A few weeks ago we explored a few facts about boomer readers – so, today we’re looking at millennials to see if their reading habits and preferences differ from other age groups based on surveys done in 2015, 2013 and 2012. Millennials are generally defined as those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.
- More millennials than any other group read over 30 books a year. 61% in 2012, 52% in 2013 and 58% in 2015. And they have the highest intention to read at that level or more in the future.
- More than other age groups, millennials read historical fiction ‘because it’s a great story’ or ‘because it’s the best form of entertainment’.
- Types of stories – as a group millennials have less interest in historical fiction series than other age groups. And they are the most likely to choose books with ‘high stakes’.
- Millennials are more likely to consider geography as a factor when choosing stories to read. They prefer stories set in Europe or Britain over any other geography.
- As for time periods, millennials most preferred stories are from the 13th to 16th centuries, and they have a keener interest in ancient history than other age groups.
- When choosing books, price and cover have more influence while author is less important to millennials.
- As a group, they are most likely to consult social media before purchasing a book and have the highest interest in adding their voice to the rating of books.
- In terms of acquiring and reading books, they are slightly less likely to purchase from bookstores (even though they say they are more like to find books by browsing the bookstore) and more likely to borrow from friends than other groups. They are more likely to ‘read mostly print books’ and least likely to ‘read mostly ebooks’ than others.
- 86% use blogs, social media and other online sites for reading recommendations and discussion and are the least likely to check reviews in newspapers and other print media.
- Features they value from online sources are: ratings, giveaways, best of lists, an opportunity to comment and connect with other readers, and the ability to track their books.
I’m not particularly surprised by any of these insights and as a general conclusion — now that I’ve looked at boomers and millennials and scanned the age groups several times — I would say that age does not have as big an impact as gender does.
A note about numbers: in the under 30 group, 419 people participated across the three years which is roughly 8% of all participants; 159 in 2015, 202 in 213, and 58 in 2012. It’s impossible for me to assess whether some individuals responded to the survey in more than one year. As with other age groups, a huge percentage are women, which affects some of the results.
FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)
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.