15 Books That Got Millennials Into Reading



Last month it was revealed that Millennials are out-reading older generations. Take that adults! Ya’ll thought we were just a bunch of self-obsessed robots with freakishly active thumbs who are constantly wandering into moving traffic due to our inability to tear our eyeballs from our phones.

But when I stopped being a dick about it I got to thinking, of course our generation are into books. We grew up on a diet of Dahl, Jennings, and Snicket. We knew our way around Hogwarts and Middle Earth before we could drive. While our reading tastes may have expanded since primary school (possibly even matured) we’ll always have a soft spot for the books that got us reading. Here’s fifteen of our faves.

Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)

Of course Harry Potter is number one on my list because I’m not sure if you guys know this but I LOVE THESE BOOKS. There are so many reasons the series is awesome but the best is it could totally be real: It’s a secret (wizarding) world within our own world. There’s still a part of me that’s hoping I’ll receive my letter one day. It’s the same part of me that’s suspicious of the government hiding extra terrestrials and/ or that reality is actually just a computer generated simulation called the Matrix. Also, it totally helped in teaching us tolerance growing up.

Deltora Quest (Emily Rodda)

Deltora Quest is a super formulaic “Hero’s Journey” but for some reason it’s just so good. I think it had something to do with the way, throughout the series, you’d accumulate shiny jewels on the spine of the book. Perhaps Emily Rodda’s success had something to do with our generations obsession with collecting things – gotta catch ’em all, ya know?

The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Although The Hobbit was published in 1937 it enjoyed a brief comeback around the year 2000 (around the time the Lord of the Rings film series started filming). I certainly remember thumbing a sweaty copy of it during a camping trip with my family. Tolkien is arguably the greatest high fantasy writer that ever lived so it’s not hard to see why The Hobbit is popular. Kids just get fantasy. They accept the possibility of other worlds and magical creatures and larger than life experiences without any hesitation or question. Kids aren’t stupid though, good fantasy mirrors reality and The Hobbit is damn good fantasy.

Tomorrow When The War Began (John Marsden)

This book always comes up during camping trips. What if we went back home and we’d been invaded and we’re the only ones left to save the world? Heavy. It’s so good because it’s set sometime in the ’90s and kids today are already reading it for a view into what it used to be like without mobile phones and the Internet. Yeah, let that sink in.

The Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton)

Enid Blyton’s beloved series also rides on the idea that something remarkable could happen even during something as pedestrian as a walk through the woods. I seriously hope these books are still inspiring kids to go play outside.

Goosebumps (R.L. Stine)

It’s hard to think of Goosebumps without picturing that green snot-like writing dripping down your TV screen, but as with most page to screen adaptations the books were heaps better. The series really gave me the willies but it was a good intro to horror without death, drugs, depravity, or violence. I don’t know how you did it Stine!

Baby-Sitters Club (Ann M. Martin)

Scholastic were really good at stuff, weren’t they? I don’t remember why this series was so popular with my friends and me, but I think it was probably because it was a ‘tween–age’ soap opera. Someone was always getting into a fight, or getting their heart broken, or dealing with the possibility that their new house might be haunted. Probably the same reason we all loved Passions.

Unreal! Unbelievable! Uncanny! Unmentionable! Etc. (Paul Jennings)

Paul Jennings really knew how to concoct a short story and his collections were always the first to fly off the library shelves at school. Jennings then went on to create Round The Twist which, when you think about, was an absolutely ridiculous show. In one episode Pete touches a ghost dog and finds himself unable to say anything without following it with “without my pants”, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the peeing competition ep in season two (based on the story “Little Squirt” from Unmentionable). I’m sure that didn’t put ideas in anyone’s heads.

Just Crazy! Just Stupid! Just Tricking! Etc. (Andy Griffiths)

Griffiths was so popular because kids love tricks, pranks, gross things, and stories where the protagonist gets himself into trouble without even trying. I’m pretty sure this was where we all learnt about humour and probably why we’re so damn funny on the internet. Right?

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)

Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) wrote the kinds of books that appeal to any age. They’re dark, funny, suspenseful and manage to be haunting and complex whilst totally accessible to children. For example: “Having a personal philosophy is like having a pet marmoset, because it may be very attractive when you acquire it, but there may be situations when it will not come in handy at all.” Deep.

Absolutely Anything By Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, Matilda, The Witches, Revolting Rhymes, The BFG, I could go on. Granted most of Roald Dahl’s stuff has been made into movies but whether it was watching, reading, or listening to one of those audio books that *chimes* when you turn the page, we ate his stories up and for good reason.

Twilight (Stephanie Meyer)

Okay, I know this is a bit of a stain on our collective reading history but here’s the thing about Twilight. If it got you reading then good. If you were already reading but it got you reading better things like Dracula and The Vampire Chronicles then good for you. You can grow flowers from where dirt used to be.

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

The Hunger Games is the kind of book you find hard to put down once you’ve started – something young adult fiction does so well. It’s great because it has a female protagonist, is packed full of action, and even contains a political message. You may not have ‘got it’ when you first read the books but Collins provides warnings about unjust social hierarchies, the abuse of power by political leaders, and the true nature of humans as violent, competitive beings – just to keep the youths grounded.

The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)

The Chronicles of Narnia series has obvs been around since the ’50s but most of us read these guys too – The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe at least. It was kinda ruined for me when I realised the religious, racist, and sexist themes, but for a moment there it was an interesting read. I don’t think I’ll be passing this one on to future gens though.

Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)

I’ve put this one in here for those of us who were a little late to the party. I know quite a few peeps who’ve read GoT and nothing else. Some of them read it pre-TV series, others have read it because they can’t handle waiting for the next season to come. Either way if it gets you reading then I’m down, keep at it, keep exploring. There’s a whole world of awesomeness out there waiting for you.

Published by TheVine on 9 October 2014.