Do the new generations read less?

Do the new generations read less?

Do the new generations read less?

Firstly, it is necessary to be clear about the criteria to classify the interval of each generation according to the age of the people. The most accepted categorization today indicates the existence of three large generational groups: generation X (born between 1960 and 1979), generation Y or the millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) and generation Z (born after 1995).

Of course, it is not a consideration capable of leaving everyone happy. Some specialists in psychology insist on adding a new group: the T generation, concerning those people born after 2010. Therefore, it is necessary to scrutinize the common features of each generation to answer the initial question, «Do the new generations read less?» The easiest thing would be to intuit that the answer is "Yes, they read less", but…

The millennials read more

Looks are deceiving. It would be very easy to believe that Generation X, or even the so-called baby boomer (born between 1946 and 1959) have a greater predilection towards reading, but it's not like that. Although millennials they became the first generation hyperconnected through the internet, with high ethical and social values, they did not abandon physical books to replace them with digital texts.

On the contrary, according to a study published by The Expert Editor of the United States, during 2019 80% of the millennials read a book in any format, of which up to 72% read a printed copy. The same post claims that that millennials Americans read an average of five books a year. Also, at the time of acquiring them they are not so aware of the author as much as the design, the price and the cover.

Also, generation Y has incorporated online reading as a daily element of their life (Independent, 2016). This is not weird, there is digital libraries with a lot of material and that can be consulted for free. Consequently, the average weekly reading - in those millennials born in Latin America, for example — easily exceeds 6 hours a week. Although portals such as Amazon do not report a significant decrease in sales of printed books, Generation Z could radically modify this preference.

Why Gen Z Can Give The Ultimate Boost To The Digital Book Market?

In a very simple way: those born after 1995 are clearly more technological. Likewise, they show a greater involvement towards ecological issues. Therefore, Generation Z individuals tend to view book printing as an expendable activity, unnecessary, contrary to the preservation of nature.

Let's not generalize

However This does not mean under any circumstances that members of Generation Z read less compared to other generations. No. Well, by having a greater number of media providers of updated information, the "Z-gen" can spend a lot of time consuming information ... of course, another thing is if they have a well-formed criterion to distinguish the veracity of content.

Networks and their effect

The phenomenon of social networks has accentuated this trend thanks to its ability to connect people with common interests, which encourages a greater exchange of information. Then, digital books or eBook will likely be the preferred format of readers from the 2020s. In addition, it will be the time when those born after 1995 will have a more commercially relevant age. Well, although it is necessary to limit that the physical book continues to outperform the digital in terms of sales and tastes.

Generation T

As for the T generation, it is too early to determine what will be the reading habits of human beings born from 2010. Similarly, it is very difficult to decipher what the commercial impact of this group will be on the book trade. These are individuals "Born with a touch device under the arm", cataloged through algorithms designed to group tastes and preferences (Links - DW, 2019).

Finally, it is necessary to take into account (according to the BBVA portal, 2018) that Generation T has since 2016 more than 80% of babies with an internet presence. It includes the images of the children in the social networks of the relatives, as well as their own profiles managed by their parents. For this reason, the analog world is a whole universe unknown to them ... while hyperconnection is a "common and current" aspect.


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  1.   Javier said

    Good post. The data, mostly from the USA, I suppose can be extrapolated to the EU. It is true that they read more, but with what quality?
    The ease of self-publishing has resulted in thousands of titles and new authors that take advantage of the pull. In the market you can see the poor quality of the edition, the designs, the corrections, and everything leaves much to be desired.
    I guess it gives for another article. Let's hope this runs away. Greetings.