BookNet Canada reports that Canadian books and authors are gaining in popularity and awareness among Canadians.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, BookNet revisited its Canadians Reading Canadians survey to see if the attitudes of Canadians towards Canadian books and authors had changed over the past five years. The data is encouraging: 44% of those surveyed reported they had read at least one book by a Canadian author during the past year, a significant jump of 20% since the last survey in 2012. Similar statistics were observed for books with a Canadian subject.
Overall, respondents expressed the desire to read more books by Canadian authors along with a greater appreciation for Canadian works.
The study also looked at the book-buying habits of consumers. The majority reported purchasing their books new, but a significant number also indicated receiving books as a gift, borrowing from friends or family, purchasing used or borrowing from a library.
When asked to name a Canadian author, the number of respondents able to identify at least one was in the range of 20%, notably higher than the previous survey. Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents identified Margaret Atwood in answer to this question.
Slight drop in book sales in the first half of 2017
Despite the heightened interest in Canadian books and authors, Canadians purchased slightly fewer books in the first six months of 2017. In its biannual review of the state of the Canadian book market, BookNet reported an overall decline of 2.7% in sales in the book sector compared to the first six months of the previous year. However, Canadians still spent $398 million on English-language print books in the first six months of the year.
As to which format consumers prefer, ebooks and online shopping increased in popularity. A 3% gain was observed in the purchase of ebooks compared to the same period the previous year. Online purchases and downloads posted a similar increase during the same period.
For more information on the studies produced by BookNet Canada, please consult their website.