Millennials and reading is a big topic, as they redefined the reading habits. They read differently… But first, let’s start with a little bit of a background…
Has reading books gone the way of VHS tapes and talking on the phone?
My mom once told me, “If you like to read and have something to read, you are never bored.” She was probably responding to the 10-year-old me complaining there was “Nothing to do.” I have to give her credit. She was right. A long plane ride, an endless wait in a doctor’s office or an afternoon at home can be transformed into a fabulous few hours if you are reading a good book.
Generations and Reading
Reading a magazine or newspaper articles are great ways to beef up on current events and celebrity scandals, but they do not have the ability to completely absorb your attention and transport your entire mental state into a different universe.
I will admit it, I am a book snob.
I really have my parents to thank for my enthusiasm for reading. As a kid, before I could read, my dad read to me every night. I have nostalgic memories of visiting the public library with my father where there were not only tons of books from which to choose, but there always seemed to be something interesting happening. An author reading her book to a group of children or a kid’s theatre group performing. My mom preferred going to bookstores. She would cut out the best sellers list from the Sunday paper, start from the top of the list and work her way down.
Do Millennials Read?
As a Generational Speaker, I wonder: ‘Does the Millennial Generation like to read?‘
We hear so much about the Millennial’s addiction to technology and we have watched the big booksellers slowly leak away from our shopping sphere. Is reading relevant to Millennials?
Turns out it is!
According to the most recent Pew Research Center survey I could find, Millennials are reading more than older generations. They are more likely to have read a book over the past year compared to a Baby Boomer and Gen Xer and they read more than my generation (Generation X) did at the same age.
Millennial Reading Habits
What really shocked me was their preference for a physical book vs an E-Reader!
According to Nielsen Books and Consumers, Millennial’s physical book buying has continued to increase and now represents over 35% of the market. According to the same study, greater than 80% of Millennials are putting their reading funds towards books they can hold vs download.
Some experts attribute the rise of Millennials’ penchant for physical books to the psychology of ownership. There is a greater physical satisfaction owning a physical book vs downloading the digital edition. I credit it with young eyes. I have successfully postponed the need for reading glasses with my Kindle app. There is no need for bifocals when you can increase your reading font to something that can be read from outer space.
Books and Millennials
I was first in line to buy the iPhone X. Not for the superior camera or facial recognition but for the XL size screen! It makes reading my text messages like reading subtitles off an Imax movie theatre screen.
Ageism antics aside, learning that Millennials place a high value on reading books was a tremendous way to begin the new year for me. Whether reading books, blogs, poetry, editorials or obituaries, reading someone else’s thoughts and feelings not only challenges our own perceptions but pushes our imagination to places we would not have previously visited.
I hope 2019 is full of exotic food, fabulous reading, and many generations!