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Does Reading Books Serve a Practical Purpose?

Want to live longer? Read a book. That’s the contention of Yale University researchers in a study of 3,635 people published in the September 2016 issue of Social Science & Medicine. They concluded that as little as 30 minutes of book reading a day will extend your life, and that, on average, book readers were found to live more than two years longer than non-readers.

The research found that those who read books for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23% less likely to die, while those who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17% less likely to die.

Apparently, reading could save your life:

  • The researchers said that reading books “can promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, which are cognitive processes that can lead to greater survival.”

  • People over 65 spend an average of 4.4 hours a day watching television, the researchers said. They suggested that spending some of that time reading “could prove to be beneficial in terms of survival.”

  • The study found a similar survival association among people who read newspapers and periodicals, but it was weaker -- suggesting that books really are the best.

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More Info: The Guardian

Discuss this Article

anon997233
Post 3

Could the stimulation of the cognitive process delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's? I believe any stimulation of the thought process could help.

anon997019
Post 2

I'm no longer ashamed of reading simply for pleasure.

anon997018
Post 1

Aha! I have attained the age of 80 and was puzzled because my younger brother and sister died five and eight years ago. Neither of them read.

I remember Will and Ariel Durant wrote books and had similar longevity. They even commented on their puzzlement.

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