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Count of Monte Cristo

June 9, 2009

I am about to start reading one of my favorite books ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo. I can’t wait to read the first page.  Umm what?? Yes, I have never read a page of the book, but I already know it is one of my favorite books.  How is this possible?  Well because I am a Gen Yer.

I want to break down the long process I went through to purchase the book – I’ll just start by saying it took over 3 years.   This is because of who we are as a generation, and how we learned to see the world.

Being the first generation to come of age with computers caused us a unique upbringing; we learned to do things differently.  We were always plugged in, always chatting, always reading.  But not necessarily reading books.           

My sophomore year in college I was first introduced to the classic.  I was hanging out with friends and someone suggested that we watch the movie.  I knew basically nothing about it except that “The Count of Monte Cristo” did not sound appealing.

After those 2 magical hours passed, I was blown away.  I was in love with the movie, with the story and the fact that revenge is a dish best served cold.  It was instantly one of my favorite movies.  Surely I would now read the book right?

            Guess again.

Fast-forward over three years, I decided to Netflix the movie. A group of friends and I watched the film and all the special features. The special features got me thinking; this book must be really good.  Still, no purchase.

At that time I was also toying around the idea of buying an iPhone and would spend hours browsing the app store.  One app in particular caught my eye.  It was “Classics”, an app that for $.99 gives you full versions of classic works of literature on your iPhone (The Count of Monte Cristo included).

I thought it would be cool to be able to read the book anywhere, at anytime.  Shockingly, (and this sounds ridiculous) it never occurred to me that the good old fashion book was portable as well.  The book seemed bulky and massive compared to my phone, a major inconvenience.  After a couple of months of finally realizing that I was a while away from an iPhone (stuck with a Sprint contract) I finally decided to buy the book. 

So I finally bought the book, but not from a bookstore, from Amazon.  Two days later it arrived.  This was three weeks ago.  I will start it later today.

We can learn strong insights on Gen Y from this process.  It only took me two movie viewings, countless discussions, an iPhone app, Amazon, and three years to purchase a book that was $12.

Only would I (Gen Yers) think the portability of a book on a phone was fantastic, but never think of reading the actual book or realize the fact that books are portable themselves.  This overall lack of interest in the classic forms of information (books, newspapers, records, etc) is why the Kindle and iPhone are thriving and Newspapers are dying.  Gen Y is the future, Apple and Amazon are responding, what are you doing to take advantage?

We may not do things by the book, but hey… that’s Gen Y.


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