I don't read much fantasy books, unless like the Twilight Saga count. Which could be debatable in that vampires are not real and that they are mythical creatures, same as the wolves that are in the book. Fantasy even though is not as popular as other genres it is defiantly on the rise with the popularity of "Harry Potter" and "Twilight". The making of these movies is also very helpful, fantasy movies are on the rise.
Fantasy i have found after reading "Lord of the Rings" is a great way to use the imagination because fantasy isn't always something one can relate to in everyday life. Reading it one must really keep an open mind to new thoughts and idea's. I think that maybe the rise of fantasy is a reflection of how American culture is becoming more open to new idea's, especially with the fall of the economy more people are being open to what could help, and at the same time seeking a place to get away from reality which is what fantasy allows.
With Fantasy also comes science fiction there is a very fine line i believe between fantasy and science fiction and the only differences i find that science fiction has more of a possibility to happen. Realistically vampires and wolves are not going to eventually live among us, same with elves and hobbits, categorizes that as fantasy but with science fiction their could be life on other planets, it is possible to make up a language and have all these cures of illnesses, i categorize that as science fiction. Both are not as popular but on the rise in popular american culture.