Musings From A Bookmammal

Book Buying Trends–Where Do YOU Fit in?


random house infographic biggerI ran across this infographic the other day–it shows the results of a market research report from June, 2013–and I was curious to see how my book buying patterns stack up. 

Here’s how I compare:

1. What types of books are purchased? I’m in the majority on this one–most of my books are paperbacks. In second place is hardcovers–I’ll buy a hardback if it’s by an author  I adore, or if it’s a book with gorgeous photos or illustrations–or if I just simply can’t wait for my name to get to the top of the library wait list. Bringing up the rear for me is ebooks–I buy MAYBE 5-6 in a year, and usually only if they’re on special. I listen to audiobooks from the library very rarely–it’s probably been a couple of years since I listened to a book–and I’ve never purchased one. (What on earth do you think the “other” category is?)

2. Where are books bought? Once again, I’m with the majority here–probably 75% of the books I buy (new and used)  are purchased online, and the remaining 25% are bought from brick and mortar stores. I belonged to Book of the Month Club and Literay Guild for years, but I let my memberships lapse long ago.

3. What are Americans reading? Here’s where I start to diverge a bit. I read MUCH more nonfiction than fiction, and I purchase more nonfiction, too.

4. Who is purchasing books? Female here–in the majority again.

5. EBook consumers are younger, more affluent, and more educated. I’m a little all over the board on this one. I definitely don’t consider myself an EBook consumer–I simply don’t buy enough of them. I’m over the average age of both print and eBook buyers according to this study. I don’t know if I’d call myself affluent, but I’m certainly earning enough to pay my bills and support my book buying habits. I have a Masters degree.

6. How do consumers learn about books? I’m a little off from the results on this last question. These days I usually hear about books I want to read from online sources –whether it’s online newsletters, blogs, or bookstore websites. Next would come suggestions from friends and family, then TV and/or radio interviews  (not mentioned on this infographic), and then  would come reading about new titles in actual print magazines or journals (again, not mentioned). Last would come in-store displays–which isn’t surprising since I’m not in actual bookstores that often. I rarely look at bestseller lists.

You can click on the graphic to read a brief written summary of the results on the Random House site.

What about you? Where do you fit in? Does anything about this infographic surprise you? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

10 thoughts on “Book Buying Trends–Where Do YOU Fit in?

  1. What an interesting article/infographic! I’m exclusive to ebooks now, I may as well get comfortable saying it.

    • Oh, and I forgot to mention that I started listening to audiobooks last year and I love to listen to books when I’m knitting.

      • I have an hour commute each way to work, so periodically I’ll borrow an audiobook from the library and listen in the car. I’ve found that some books translate to the audiobook version better than others–and it also obviously depends on the skill of the narrator. Sometimes listening to put-upon accents can get tiresome. . .

  2. That’s an interesting infographic. I am with you on no. 1, 2 & 6. As for e-books I have never tried any and neither do I intend to in the near future. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  3. I wonder whether the same would be true in the UK. Most people I know who read regularly have a kindle, I certainly read more e-books than physical books unless they are non-fiction when I prefer to have a physical copy.. Like you I find out about books on-line (blogs now feature heavily in my decision to buy.) I do buy more fiction than non-fiction and I probably read more crime novels than any other type although I find genres are more difficult to define these days.

    • I think you’re right about genre crossover–the lines seem to get more blurred every year–not that that’s a bad thing.
      I think it’s so interesting that you prefer to have physical copies of nonfiction, but prefer fiction to be on your kindle!

  4. Interesting! I was actually surprised to see that only 22% of sales are ebooks! I held out for as long as I could, but then once I got an Ipad Mini I tried the Kindle app and loved it. And now I also love that ebooks are usually cheaper!
    I used to love going to the big Barnes and Noble type bookstores, but now I find it a little depressing because it seems that inevitably they won’t be around much longer. I’m going to enjoy a real “bookstore” while I still can!

    • I agree with you about visiting bookstores–but it almost seems like books are taking a backseat to all the toys, puzzles, workbooks, flashcards, games, etc that are featured in the middle of most B & N stores now. Not that those things don’t have value–but my B & N used to have a huge history and biography section–now it’s down to just a few cases to make way for all the non-book stuff!

  5. We are ebook readers out of necessity. We live in Southeast Asia and have had to stop boxing, lugging and shipping are huge library. We continue to cull our print books and bolster our digital library.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention at Booknificent Thursday


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