Millennials’ Reading Habits

Literacy Lessons

The following is based on a reading of “Millennials’ Reading Habits and Why They Matter,” written by Amy Collins on the “Book Works” site and reblogged on “The Story Reading Ape.”

The author promised to offer some surprising facts, but they did not surprise me. I have been teaching Millennials since the millennium at my university and was aware of the surprisingly positive reading habits of this generation. According to Collins, “Millennials are more likely than any other group to visit libraries–public libraries–for the purpose of borrowing reading material.” She goes on to say, “New research shows that Millennials lead other generations in reading.” Citing the Pew Research Center, this author says the 19-29 years of age group was most likely to have read a book over the past year, with 80% reporting they had read a book in the past year. This percentage is compared to 70% of those…

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This little game, originally started by the Purple Booker asks that you copy a couple of sentences from what you are currently reading to tease someone into reading the same book you are. Be careful not to give anything away (no spoilers, please). In the comments section, please include the title and author of the book you are reading, then your Tuesday Teaser.

Mine for today is from a YA book, The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan: The three main characters are about to hitch a ride from a van carrying old, tired zoo animals to the West Coast where the three (all of whom have a superhuman side to them) are to carry on their quest to save the world.

“We huddled in the corner on some mildewed feed sacks, trying to ignore the smell and the heat and the flies.  Grover talked to the animals in a series of goat bleats (Grover is a young satyr) but they just stared at him sadly.  Annabeth was in favor of breaking the cages and freeing them on the spot, but I pointed out that it wouldn’t do much good until the truck stopped moving. Besides, I had a feeling that we might look much better to that lion than those turnips.” (which was all that the lion had been given to eat)  The main character, Percy, is the son of Poseidon, which he doesn’t find out until junior high school when strange things begin to happen to him and strange creatures are “out to get him.” Of course the other kids in the school think he is just weird.

The book is entertaining and a good adventure-read.


THE MAN WITHOUT A SHADOW by Joyce Carol Oates: A Review

Maybe it was because I saw Joyce Carol Oates read from a work in progress once that I have had a fascination with her books since graduate school back in the mid-eighties, but whatever the reason, I have read many of her books and stories. With such a prolific author as Oates, that’s quite a few books! This one, a novel, as the blurb on the back cover proclaims, is “taut and fascinating.” It deals with the mysteries of the human mind and the human personality. It is an unusual, perhaps unique love story.

The novel is set between 1965 and 1996, all years in which I was an adult, so I had a perspective of living through the years the story was set in. To me, one of the most interesting facets of the novel was its attempt to show personal obsession as a reality. Themes such as loneliness, ethics, passion, aging and memory are all present in this page-turning novel. As in most of Oates’ novels, it contains precise, detailed writing and definitely gives insights into the human psyche.

Margot Sharpe, one of the two main characters, has devoted her professional life to Eli Hoopes, an attractive amnesiac whose short term memory is gone due to a brain illness (infection). He is “trapped eternally in the present moment,” haunted by a vague childhood memory, an image of a girl child, drowned and floating in the water under a bridge on which he is standing. This image dredges up feelings of dread, anxiety, and guilt. Because of her association with Eli, Margot goes on to an exceptional career as a neuroscientist and wins awards and acclaim within her profession.

The relationship of the two main characters is complex, disconcerting, and definitely unethical. Out of necessity it is a secret relationship. The first time Eli meets Margot and she introduces herself, his response is an interested, “Hel-lo.” Because he does not remember her from encounter to encounter, this is repeated over and over throughout the course of the novel right up to his dying moments.  It is a fascinating subject/theme and a fascinating approach to presenting the story/novel.