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Who’s Buying Books? Are You?

Posted on 09/8/2010 by |Archived Contributor | Comments

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I ran across this little roundup of an interesting study on book buying habits in America on EW.com. The study was done by consumer marketing firm Bowker and is called the 2009 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report – and some of the findings surprised me, and some did not!
One that did surprise me is that more than 40% of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book in 2009. That seems like a lot of book buying! With public libraries and the increasing use (and decreasing price) of e-readers, I would have guessed a smaller percentage of people were purchasing paper books. The study also found that the average age of the American book buyer is 42.
We already know that the baby boomer generation has spending power, and that notion is true when it comes to books, too. The study found that the boomer generation is the largest purchasing generation, making up 30% of sales. Their elders contribute 16%.
One more notable stat: Thirty-two percent of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $35,000 annually, and 20% of those sales were for children’s books. Books seem to be a high priority for some, no matter their income level.
What are your thoughts? Do you purchase books? What’s the last one you bought?