We investigated the influence of literary education models on the book-reading frequency of students later in life, and how this influence can be explained. In total, 85 mother-tongue teachers in secondary education in the Netherlands were retrospectively questioned about their literary instruction in a random year between 1975 and 1998. Almost 700 former students of these teachers, spread over examination years and levels, were tracked down and interviewed about their current reading frequency. Multilevel analyses showed that the more student-centered the model of literary education is, the higher the later book-reading frequency. As the model gets more teacher-centered, the less students tend to read as adults. These effects do not vary over various student cohorts. Neither do changes in literary education over time explain differences in book-reading frequency between cohorts. Implications of these results are discussed.