Something extraordinary happened after Eliana Litos received an e-reader for a Hanukkah gift in December.

“Some weeks I completely forgot about TV,” said Eliana, 11. “I went two weeks with only watching one show, or no shows at all. I was just reading every day.”

Ever since the holidays, publishers have noticed that some unusual titles have spiked in eBook sales. The “Chronicles of Narnia” series. “Hush, Hush.” The “Dork Diaries” series. At HarperCollins, for example, e-books made up 25 percent of all young-adult sales in January, up from about 6 percent a year before--a boom in sales that quickly got the...

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