Publisher’s Weekly reports on a study about readers of YA fiction. 55% of buyers are 18 or older, and 78% of those are purchasing the books for their own reading. The study, Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age, was undertaken by Bowker Market Research.
“The investigation into who is reading YA books began when we noticed a disparity between the number of YA e-books being purchased and the relatively low number of kids who claim to read e-books,” said Kelly Gallagher, v-p of Bowker Market Research. “The extent and age breakout of adult consumers of these works was surprising. And while the trend is influenced to some extent by the popularity of The Hunger Games, our data shows it’s a much larger phenomenon than readership of this single series.”
Yes, much of the uptick can be attributed to The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, but there is also The Fault in Our Stars, a book that contains within it my reason for not previously advertising my affection for it:
“My favorite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn’t like to tell people about it. Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
When I read the book, I had the same protective impulse I felt as a teenager reading Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.
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