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Understanding Y by Charlie Caruso

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CHAPTER 5 Reading into Y

Rob Kaldor

Did Dumbledore know he was referring to Generation Y? His message to embrace the ‘now’ seems incredibly apt for the Millennial generation. The literature phenomenon known as Harry Potter not only traversed the era of Y; it was in fact a companion piece to the generation itself.

Gen Y has a very interesting perspective on literature and reading. They were born in an era before technology had saturated society, so their upbringing involved reading via a traditional narrative — no different to previous generations. Their initial reading experience pre-dates the internet, ebooks and smart phones.

However, the way they imbibe content has changed radically as Millennials have grown. Although weaned in an analogue era of traditional story structure and plot lines, their time also coincides with the technology revolution. The rollout of the World Wide Web and social media, as well as well as ebooks, ereaders and smart phones and tablets, has drastically changed the content-creation and -consumption landscape. Being at the cutting edge of this technology change, Gen Y has not only taken these new technologies on board; it has in fact steered the older generations towards them as well.

Literature has made countless attempts to change form in an effort to become more interactive and less dependent on traditional narrative structure. Probably the most famous example of recent ...

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