January 16, 2022

BookNet Canada on “Why and How Canadians Acquire Books”

From the BookNet Canada Blog:

Welcome to part two of the mini blog series featuring results from the Canadian Book Consumer survey. In part one, we shared insights about Canadian book buyers — from most popular formats and subjects to preferred channels to complete a purchase, and more. In this instalment, we’ll take a deep dive into why and how Canadians acquire books — from awareness and discoverability to the reasons why Canadians decide to read, buy, or borrow specific books.


When we asked readers how they generally became aware of books they read or listen to, 38% said awareness was created at a bookstore or retailer, 30% from an author, 25% from a bestseller list, and 25% from the public library.

How readers became aware of books they read

Bar graph that lists percentages of popular options for book awareness: bookstore or retailer (38%), author (30%), bestseller list (25%), library display/shelf (25%), another book (24%), social media (24%), online communities (15%), and digital media (13%).
In 2020, buyers on average bought 1.8 print books, 0.9 ebooks, and 0.3 audiobooks in the prior month.

When we look at the average of books bought by format, we see that

  • print buyers buy, on average, a higher number of print books (2.3) than ebooks (0.5) and audiobooks (0.2);

  • ebook buyers bought an average of 2.7 ebooks in the prior month, compared with 1.2 print books and 0.6 audiobooks; and

  • audiobook buyers bought, on average, 2.2 audiobooks, 1.7 print books, and 1.6 ebooks in the prior month.

When making their purchase, about eight in ten buyers only bought a book(s) (79%). However, 21% bought additional non-book items with their book(s) purchase, mostly groceries, then clothing, toys, or games. And, about a quarter of people said they add books to their online cart to get free shipping (27%), and about a third of people sometimes do so (38%).

Learn More About the Survey and Its Findings, Read the Complete Post (1525 words)

See Also: Part One of the Series

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.