Want to Live Longer? Reading a Book Will Help


The keys to healthy living and longevity may soon include read more books, judging by the results of a recent study. A research published in Social Science & Medicine shows a correlation between reading books and living longer. It compared people who did not read and those who read for up to three-and-a-half hours a week.

The results included the following:

  • Readers lived an average of almost two years longer than non-readers.
  • Readers were 17 percent less likely to die over 12 years of follow-up.
  • Even better, those who read more than three-and-a-half hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die.

Researchers found similar results among newspaper and magazine readers, but weaker. They studied 3,635 people older than 50 who had answered questions about reading in a larger health study.  They divided the sample into three groups—those who didn’t read books at all, those who read up to three-and-a-half hours every week, and those who read more than that.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and yes, read more books!

Read more about the study in Social Science & Medicine.

Read the New York Times article about the study.

Read related stories:

New Study: Books Empower Readers to Do Positive Things

Readers Say Romance Novels Empower, Promote Feminist Values

4 Reasons Why Reading is Good for Your Health