People who read books live longer than those who don’t, according to a new study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. And other research finds greater happiness and longevity among those with active social lives.
Which means book groups may benefit the body as well as the brain.
Readers interested in healthy stimulation may want to check out Books & Spirits, a public book salon — with cocktails — that launches Thursday evening in Kakaako. The concept is a neighborhood literary saloon where patrons meet an author.
The goal is to build a readers’ community, said co-hosts Stuart Coleman, author of “Eddie Would Go,” and Mark Watkins, founder of The Hawaii Project, a book recommendation website.
“Readers want to meet people and talk about books that have relevance to the local community — like sustainability and traffic,” said Watkins, an entrepreneur who has residences in Boston and Kailua, his wife’s hometown.
As for a theme, “We wanted to keep it broad, but touching Hawaiian culture and the environment in some way,” said Coleman, who is also Hawaii coordinator for Surfrider Foundation.
Thursday’s guest will be Jaimal Yogis, author of “Saltwater Buddha,” a charming and insightful memoir of his youthful zeal for Zen Buddhism, surfing and Hawaii, and “The Fear Project,” in which he achieves further self-knowledge through marriage, fatherhood and testing the waves at Mavericks.
The next meeting will be on Sept. 8 with David Helvarg, author of the memoir “Saved by the Sea,” and executive director of Blue Frontier, an ocean conservation nonprofit in California.
The headquarters of RevoluSun Smart Home, a solar company, was chosen as a venue “because they’ve created this beautiful public space for these kinds of events, all natural wood with a bar area and kitchen,” Coleman said.
Tickets to Books & Spirits cost $10-$20 and include food and drink inspired by thebooks.
On Thursday, a Hauula tomato vegetable soup and a vodka-anise drink will be provided by Mud Hen Water, a member of Surfrider’s ocean-friendly restaurants program. Check out “Saltwater Buddha” for the menu backstory; books will be sold at the event.