It turns out that Millennials are the most well-read generation we’ve seen in quite a while. This is according to an extensive Pew Research report on younger Americans and libraries, released earlier this week. Carolyn Kellogg of The Los Angeles Times has the scoop:
“According to the report, 88% of Americans 16 to 29 years old have read at least one book in the past year, compared with 79% of people 30 and older.
And millennials who read aren’t just picking up one book. ‘Among younger Americans who did read at least one book, the median or typical number read in the past year was 10,’ the report adds.
About 43% of millennials read books on a daily basis; that’s a figure comparable to older adults.”
While Pew doesn’t seek to find out exactly why Millennials read more, one can assume that the generation’s affinity for technology (and therefore Amazon, Audible, and library websites) plays a role. You can also point to the influence of programs such as Reading Rainbow, the increased emphasis on making reading fun in public schools, and the popularity of the Harry Potter series, which got a lot of people under 30 excited about books at a young age.
As mentioned, the main focus of the report is to map out how Americans under 30 engage with libraries. While it was found that Millennials use their local libraries at about the same rate as the general population, they tend to value them less. From Pew:
“Younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important. Some 19% of those under 30 say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them and their family, compared with 32% of older adults, and 51% of younger Americans say it would have a major impact on their community, compared with 67% of those 30 and older.”
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