Buyers, borrowers, and good news

Libraries and booksellers, we've got good news for you: People love you both. The big questions on our minds when we started surveying Canadians about their library and book-buying habits were: "Do people who borrow books from the library also buy books? Or are the two groups, buyers and borrowers, two distinct groups that shall never overlap?"

Library users buy books — more books on average than non-library users.

It turns out that a large portion of people who borrow books from the library, also buy them! And, even better, those who both borrow and buy books purchase even more than those who only buy them. Those who only buy and don't use the library ("buyers") bought an average of 2.8 books a month, whereas those who borrow books from the library and buy ("buyer-borrowers") bought an average of 3.0 books a month.

A venn diagram showing that Buyers made up 1,807 of respondents and made 4,903 purchases. Borrowers made up 2,908 respondents, and made 8,943 checkouts. And Buyer-borrowers made up 1,123 respondents with 3,358 purchases and 4,430 checkouts.

Our newest, free study Borrow, Buy, Read: Library Use and Book Buying in Canada looks at the intersection of library use and book buying in Canada. Using data from BookNet Canada's ongoing surveys of adult, English-speaking book buyers and library users, the study not only shows that those who borrow books also buy them — it also provides in-depth information on popular subjects bought and borrowed, profiles of the average book buyer and borrower, and much more.

Read the entire report here.

And, while we have you, we wanted to let you know that we're encouraging libraries across Canada to share their circulation data for our exciting new LibraryData project currently in development. Read more about it here.