The one book everyone on the planet needs to read

Hint: It’s not ‘War and Peace’ or the Bible.


What book should everyone on the planet read?

That was the question posted to discussion website Reddit Wednesday evening, and in just 13 hours, the question had garnered more than 2,300 comments. Users answers ranged from classics like “The Old Man and the Sea” to the Bible to little-known books like “The Toothpaste Millionaire”.

The most popular answer to that question: “Aesop’s Fables”. With nearly 1,600 points — this is the measure used on Reddit for upvotes and downvotes of a certain comment thread — the following comment was the most popular among users of Reddit:
“Few books would hold their meaning across culture and time, so I think I have to say Aesop’s Fables. In college, I took Ancient Greek and we read and translated a lot of those fables. They are fast, fun, and have so many hidden gems of truth that everyone would do well to remember. Don’t listen to gossips, honesty is the best policy, do unto others, there are two sides to every story, etc…. Go read one and remember they were told by a slave almost 2,600 years ago.”
Other popular answers to the question include “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque of which a user noted “a little bit of understanding just how hellish war is would be good for the world,” “1984” by George Orwell and “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson.

This Reddit thread was posted on the heels of a study published in the September issue of the journal Social Science and Medicine that found that people who read books live longer than those who don’t.

The researchers followed 3,600 people over 12 years, examining their reading habits, health and longevity. They found that people who read more than 3.5 hours per week lived 23 months longer than those who didn’t read. What’s more, reading books rather — than magazines or other reading material — was associated with the longest lifespan. The conclusion: “The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”

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