wrote her own novels. In 2007 they developed the idea in conjunction with The School of Life into what it is today, a one to one service taking place in person, or over the phone.
Ella lives in West Sussex with her husband and three daughters.