Press room

Convenience is king for book buyers

Toronto, ON – June 13, 2019 – New research on Canadian book buyers released by BookNet Canada

The most popular reason Canadian book buyers choose a particular store or website for their purchase is convenience, followed closely by selection, price, and then availability. In a recent survey of adult, English-speaking Canadian book buyers, convenience was chosen by one out of four book buyers, while loyalty programs, "shopping for other items," good service, and cheap delivery came in further down the list (13-17%), among other factors. 

Amidst new stories about the resurgence of the indie bookstore and the age of "shop local," it is also interesting to note that sales at indie bookstores have been holding steady the past three years, accounting for 9% of purchases compared to 25% for chain bookstores, while 4% of book buyers say that they chose the place where they made their purchase to "support this shop."

The Canadian Book Buyer 2018, released today by BookNet Canada, updates previous consumer studies with the demographics, purchasing behaviour, format preferences, and subjects purchased by Canadian book buyers, including year-over-year changes between 2016 and 2018. It is essential reading for booksellers, marketers, publishers, sales agencies, libraries, and anyone else who want to reach book buyers.

When it comes to formats purchased, there has been little change over the past three years — paperback is down slightly (49% of purchases, down from 54% in 2016); hardcover has increased (26%, up from 24% in 2016); ebooks have fluctuated from 17% in 2016 to 19% in 2017 and back down to 17% in 2018; while audiobooks have seen minor gains, rising from 3% in 2016 to 4% in 2018. Though it should be noted that audiobook purchases may be underreported, due to the popularity of subscription services and the fact that these are often not considered by listeners to be "purchases."

The Canadian Book Buyer 2018 can be read for free, in its entirety, at

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BNC Research publishes sales, consumer, and industry studies to empower the book supply chain with actionable insights. All our studies can be found at

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Media Contact:
Zalina Alvi
Marketing & Communications Manager
BookNet Canada 
(416) 362-5057 x 2250