Study Confirms What We’ve All Expected: Children’s Lit Has Exploded

Geek Culture

Art from The Maze Runner.Art from The Maze Runner.

Art from The Maze Runner.

The next time you hear folks complaining that kids aren’t reading enough, point them to a new study by the Association of American Publishers.

A new monthly industry snapshot report produced by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) confirms what we all expected: The children’s book market has exploded.

According to the latest data, total trade book net revenue grew by 27.1% in January of 2012, compared to January of 2011. That growth was seen across all book sales categories — Adult, Children’s/Young Adult and Religious categories.

But kids’ book sales counted for a huge chunk of the surge. To wit: Children’s/Young Adult physical format (aka print format) hardcover and paperback both “saw strong double-digit growth (68.9% and 61.9% respectively)” over the same period last year. That’s an impressive growth in sales, partly due to the crazy popularity of The Hunger Games and other book series such as Percy Jackson & the Olympians and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Most shocking? Ebook sales. According to the AAP’s first monthly data on Children’s/YA eBooks, sales showed “a massive +475.1% increase from 2011 to 2012.” Clearly, kids (or at least their parents) are buying a ton of kids books in the digital format. Why? “Some publishers have attributed this to the availability of more options for devices aimed at those demographics as well as a number of popular new releases,” the report said.

Whatever the reason, children are reading. And much of what they are reading is traditional geek-friendly stories of wizards, dragons, the undead, mythological monsters, maze runners, rangers’ apprentices, spy schools, and Lego and Star Wars (or, ideally, Lego Star Wars). Proving, once again, that the geeks rule the world.

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