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,” 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.
 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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27471129. Abstract