A Chapter a Day for Life

Recently published research suggests that the benefits of reading books might go beyond exposing readers to new ideas, new people, and new places: it may just include a longer life in which to read them.

In A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity, (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 164, September 2016, Pages 44–48 by Avni Bavishi, Martin D. Slade, Becca R. Levy) researchers examined “whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect.”

The research suggests a number of fascinating findings:
1-s2.0-S0277953616X00159-cov150h

  • Book reading provides a survival advantage among the elderly
  • Books are more advantageous for survival than newspapers/magazines
  • The survival advantage of reading books works through a cognitive mediator
  • Books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education, or health

 

To view an abstract of the paper and the research methodologies used, see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953616303689

To read an interesting review of this paper online in The Guardian, see:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/book-up-for-a-longer-life-readers-die-later-study-finds

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