People who read actually live longer

I read an article on the power reading in the October 2017 issue of Reader’s Digest. It mentioned that in 2016, Yale researchers collected data from 3600 men and women over fifty, discovering that people who read books for thirty minutes a day or more were living an average of two years longer than non-readers.

The reason given was that it increased their empathy and emotional intelligence, improving their social skills, which in turn led to an increase in social interaction with others and ultimately lowered stress levels. These factors have been shown to improve health and longevity.

They also mentioned the advantage of improving vocabulary and exercising the brain, which both have a positive impact on the brain and decrease the risk of dementia. It has long been known as a good method for increasing cognitive reserve since it is an integral part of lifelong learning.

Reading, especially those business books and other nonfiction books that stimulate the brain even more, is believed to improve memory as well.

Lifelong learning could delay the onset of cognitive impairment by 3 to 8 years. Our chance of developing Alzheimer’s drops 17% for every year of education beyond high school, according to John Ratey, co-author of the book, Go wild: free yourself from the afflictions of civilization. It is not the education, it’s the forced thinking – so commit yourself to lifelong learning, whether it is taking courses or simply self-study by reading educational and self-help books such as those published by Bookboon .com

There are many studies that show that dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is not inevitable as you age. Gary small, M.D., Dir. of UCLA Longevity Centre and author of several books on the brain, has had patients who avoided the ravages of this disease. One such patient in his 70s who had trouble with calculations was given a battery of tests and received top scores on all of them, including a perfect score on a memory test and 140 on his IQ test. Yet his brain scan had all the markings of a full-blown case of Alzheimer’s disease. “Usually people with such profound brain changes can barely carry on a conversation,” Small claimed.

Evidently 20% of people autopsied who had no major memory problems are discovered to have had Alzheimer’s. The reason is thought to be “cognitive reserve” – developed, as mentioned previously, by mentally stimulating tasks – resulting in more brain cells and more connections.

Of course, reading increases your knowledge, reduces stress, improves your thinking skills, and approves your concentration skills as well. And we must not forget that what you read could bring joy into your life, and help you to solve problems, improve your business, and learn new skills.

One thing even better than reading books if you want to improve your cognitive skills, and keep mentally young, is to write books. So that is something you might consider as well. For several years I have been writing e-books on business and self-improvement for Bookboon, a publishing company in Denmark, and find it mentally challenging as well is enjoyable. I like to think, as I approach my eighty-sixth birthday, that it also helps keep me young – at least mentally.

If you want to take a peek at the 30 e-books that I’ve written to date, you can browse titles here. It has a direct link there to Bookboon. You might decide to try your hand at writing as well.

As Mark Twain once said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”


Successful People Read. A Lot.

What do Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey have in common? They all read - a LOT! If you want to be successful you need to read. We have over 30 short ebooks designed to get you booked up fast!

Develop a Goal-Setting Mindset

Share this Time Management Article!