Need a great book? Try teen lit

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Need it be a guilty pleasure? At least one reader confessed to Canadian newspaper the Leader-Post that she has been known to wrap teen novels ... inside an issue of The Economist while reading in public."

The reason for her discomfort? She's 26.

However, she's hardly alone, points out the Leader-Post, which goes on to state that at Canadian bookseller Chapters/Indigo, "By the end of this year, YA (young adult) will be the top-selling genre in that market niche, and probably the chain's highest-selling category behind adult fiction."

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Less than a decade ago, teen fiction was the second-weakest category in the chain's juvenile portfolio.

Of course J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" vampire series have much to do with the explosion of interest in teen books, but if you're not looking further than that you're being cheated, argue other adult readers.

In a piece called "35 Going on 13" in libraryjournal.com, Washington state librarian Angelina Benedetti writes of the passion for teen literature that she discovered as an adult. She finds the best of these books to be "a quick literary fix without the padding."

Benedetti urges adult readers to go "beyond ... Meyer, Paolini, and Rowling." Her piece includes an October list of scary teen books. Next month, she promises to list her favorite 2008 teen reads for adults.

"For years," Benedetti writes, "my nonlibrarian, non-teen reading friends have come to me asking for ideas because teen books are shorter, faster-paced, and designed to appeal to discriminating readers. "

So for all of you out there heading behind your copies of the Economist, perhaps now is the time to come forward!

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