Bowker released its much-anticipated 2009 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report today, providing the U.S. book industry with the most complete consumer-based research on who buys books and why. The 2009 Annual Report is culled from more 44,000 total respondents, responsible for the purchase of 118,000 books in 2009.
This year’s report provides data not available in any other source with a scope that captures the changing nature of retail channels, including the growing presence of such mass merchandisers as Wal-Mart. Further, the report captures the explosion of new electronic formats.
Selected Stats from the Summary
+ More than 40% of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book in 2009 and the average age of the American book buyer is 42.
+ Women lead men in overall purchases, contributing 64% of sales. Even among detective and thriller genres, women top 60% of the sales. Where do men catch up? Fantasy titles are purchased evenly by men and women.
+ Baby Boomers spend. The boomer generation is the largest purchasing generation, making up 30% of sales. Their elders – Matures – contribute 16%.
+ More income doesn’t mean more book purchases. 32% of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $35,000 annual and 20% of those sales were for children’s books.
+ Americans like people. The biggest selling non-fiction genre is biography – auto and otherwise.