Millennials May Not Be Getting Jobs or Houses, But They Are Saving Libraries

Plus famous novelists get candid about Jane Austen and John Green announces his new novel after a five-year hiatus

The end of the week comes with its own slew of literary news. In today’s roundup, a Pew Research Center study concludes that Millennials — that’s right, Millennials! — are making the most use of public libraries, authors write handwritten notes about Jane Austen (some of them a little cheeky) for a good cause, and John Green finally returns from his post-The Fault in Our Stars hiatus.

Millennials are the generation using public libraries the most

Millennials are known for a lot of questionable things: avocado toast, colorful beverages/assorted food products, selfies, smartphone addiction…the list of stereotypes is endless. However, the generation of tech addicts might yet redeem themselves. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, Millennials have been using public libraries more than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and members of the Silent Generation. The report says that 53% of people aged 18–35 (at the time of the study) said they used a public library or bookmobile within the last 12 months, compared to 45% for Gen X and 43% for Baby Boomers. Although the term “millennials” encompasses college students who have no choice but to frequent their campus libraries, Pew noted that the report specifically asked about public facilities. This new conclusion aligns with another study conducted by Pew in 2014 proving that Millennials are reading more books than members of any other generation. It counts if we’re going to the library to use the free WiFi, right?

[Pew Research Center/Abigail Geiger]

Auction asks novelists to write about Jane Austen

Some very important authors are about to reveal how they really feel about literary icon Jane Austen. As part of an auction to raise money for the Royal Society of Literature, novelists including Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Ian McEwan have submitted handwritten homages about the Georgian era British writer. According to Awtood, Pride and Prejudice “set a bad example” for her in its depiction of unpleasant romantic prospects via the men in the book. Atwood writes, “Were underage readers of this book, such as myself, doomed to a series of initially hopeful liaisons in which unpleasant men turned out to be simply unpleasant?” Meanwhile, Ishiguro’s letter admires Austen’s technique and nuance in Mansfield Park and McEwan writes about society’s connectedness in Northanger Abbey. The writers comment on how Austen’s works have influenced their own writing. There are 18 items up for auction, so be sure to cast your bids before midnight on June 27th.

[The Guardian/ Katy Guest]

New John Green novel is finally written in the stars

Since the 2012 release of The Fault in Our Stars and its immense popularity, hordes of teens and adults alike have latched onto John Green’s evocative stories about growing up, love, and circumstances that can drastically alter them both. Now, Green is about to emerge from his writing hiatus, with news that his next book is on the horizon. Titled Turtles All the Way Down, the novel will be released on October 10th. The story follows a young woman, Aza Holmes, who tries to solve the disappearance of a fugitive billionaire while also struggling with her own mental illness. In a news release, the YouTube star/author noted the personal significance this story has for him. “This is my first attempt to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected my life since childhood, so while the story is fictional, it is also quite personal,” he writes. Ever since the immense popularity of The Fault in Our Stars and his subsequent cult-like following, Green has been vocal about his longtime struggles with mental illness. The book will be published by Penguin Random House, and if the author’s other books are any indication, we can predict that Turtles All the Way Down will surely get a warm welcome from Green’s loyal fans.

[LA Times/ Libby Hill]

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