Maybe you got a few new books as holiday gifts? And perhaps they’re still sitting by your bedside, waiting, while you’ve been catching up on some Netflix favorites. If that’s the case, we’ve got a healthy word to the wise: get reading! If you want to live longer (and smarter), that is.
According to a 2016 Yale University study, reading books may help extend your life. Researchers analyzed 12 years of data gathered from 3,635 Americans age 50 and up and found that those who read books most often lived an average of almost two years longer than those who never touched a tome. That’s a compelling plotline.
Need more of an excuse to dive into the latest Mary Alice Monroe novel or Lee Child mystery? How about this:
- Those who read books more than 3.5 hours per week were 23 percent less likely to die during the 12-year survey than other participants.
- People surveyed who read up to 3.5 hours weekly—which breaks down to 30 minutes daily—had a 17% lower risk of fatality than non-readers.
- And it seems we’ve got ample room for improving the number of pages Americans are turning. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 63% of Americans read at least one book in whole or in part throughout the previous year. (Yikes, folks, we can do better, yes?)
And guess what, a library card is still FREE!