I don't know how middle and high schoolers are now, but books weren't the high topic at the lunch table back then for me, and I don't remember hearing much discussion from my peers. My crowd enjoyed music, like a ton! I'll admit it, when I read, it was for class; it wasn't for fun.
Sadly enough, I didn't really start loving words until I read the Harry Potter series and then came the Twilight Saga. That's when my book collection started and I haven't stopped devouring words since.
Was literature discussed as much before Harry Potter? I assume so; however, it seems like reading is the talk of the town now, and in all age ranges, to boot.
Many movies these days are brought to a theater near you because of books. Goodreads floods the internet with countless reviews to tempt our reading fancy. E-books are available at the click of the mouse.
Has reading taken over the world on a higher scale than it was ten or fifteen years ago? If so, great! If not, no worries!
Are authors the new rock stars? I'd agree with that statement.