Read Books, Live Longer?
The NYT article never discusses if the type of book prolongs life to a greater or lesser degree. All types welcome, I suppose, although I have my preferences (can you guess?). I bet my readers do too.
But is there a book whose knowledge decreases life expectancy or, rather, lowers the quality of life by the information it shares? This is hardly a new thought, and while the a physical book is only rarely the actual key to an over-reacher's downfall, the myth and symbol are pervasive.
Prometheus comes to mind; there is Faust's urge to push the barriers aside and see "was die Welt Im Innersten zusammenhält." And let's not forget what the serpent says to Eve at Genesis 3:5:
Scit enim Deus quod in quocumque die comederitis ex eo,
aperientur oculi vestri, et eritis sicut dii, scientes bonum et
God knows that on that day when you eat from this tree,
your eyes will open, and having full knowledge of good and
evil, you will be like gods...
And do Greek and Latin hold their own unpleasant surprises?