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Ask a Gen Y

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Gen Y Raises the Book Bar

August 17, 2012
Related Topics: Generations At Work, Learning Delivery, Talent Management, Learning Delivery
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While everyone was paying attention to headlines that classified millennials as only a tweeting, texting, YouTube-watching generation, millennials were reading books.

According to the 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review baby boomers’ share of book expenditures fell from 30 percent in 2010 to 25 percent in 2011, while Gen Y’s expenditure grew from 24 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011— a near-mirror-image swap. According to the data, 43 percent of millennials buy books through online vendors, and they’re leading the way in the adoption of digital texts.

Remember that article you read on millennials not wanting to buy stuff? Wrong. Or the one you read that said millennials might be a screwed generation? Wrong. Or the one that questioned millennials’ eagerness in adapting to technology? Also wrong.

What does this mean for learning leaders? Millennials’ interest in books is a sign of how they want to learn. As our coverage has noted before, Japanese-style comics may be a natural fit to mobile and blended learning solutions  and e-books continue to emerge as a learning tool.

My point is, don’t judge a book by its cover. You could be getting a lot wrong.

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