Remember when teachers told you reading was good for you? They were right. And now reading is even associated with living longer.
Researchers at the Yale University School of Public Health have discovered that book readers have a “significant survival advantage” over those who don’t read books.
The findings of the Yale study are now appearing in Social Science and Medicine. They show that people over 50 who read up to three-and-a-half hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die over the 12 years of follow-up. Those who read more than that were 23 percent less likely to die than non-readers.
Of course, even the most avid readers are sometimes at a loss to know what to read next. And readers who are just getting started with intensive reading need to know where to begin.
So with those issues in mind, here is a list of 12 ways to select books or of varying what you are reading.
Your theme could be as serious as a literary look at the nature of good and evil or as frivolous as books with brown, orange, and yellow covers (for the Fall season).
I was never a reader of mystery books until the ’90s when I saw a list of mystery books that then-President Bill Clinton was reading. Today some of those authors like George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke are among my favorite writers.
My friend Eddie Supernavage has been doing that for years and has completed all the works of authors as diverse as Soren Kierkegaard and John Gardner.
Select books on a problem you are interested in and become an autodidact. I’m doing that right now with my research on aging and the Baby Boom generation. My wife is specializing in memoirs of women in Muslim, Asian, or African cultures.
Pick a category of books, such as biography. Head to your local library. Start going down the rows, selecting the first couple of books that appeal to you about people whose names begin with A.
Reading websites such as Amazon or Goodreads offer you suggestions for new books to read. Sixty and Me has a nice column of book recommendations too.
Have a group of friends over for tea (or something stronger) and a bit of tasty talk about reading. Have each friend bring a book that they have covered to disguise its title. Put all the books in a basket. Each person then takes a book home, reads it, and tells about it at your next session.
Check out Nobel Prize Winners or The 100 Best Books Ever. Select from the list titles you’ve never read.
Head to your local library or your local bookstore. Staff there will be glad to work with you to come up with interesting recommendations.
Purchase a book that will show you how one good book can lead to another. I have used both The Prentice Hall Good Reading Guide and The Lifetime Reading Plan for years.
Of course, you can buy the books, but if you want a cheaper option, either jot down titles that intrigue you or take a picture of the cover with your smart phone and then borrow the books from the library.
Right now, the global events are more than intriguing – a world-scale pandemic, civil unrest, propaganda, and upcoming elections. Truly, there is a lot to read about.
Of course, no reading list is ever exhaustive. Do you have any other good ways to help readers choose books? Have you used any of the ways on this list? What books are you reading at the moment? Please share with our community!
ProjectGutenberg.org offers free books that are in the public domain. No need for e-reader they can be accessed by tablet and computer too.
Check out bookbub.com. Free to register. Select the genre’s you like or not and the eReader you have. Each day you will get an email with deals and suggestions. Books range in price from free to $2.99, sometimes more. I find it’s a great way to explore new authors. Often an older book in a series is free and gets you interested in continuing. I’ve been an avid reader all my life. Glad of these great side benefits. Thanks for the article!
This is a fantastic article! I love when statistics support when I’m already doing right, once in awhile! I love these suggestions and I will link this article on my next book review. I review books (mostly novels) about adults over 50 at RipeReads.net. I love reading stories about characters whose experiences mirror my own. I also try to read the Pulitzer Prize winning novels each year. Thanks so much for this! -Gaili
I too are from the Atlanta area. Born and raised inside the perimeter. Really enjoyed your ideas! Thank you. Good luck with your book on baby-boomers like me. My favorite music was James Taylor and Lightfoot. Joni Mitchell and Carole King. Carly Simon and Jim Croshe. John Denver, Elton John, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.