Gen Z and millennials exude entirely different behaviors regarding library use and book reading, both in person and digitally, as compared to older generations, according to a new report released by the American Library Association (ALA).
As part of the research area, the report studies how Gen Z and millennials use media and discover books. In this article, we’re going to highlight findings about book discovery. So, let’s get started:
Preferred Book Reading Format
This research expands the definition of reading to include a wide range of formats. According to the study, following is order of preferred book formats:
- Print books
Image credit: ALA
Webtoon and other serial content subscription apps compete with books for reading time because of their quick-to-read formats. Webtoon is the fastest-growing reading app, with 85.6 million monthly readers worldwide.
Note: Reading practices differ when it comes to Gen Z and millennials. Gen Zers prefer reading webnovels while Millennials read more ebooks & audiobooks compared to the younger group.
The hybrid environment has significantly affected book discovery and reading habits for Gen Z and millennials. As shown in the image below, Gen Z and millennials trust recommendations of people (friends, family, or even strangers like influencers) when it comes to book discovery. They discover books both in the physical environment (bookstores and libraries) and the digital environment (social media, online book shops, movies, etc.)
Image credit: ALA
Modes of book discovery also differ slightly between Gen Z and millennials. Gen Z has more trust in celebrities, social media influencers, and social lists. However, millennials are less influenced by influencers, and they prefer book reviews as the driver of their book discovery.
Preferred Ways to Find Books
For Black Gen Z and millennials, streaming TV/movies is the #1 preferred way to discover books. Gen Z and millennials are media omnivores. They discover new content across media, finding an interesting story in one format and following the story through its representations in other formats.
Further, ALA asked survey respondents to check the ways they discover books and their preferred way of discovering books. Here are the key findings:
- Recommendation from friends (25%), the most-preferred way
- Recommendations from talent (8%), influencers (7%), and social lists (6%)
These two categories together (friends and social media/influencers) far outpace recommendations from family (9%) as the most preferred way to find books.
Trends like these are top-of-mind for the most avid readers, and book publishers, authors, and librarians should keep them in mind when strategizing for Gen Z and millennials.