5 reasons to start a book club today

Get on the same page and enjoy the health benefits from your next book.

1. You’ll boost your physical health

Keen to strengthen your immune system, reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease? Forming a small community, such as a book club, can help. That’s the conclusion of researchers at the University of Texas in the US, who reviewed various studies into the link between physical health and human connection.

2. You’ll stimulate your brain

Discussing complex plots and characters requires concentration and the ability to retain information. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, in the US, say these are exactly the kind of intellectual challenges that could reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, particularly if you’re genetically susceptible.

3. You’ll have more empathy

Making your next book one of fiction could help you understand others. That’s the conclusion of a study by the University of Toronto in Canada, which found that the more fiction a person read, the higher they scored on measures of social awareness and empathy. Unfortunately, non-fiction books don’t have the same benefits.

4. You’ll reduce stress levels

Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK monitored the stress levels of volunteers who tried out various relaxation methods and found that stress levels decreased by 60 per cent after only six minutes of reading. They say reading is a far more effective stress-reduction technique than listening to music, or walking.

5. You might even live longer

A study by Yale University School of Public Health in the US found that those who read books for up to three-and-a-half-hours a week reduce their mortality risk by 17 per cent over a 12-year period. Joining a social group such as a book club can help bolster this figure, according to researchers from the University of Queensland.

Is it okay to read before bedtime?

Reading before bed improves sleep, studies show, but reading in bright light could keep you awake. A low-wattage book light that clips to your book or eReader is good; even better is an eReader that reduces the blue light emitted. Or try a front-lit display that projects light across the screen, not into your eyes.

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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.