The reading generation
According to this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, teenagers are reading more now than they have in decades. Not only that, but they’re "buying books in quantities we’ve never seen before," says Booklist magazine’s Michael Cart, who also notes that "publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven’t seen since the 1940s."
The reasons for the surge, besides a high teen population at present (over 30 million), include more quality young adult literature in just about every genre, with fantasy and graphic novels being particularly in vogue. But it’s not just buying – teens are also visiting libraries in greater numbers, and many librarians are seeing a greater circulation of teen fiction than adult fiction.
Oddly, the article doesn’t really credit online activity for this upswing; it actually notes, "The staying power of books is especially remarkable given the lure of YouTube, MySpace and other techie diversions." But as any teen or adult can tell you, you need to be able to read, and read well and fast, in order to fully partake of online "techie diversions," and once you’re reading stuff you like, you’re bound to read more.