A chapter a day keeps the doctor away!

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Reading has often been associated with higher levels of intelligence, a wider vocabulary, lower stress levels, increased focus, and analytical skills. Well, now book lovers can add a longer life expectancy to the list of benefits.

A study run by a group of Yale graduate students and published in Social Science & Medicine followed 3,635 people who were sorted into three groups: people who didn’t read books at all, those who read up to 3 1/2 hours each week, and those who read more than 3 1/2 hours each week.

Wonder Struck

The study found that those who regularly read were most commonly college-educated females in higher income groups, so the researchers controlled to level these factors along with race, age, marital status and employment to get a holistic result.

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After a 12-year follow-up period, they found that those who read 3 1/2 hours each week were 17% less likely to die than those who didn’t read at all, and those who read more than 3 1/2 hours were 23% less likely to die.

And on average, book readers were said to live about two years longer than non-readers. So perhaps the saying that readers live a thousand lives before they die just may turn out to be true!