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According to a study published recently in Social Science & Medicine, the more you read books, the more likely you are to live a longer life.

As reported via The New York Times, those behind the study questioned 3,635 people over the age of 50 about their reading habits. Researchers put them in three types of groups, including those who don’t really read books, those who read books up to three and a half hours a week, and folks who read more than the three and a half hours. What they found after taking into account factors of race, age, depression, employment and marital status and health, was that consistent readers ended up being more likely to be college-educated women from higher income groups. In the end, when compared to those who gave a hard pass to reading during the week, those who read up to three and a half hours were reportedly “17 percent less likely to die over 12 years of follow-up.” As for individuals who went above and beyond the three and a half hours, they were 23 percent less likely to pass. In the end, those who made an effort to read lived, on average over 12 years of follow-up, two years longer than those who didn’t read.

Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale who was the senior author behind the study said of the results, “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read. And the survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.”

With that being said, don’t wait until 50 and up to get yourself a library card (or Amazon Prime account) and get to reading. We always knew it could do wonders for one’s vocabulary and worldliness, but who knew it could also help you live a little bit longer?

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