Last week I went into a bookshop in Bologna which had a section labelled GENERATION Y.
This is the first time I’d seen such a demarcation and I was curious to see what reading was on offer.
I found it contained countless vampiresque titles including the Twilight series and other undead fantasies mostly written in the same vein.
According to some superficial internet ‘research’ Generation Y denotes millennium people who make up a demographic/consumer group of those under 30s (born between the 1980s and 1990s) for whom being tech-savvy is a given. They are otherwise commonly identified as achievement-orientated, attention-craving, independently minded, casually dressed globe-trotters who work to live rather than live to work.
They are often viewed as impatient and opinionated types who ask ‘difficult’ questions to boring old farts like me and this gets them branded as part of the generation ‘why’.
These characteristics don’t entirely square with the reading options presented at the Italian bookstore. I would have been more reassured by a higher percentage of countercultural works geared towards changing the world instead of being dominated by titles with a leaning towards fantasy and escapism. Or maybe this is just me staring at a generation gap and missing something!