Amazon (and B&N.com) is one of my favorite places to procrastinate-- I'll go there to check on my books , to find new and interesting covers, to browse my favorite YA fiction, and to occasionally even buy a (gasp!) book for "grown-ups". (I'm now reading and enjoying Girls in Trucks). I also love seeing all the Lists, as well as the reviews, many of which seem to be written by real-life teens! There is clearly a strong teen presence on Amazon, but yet when I email with my fans, many of them say that they are not allowed to purchase books online. This makes sense--I certainly didn't have a credit card when I was a teenager (and, uh, Amazon didn't exist yet!), so buying books meant a $20 bill and hitting up my wonderful local book shop (this was also before the Barnes & Noble megastores, which came into being when I was in the middle of high school).
I wonder: what are teens' book-buying methods today? Do they use Amazon or other online retailers to see what catches their fancy, and then visit a bookstore to seek those titles out? Are their parents purchasing the books for them, and how much does parental approval play into the book-buying process? (I remember my mom being hesitant to buy me a racy-looking Sweet Valley High...my reading of which probably inspired me, almost unconsciously, to write the books I do!).
Plus: where do libraries fit into the picture? What proportion of YA readers frequent their local libraries and leave with armfuls of novels? (When I was growing up, I loved nothing better than a long summer day spent at the library). When I stopped by a small library on the Upper East Side the other day to work on some writing, the YA shelf looked very well-stocked but I didn't spot any teens, as I often will in Barnes&Noble.
I'm curious as to what others think/experience on this topic...
Thanks, and happy spring to all...