Topsham Public Library is Good for Your Health. Seriously!

Keith Spiro Photography

Have you made New Year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle? Maybe resolutions to go on a diet, go to the gym more regularly, and/or stop smoking. Well, you can add “visit your local library” as a resolution because it is becoming more apparent that a library in a community is a health benefit for all.

In the January/February 2019 AARP Bulletin the cover story is “99 Ways to Add Healthy Years to Your Life” and number 98 is: Dust off that library card. A study of 3,635 older adults found that book readers had a 23-month survival advantage and 20 percent lower mortality risk compared with nonreaders. Reading was protective regardless of gender, education or health.

Wow! Reading has health benefits! You can read anywhere: on a treadmill, waiting for an appointment, at the airport, on an airplane, on a train, in a car (not while driving), in bed, on a couch, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, upstairs, downstairs and, well, you get the idea. And a library card makes that reading more accessible, more enjoyable, and it will expand your world.

Not only are libraries beneficial to the body, but they are a sign of a healthy community as well. On January 11, 2019 The Washington Post published an article: People Are Happier in States That Spend More Money On Public Places Like Parks and Libraries by Christopher Ingraham. Ingraham reports on a study published in the journal Social Science Research. The long and short of the study is that “the happiness boost from public-goods spending [parks, libraries, and nature preserves] is roughly the same across a wide range of demographic variables: race, income, education etc. That suggests public spending on categories accessible to everyone has a similar effect on the well-being of everyone.”

Absolutely, eat healthier and excercise your body, but add “visit Topsham Public Library “to your prescription for a happier you.