January 16, 2022

New Data: “Canadian Book Buyers and Borrowers in 2020”

From BookNet Canada:

Welcome to part three of the mini blog series featuring results from the Canadian Book Consumer survey. To recap, in part one, we shared data about Canadian book buyers — from most popular formats and subjects to preferred channels to complete a purchase, and more. In part two, we shared insights on why and how Canadians acquire books — from awareness and discoverability to the reasons why Canadians decide to read, buy, or borrow specific books. In this instalment, we’ll share data from the responses of buyers and borrowers. Where did they buy and borrow books? Do borrowers buy more books compared to buyers? What role does the library play in book buying? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions, and more.


Source: BookNet Canada

…visits to the library increase book awareness. Familiarity leads to purchases and checkouts. But how did buyers and borrowers decide whether to read, borrow, or buy the book they got in June, September, and December 2020? In-store or online, what influences people’s decisions?


Borrowers’ actions were more evenly distributed among the many options we provided, with six main decision-influencing actions:

  1. Seeing the subject/genre of the book (83%)

  2. Reading the blurbs by other authors (65%)

  3. Comparing the price in multiple places (60%)

  4. Reading or listening to a sample or excerpt (54%)

  5. Reading reviews about the book (50%)

  6. Reading the book description (48%)

Other actions taken by borrowers were seeing if the book was on a bestseller list (36%), checking to see if the library has it (28%), seeing if the book won or was nominated for a book prize (23%), asking what a friend thinks (21%), and reading about the author (20%).


Buyers’ decision-influencing actions when deciding whether to read, borrow, or buy a particular book:

  1. Reading the book description (63%)

  2. Seeing who the author is (42%)

  3. Seeing the subject/genre of the book (42%)

  4. Looking at the cover (41%)

  5. Reading the book’s reviews (39%)

Other actions taken by buyers were reading about the author (27%), comparing the price in multiple places (23%), reading/listening to a sample or excerpt (22%), and checking to see if the library has it (21%).

Learn More, Read the Complete Article (1730 words)

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.