September 18, 2019
Despite an apparently-endless stream of think pieces on the millennial generation, the Internet and society at large have a hard time pinning down what, exactly, millennials like (is it avocados and debt? Thinkpiece writers are quite confident that it’s avocados and debt). With millennials predicted to take the baby boomers’ place as the largest adult generation within the next year, this isn’t as trivial a question as it might seem at first blush. Fortunately for all the librarians out there, however, one thing we know for sure is that millennials love public libraries. The question for librarians, then, is how to make sure they’re meeting the needs of their millennial patrons.
In a recently-released survey, Library Journal found that millennials are highly social readers who read widely across genres — and millennial preference for social reading isn’t limited to social media. Millennials are big on book clubs, and, for those who prefer to participate in person rather than online, libraries are the go-to place to get involved. Tailor-making a book club or book club kit suited to the millennial readers in your community is a great way to foster the sort of social reading this demographic is looking for.
Because of millennial interest in reading across genres, there’s plenty of room to play around with book club selections and suggestions. With 29% of millennial readers reporting young adult fiction as their favorite genre, you can even draw on hidden gems of the YA world that adults sometimes reject on demographic alone. Try combining millennial interest in suspense and fantasy, two of the most popular genres for this generation, by searching GX *fantasy AND AP suspenseful AND AP compelling to find riveting adult and young adult fantasy novels that ramp up the tension. If you’re not sure that urban fantasy novels will hit the mark for your readers, try GX *fantasy AND AP suspenseful AND AP compelling NOT GX urban fantasy. NoveList’s Not Just for Teens Recommended Reads lists are also a great resource for sophisticated young adult titles that might be a hit for millennial book clubs. Find these by searching Not Just for Teens and clicking the Lists & Articles tab.
Maybe your millennial patrons aren’t sold on genre fiction or young adult titles, but NoveList offers plenty of other book club resources, including webinars and blog posts, to help you craft a social reading environment to engage the millennials in your community. You can also hover over Quick Links at the top left of the NoveList homepage and click Book Club Resources (or search UI 447780) to explore all the materials we have to offer on pulling together the perfect book club.
Have you had success bringing together millennial readers in your community? Got any surprising book club hits for this generation? We’d love to hear about it!
Isabel Crevasse is a Book Discovery Intern at NoveList. She is currently reading Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand.