The boomer generation is defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, which means they are today between the ages of 51 and 69. Looking across the surveys from 2012, 2013 and 2015, we can see a number of differences in reading habits and preferences.
- boomers are less interested in romance stories or those based on myth and fantasy
- roughly 85% prefer to read about fictional characters within a backdrop of great historical events, higher than other age groups
- when asked which aspects make historical characters come alive, boomers consider time appropriate mindsets, attitudes and morals to be critical
- when asked why they read historical fiction, boomers are less likely to say ‘because it’s a form of time travel’
- boomers are more likely to choose widely from different time periods than readers from other age groups and less likely to prefer stories set during Tudor and medieval times
- more likely to find recommendations in their newspaper’s books section than on social media
- slightly less likely to use blogs, social media and other online sites for reading recommendations and discussion
- boomers have similar acquisition habits (borrow from friends, use the library, buy at the bookstore or buy online) to other age groups
- compared with younger readers, boomers do not feel that social media has affected the number of books they read
- compared with younger readers, boomers are less likely to track their books online
Interestingly, I found fewer differences than I anticipated and no real surprises!
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.