Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds – The Guardian

Flaubert had it that “the one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy”. It turns out that reading doesn’t only help us to tolerate existence, but actually prolongs it, after a new study found that people who read books for 30 minutes a day lived longer than those who didn’t read at all.

The study, which is published in the September issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, looked at the reading patterns of 3,635 people who were 50 or older. On average, book readers were found to live for almost two years longer than non-readers.

Good to know.

Source: Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds | Books | The Guardian

4 thoughts on “Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds – The Guardian

  1. Did this study control for other factors? Probably not.

    People who read are generally better-educated and have higher incomes. Such people tend to live longer.

    • Well, it did distinguish between people who read for more than or less than 3.5 hours a week, in addition to those who don’t read at all. I disagree that readers are definitely in a higher income bracket; that’s not been my experience. Often, the people I’ve met who earn more don’t read at all. They “don’t have time.” But I do suspect that there are other causes that make readers healthier; that it’s not just reading.

  2. Did this study control for other factors? Probably not.

    People who read are generally better-educated and have higher incomes. Such people tend to live longer.

    • Well, it did distinguish between people who read for more than or less than 3.5 hours a week, in addition to those who don’t read at all. I disagree that readers are definitely in a higher income bracket; that’s not been my experience. Often, the people I’ve met who earn more don’t read at all. They “don’t have time.” But I do suspect that there are other causes that make readers healthier; that it’s not just reading.

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