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GENTLE READER: Summertime and the reading is trashy. So put down your Pynchon and Marquez and pick up a beach book.

Which one? Your age is likely to determine your choice. According to People POP Profiles, which measures the overall star power of 1,000 celebrities, different generations take to different authors. Gen Xers prefer to be spooked by the tales of Stephen King, while baby boomers and their parents prefer a little intrigue and romance in their lives. Their top choices: John Grisham, author of several Southern-fried legal thrillers, followed by romance novelist Danielle Steel.

The boomers who first propelled Mr. King to scribe superstardom don't seem to have such high regard for him now. They gave him the lowest scores among the three in the areas of likability, hot, trustworthy, cool and believable. Curiously, they gave him higher marks in the one-of-a-kind category. Is that a

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