Read Books; Live Longer. My Top Ten Books on Senior Safety

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. January 09, 2017

Read Books; Live Longer. My Top Ten Books on Senior Safety


As an avid book reader, I was interested to learn that book readers were found to have “a 23-month survival advantage” compared to non-book readers. According to a study called “A Chapter a Day: Association of Book Reading with Longevity,”[1] book readers can be expected to live almost two-years longer than non-readers. The researchers adjusted for a variety of factors that could have influenced the results, including age, sex, race, education, comorbidities, self-rated health, wealth, marital status, and depression.

Per the study’s abstract, book reading also contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines.

I come from a family of book readers. Everyone in my family loves to read books. My niece Emily is a librarian; my daughter Rachel is an author. Book reading runs in the family.

There are so many reasons why people read books. I know I started enjoying books around the age of four with Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. “Do you like my hat? Yes, I like your hat!” It kept this hyperactive kid nailed down for at least a few minutes. I wore the pages out of that book! It even had a dog party (“a big dog party”) at the end.

In elementary and middle school, I especially loved action and adventure books, where I could imagine myself as one of the protagonists. I read and re-read Jim Davis: A High-Sea Adventure by John Masefield. I dreamed it was me who was captured by pirates and I was the one sailing the seven seas. I couldn’t put that book down. It was the same with Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus by James Otis in which I was Toby, running away to join the circus. In my teen years, I loved books by Twain, Hemingway, Defoe, London, and Cooper. Now I am hooked on Patterson, Child, Tanenbaum, Kellerman, Sandford, Woods, Koontz, Burke, Coben, Connelly, Galbraith and Rosenfelt. Thanks to my entire family and especially to my sister Carol for these book leads!!!

I also read non-fiction books. Although less captivating than a good murder mystery, they provide me with new-found knowledge and sometimes a different perspective.

Since we are all about safety here at Safety In Place, I thought it would be fun and perhaps instructive to list ten books that I have found informative and helpful as I learned more about ways to improve senior home safety and comfort:

Reading these books may not only help you live longer but safer and more comfortably.

Please let us know about your favorite books on senior safety.


[1] Bavishi, A., Slade, M.D., Levy, B. R. (September 2016). A Chapter a Day: Association of Book Reading with Longevity. Social Science and Medicine, 164: 44-48. Abstract. Available at Abstract


Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.


Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.