Who Can Benefit from AA Literature?

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : December 13 , 
| 4 Sources

Alcoholics Anonymous Literature

There is a variety of AA literature available for those who are interested in Alcoholics Anonymous, a global community of men and women who’ve had bouts with alcohol misuse. Some individuals find that they are unable to purchase different books or articles for a variety of reasons. Finances would be an obvious barrier to purchasing books.

Another option would be that someone is not fully ready to commit to the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Wanting to learn as much as you can before starting a new thing is a wise move. With that being said, it is nice to be able to do so without having to spend money.

This article will take you through some free and low cost resources that you can access that can help you gain a better understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous and their program.

Who Could Benefit from A A Literature?

Before we get into the different resources available, let’s explore the characteristics of someone who may benefit from these resources and the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

The main characteristic of an individual attending an Alcoholics Anonymous program is that they feel the individual has a drinking problem and want to make a change. One thing that becomes clear after listening to others at meetings is that everyone’s story and experience is unique.

With that being said, there is no requirement for how long you have been drinking heavily or the amount of consequences that you have experienced due to your drinking behaviors. Some individuals have experienced very little consequences while other may have had trouble with their employment, finances, family relations or legal troubles.

Individuals who would benefit from the Alcoholics Anonymous literature would be anyone who is interested in attending an AA meeting, or learning more about what it is about. There can be a bit of hesitation for some to engage in an AA meeting.

As with all things in life, there is bound to be negative feedback about meetings. It is true that the Alcoholics Anonymous program is not a good fit for everyone, and that research has shown a low success rate among its members maintaining sobriety.

With that being said, try it out. For anyone interested in sobriety, attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting wouldn’t hurt. There is a variety of meetings and you may find a group specific to your life, such as a women’s or men’s group. Keep an open mind, and put as much energy into your recovery as you did when you were thinking about drinking, getting alcohol and drinking.

The Big Book

The Big Book was first developed in 1939. This book tells story of the two founders of Alcoholics Anonymous Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. This book provides insight into what has helped them in their own sobriety.

Over the years, The Big Book has been revised and has now been printed in a variety of languages. This was a helpful development as you can now find Alcoholics Anonymous meetings around the world, in a many different languages.

The Big Book is probably the most recommended book for new comer’s to read. After attending meetings, you will find that The Big Book is often referenced and discussed.

The Big Book can be purchased at a low cost in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website. For those who need a quick reference, or are unable to purchase the book for whatever reason, the entire book is available in PDF format on Alcoholics Anonymous website. 

An audio version is available on the Alcoholics Anonymous website.

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions would likely be the second book recommended to new comers. The Twelve Steps provide a foundation for which a patient suffering alcoholism could turn for an answer to their issues with alcohol abuse or dependence.

Bill Wilson wrote this book which goes into deep discussion of the Twelve Step Program that is strongly encouraged for Alcoholics Anonymous Members.

The way to recovery is a spiritual experience as the result of doing the daily discipline of the 12 Steps program, a process which encourages a psychic change enough to recover from alcoholism.

Members believe that going through The Twelve Steps, you are setting yourself up with a solid foundation for your recovery. Many alcoholics and addicts struggle with shame and guilt associated with behaviors they did while in active addiction. Many find that by working through the steps, they are able to work through these two challenging emotions that could contribute to a relapse.

Depending on the meeting format, you may find yourself at a meeting that uses the time to focus on a specific step or tradition and explore how members relate to it.

Step work is usually done with a Sponsor for guidance. A Sponsor and Sponsee relationship can be a close, and helpful relationship. The role of the sponsor is to provide feedback, guidance and support to the sponsee.

Usually, a sponsor has a significant amount of sobriety and feels comfortable helping others who are in the beginning of their recovery.

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book can be purchased for a low cost in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website. For those who need a quick reference, or cannot purchase the book for whatever reason, the entire book is available in PDF format on Alcoholics Anonymous website. 

Daily Reflections

The Daily Reflections book consists of short stories for each day of the year. Many find that using this book as the title insists, as a reflection, can help deepen their understanding of their addiction.

Some individuals find it helpful to use the daily reflection as a prompt for writing, while others use it as a discussion point with their sponsor.

The Daily Reflections can also be used in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to encourage a productive discussion.

While the entire Daily Reflections book can be purchased for a low cost on the Alcoholics Anonymous Book store on their official website, you can find each day’s daily reflection on their official website by clicking the purple tab titled “Read Daily Reflections”.

AA in Prison: Inmate to Inmate

Despite various political beliefs about the criminal system, there are individuals who are in prison who are struggling with addiction. Some were intoxicated at the time of the crime that they were charged and incarcerated for.

A characteristic for addiction that is not really talked about it that when one substance, such as alcohol, becomes hard to access, for example as it would in prison, developing a substation addiction to another substance or behavior would not be uncommon.

For that reason, having access to Alcoholics Anonymous materials in prison can be helpful for many individuals. The AA in Prison: Inmate to Inmate book includes a variety of stories that individuals who are incarcerated with would be able to relate to better compared to other AA literature.

While this book is not available at no cost, you can find it in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website for $2.50 USD.

Living Sober

Living Sober is characterized as one of the more practical pieces in the Alcoholics Anonymous literature library. This is a  pamphlet that talks about how AA members maintain sobriety.

While other AA books include the stories and struggles of others, many find that the more direct approach with guidance in this book allows them to gain a better understanding with some of the common concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous.

While this book is not available at no cost, you can find it in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website for $5.00 USD.


Came to Believe

Came to believe is another favorite Alcoholics Anonymous book. A common struggle for AA members is what is known as a spiritual awakening. Alcoholics Anonymous is not based or tied to a specific religion despite mentioning God in its literature.

For individuals who do not identify with a religion, this can serve as a barrier with the AA program. Came to Believe includes stories that talk about different understanding of the phrase “spiritual awakening” and how this connects to their recovery.

While this book is not available at no cost, you can find it in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website for $5.00 USD.

Experience, Strength and Hope

The Experience, Strength and Hope book is comprised of stories that had been removed from the earlier editions of The Big Book. This is a great book to read as it includes stories that talk about hope and provide encouragement.

Many find that addiction can be an isolating disease, and by reading stories of others struggles you can find similarities and try to try and break down the isolation that you may feel.

While this book is not available at no cost, you can find it in the Alcoholics Anonymous Bookstore on their official website for $5.50 USD

A.A. literature is also available in many languages. For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous Literature, you can visit Alcoholics Anonymous books.

Moreover, there are a lot of resources and literature available that can help you recover and get sober for good. Contact us today.

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


PubMed. Alcoholics anonymous and other twelve-step programs in recovery. March 2011. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21356427/

Research Gate. Finding God through the Spirituality of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. September 2014. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289311102_Finding_God_through_the_Spirituality_of_the_12_Steps_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous. What is A.A.?. https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/what-is-aa

Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. Literature. https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/aa-literature

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