Did you know that people who read books live longer? According to a longitudinal study published last year (A Chapter a Day: Association of Book Reading and Longevity), people who read books – as opposed to periodicals – live almost two years longer than people who don’t read books.
The authors of the study credited the survival advantage to the immersive nature of book reading. Because we spend more time with the ideas in a book, we are better able to connect the ideas with our own lives and with the world outside of the book. We exercise our brains, expanding our vocabularies, concentration, and reasoning skills. We also develop emotional intelligence through the simulated experience of living others’ stories. The cognitive engagement and the growth of empathy are believed to increase health and decrease stress.
This year our local school librarians are focused on developing a culture of reading in our schools. They are encouraging immersive reading for pleasure and to satisfy curiosity. They recognize the immense benefits: increased focus, wider perspective, informed reflection, improved writing and speaking skills, better memory, and reduced stress.
To that we can now add an extra couple of years of life, time enough for reading another few books!
Don’t know what to read next? Our librarians are experts at advising readers. Visit us at the desk or request a custom reading list through our website. We also have read-alike tools like Novelist built in to our catalog. We would be delighted to show you how to use it. Need a book club? We have several!
Can you commit to a chapter a day?