Extend Your Life by Reading Books

Woman reading on bed

Reading brings about many different benefits, from de-stressing the mind to improving language skills, but there is one extremely advantageous benefit that many are not aware of. A recent study carried out by the Yale University’s School of Public Health showed that people who regularly read books, rather than magazines or newspapers, add an extra two years onto their lifespan when compared to those who do not read, giving you the perfect excuse to begin spending your evenings curled up with a good book.

Results of the Study
The study carried out by Yale University lasted for 12 years, and focussed on three subject groups; those who did not read at all, those who read for around three and a half hours per week, and those who read for more. Even in the second group of subjects, there was still a 17% chance of an increased lifespan, showing the incredible benefits that reading can bring.

How Does Reading Books Extend Lifespan?
Unlike magazines or newspapers, reading books encourages two cognitive processes that are extremely beneficial. The first is referred to as “deep reading”, which is an immersive process that enables the reader to form a connection to the world around them. The second cognitive process is the way in which books are able to promote everything from empathy to emotional intelligence, all of which heighten the body’s chance for survival. The way in which books feature complex, interwoven stories cannot compete with the short snippets of information provided by newspapers and magazines, and this recent study has more than proven the varying effects that different types of reading material can have.

Reading book

How Long Should You Read For Each Day?
Yale University’s study showed that the longer that a participant read for each day, the longer they would live for. While you may not have time to read for hours each day, even 30 minutes a day can still be hugely beneficial in terms of extending lifespan. One of the advantages to reading is that it can be done just about anywhere, so even if you do not have time at the end of your day, try bringing a book along on your commute to work, or setting aside some time on your lunch break.

What Types of Books are Best?
While the study did not look into the exact genres of books that were read by participants, other studies have discovered that around 87% of book readers choose to read fiction, meaning that fiction was most likely to be the primary type of book read during the study. However, this does not instantly mean that other types of books are not beneficial, although more studies will need to be carried out in order to confirm this.

In addition to extending your lifespan, reading also brings about so many other health benefits. From improving memory to expanding knowledge to boosting analytical thinking skills, making the effort to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of book reading a day will have some hugely positive effects on your life.


Bestsellers You Should Actually Read

Woman reading

Books make it on to bestselling lists for many different reasons, and, for many of them, it is largely due to the hype that surrounds the book rather than the contents of the book itself. Rather than scrolling through thousands of titles in hundreds of bestselling lists, here are a few bestsellers that are most definitely worth reading.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner book was adapted into a movie in 2007, but, like is the case with many novel adaptations, the book depicts the story in a way that the movie simply cannot compete with. The plot follows the lives of two boys in Afghanistan, and while Afghan culture plays a significant role in the book, the story is essentially about friendship, humanity, loyalty and acceptance. Each of the characters are interestingly complex, enabling the reader to really get attached to them. While there may be some upsetting and graphic scenes, this book is, without a doubt, a brilliant page turner.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Another book that has now been turned into a movie, The Martian is, once again, a much better story when read rather than watched. The Martian is a science fiction novel that begins with a space crew traveling to Mars. After a dust storm, they are forced to leave one of their members, Mark Watney, behind, thinking him dead. However, Watney is very much alive, and the novel follows the way in which he manages to survive as the only human being on Mars, as well as his subsequent attempts to formulate a rescue plan. The book is absolutely thrilling while having quite a humorous side, and is definitely a good one for people who have not yet ventured into the science fiction genre.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Published in 2003, Shantaram is based on the author’s life experiences, telling the story of how he escaped from a prison in Australia and fled to India. Set in Bombay’s contemporary underworld, this book is a long one, but manages to encompass everything from burning slums to five-star hotels, and from criminal wars to spiritual gurus. It has been widely commended for the way in which it is able to paint such a vibrant visual portrait of life in Bombay, and it is no surprise that a film adaptation of Shantaram has been in the works for a few years now.

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
Escape from Camp 14 is an international bestseller by Blaine Harden, who tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, currently the only North Korean escapee known to have been born in a prison camp. After his parents were granted a rare conjugal visit, Shin was conceived, and the book tells the story of his life within the horrifying camp, as well as his subsequent escape. After its publication, Shin became the main witness to the UN’s inquiry into North Korean human rights, and was also adapted into a film in 2012.

A good book can transport its reader into a completely different world, immersing them in its story. From the sprawling slums of Bombay to the vast emptiness of the planet Mars, each of these books will take you on such an incredible journey that you won’t want them to end!

Most Inspirational Women

There are always days when each and every one of us could do with some inspiration, to encourage us to be the best that we possibly can. Throughout time, there have been certain women who have hugely influenced society in a positive way, due to the work that they have done or the ways in which they dedicate their lives to helping others. OROGOLD brings you some of the most inspirational women that are continuing to make the world a better place.

Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey
The first self-made billionaire in the world, Oprah Winfrey came from a difficult background, where her family had no flushing toilets and could rarely afford to buy her shoes. Now, she is one of the most influential women in America, if not the world, and spends her hard-earned fortune on trying to improve the lives of others. From creating millions of new readers with her book club, to founding a school in South Africa, to setting up Oprah’s Angel Network, which hands out educational grants, Oprah is dedicated to helping others. If that wasn’t enough, she personally donated $10 million to help to rebuild homes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

JK Rowling

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JK Rowling
While you have all likely heard of Harry Potter, and know that JK Rowling is the best-selling author behind the series, you may not know about the struggles that she went through early on in her life. A single mother who needed her welfare money each week in order to survive, JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in a small coffee shop in her spare time. Since then, in addition to encouraging millions of people, both children and adults, around the world to fall in love with reading, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold over 400 million copies, inspired movies that have grossed over $5 billion, and have even resulted in theme parks being created to honor this much-loved character.

Venus Williams

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Venus Williams
When it comes to females in the world of sport, Venus Williams has inspired many, including her own sister, who used to aspire to be just like Venus. With 43 WTA titles, 7 grand slams and 5 Wimbledon titles, Venus Williams has taken the tennis world by storm. If that wasn’t enough, Williams also has her own interior design company, as well as her own fashion line.

Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton
A highly respected American politician, Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, but began fighting for gender equality long before that as a university student, firmly believing that the rights of women and girls was still unfinished business that needed to be brought to attention. Passionately dedicated to women’s rights issues all over the globe, Hillary Clinton has a truly inspirational way of carrying herself in the messy world of politics. In addition to this, the way in which she remained dignified during the troubled times of her husband’s affairs has inspired many women all over the world who have unfortunately found themselves in a similar position.

From JK Rowling’s creation of one of the most-loved fiction characters that the world has ever seen, to Hillary Clinton’s constant fight for women’s rights, the world is full of amazing women that we can all take inspiration from. Whether you are able to help others, or simply work hard to be the best person that you can be, OROGOLD hopes that you are as inspired as we have been by these truly incredible women.