Thursday, March 08, 2007

Book Buying by Teens Is on the Increase

Well, here's a bit of not-quite-unexpected good news. I had a hunch that the number of teen readers might be on the rise just based on the number of new titles and the amount of space dedicated to YA books that I've noticed in the last two or three years. This article makes note of what's been happening.

It's a time of strong writing and strong sales as readers in the 12-to-18 age group rock the marketplace.

"Kids are buying books in quantities we've never seen before," said Booklist magazine critic Michael Cart, a leading authority on young adult literature. "And publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven't seen since the 1940s."

Credit a bulging teen population, a surge of global talent and perhaps a bit of Harry Potter afterglow as the preteen Muggles of yesteryear carry an ingrained reading habit into later adolescence.
Fantasy and graphic novels are especially hot, and adventure, romance, humor and gritty coming-of-age tales remain perennial favorites. In addition, racy series such as "The Gossip Girls" -- often likened to a teen "Sex and the City" -- have created a buzz.

More notably, though, there's a new strain of sophistication and literary heft as publishers cater to the older end of the spectrum with books that straddle teen and adult markets.
It's always fascinating when just about the time that all the experts predict something, the opposite happens, and this is nice to see. Could it be that teens only quit reading because the market gave up on them and there was nothing new that appealed to them? It's especially satisfying to see that teens now aren't reading just graphic novels and things like the "Sweet Valley High" series mentioned in the article.
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