With less than three weeks remaining before "The Hunger Games" movie is released, I thought it was time to join the 20-plus millions who have read books in Suzanne Collins' hit trilogy. (That and the contunued urging of my teen-age niece, K.T.)

Collins' tale about the life-or-death competition among youngsters in post-apocalyptic North America was aimed at a young adult audience -- much like Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series -- but has swept far beyond that group. In fact, while I was waiting for a plane in Connecticut this morning, a grey-haired woman noticed my book and told me how much she has enjoyed the series. She already has tickets for the movie, which is released March 23.

This is perfect reading for a plane flight -- easy reading with plenty of action to distract you from crying babies. I'm less than half-way through the first book, but I already like it more than Twilight. The writing is much more descriptive, and the characters more complex.

Pre-release hype over the movie, including a tour of malls -- what better way to reach   American teens? -- is already boiling over. Last weekend, fans camped out overnight in Los Angeles for a chance to meet stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, according to Entertainment Weekly. Expect a lot more as the release date nears.