We’re Reading More. That’s Good News for the Brain

A man sitting outside in a chair and reading a book
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Have you read a good book lately? Judging by the spike in both book sales and the demand for library e-books beginning last spring, many Americans have turned to reading to help cope with this tumultuous year.

The most recent data shows we have been scooping up novels — the best sellers and the classics — as well as new memoirs and biographies. As of July, according to market research firm NPD, sales of general fiction print books were up a healthy 25 percent, and sales of biographies and memoirs soared by 35 percent.

People are also turning to their libraries in record numbers. Weekly library e-book lending across the country has increased by nearly 50 percent since March 9, according to data from OverDrive, a service used by many libraries to allow patrons to check out e-books and other electronic media.

All of this is a good thing — for authors, book sellers, libraries and our health, including brain health.

For one thing, you may live longer, according to a 2016 Yale University study of 3,635 adults ages 50 and older, who were followed for up to 12 years. 

Those who read a book an average of 30 minutes a day lived nearly two years longer than those who did not, and that “survival advantage,” as researchers called it, was “significantly greater” for book reading than for reading newspapers or magazines.

To find out more, go to the full article: We’re Reading More. That’s Good News for the Brain.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

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