Book Buying and Reading Demographics

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One of the magazines I started getting automatically once I registered my publishing business/book is Book Business. In their current issue, I was especially interested in the following statistics under the heading “Who is Reading Books?” in one of the articles. Here is what they reported:

  • The average age of today’s book reader is 44, but 50 is the average age of the most frequent book buyer.
  • 58 percent of readers are women; 42 percent are men.
  • Women purchase 65 percent of books.
  • 50 percent of Americans ages 13 and older bought a book last year.
  • 41 percent of all books purchased are by buyers earning less than $35,000/year.
  • $10.08 is the average price paid for a book last year.
  • 31 percent of in-store or online purchases are impulse buys.

(Statistics presented by Kelly Gallagher, general manager, Business Intelligence, for R.R. Bowker and chair of BISG’s research committee.)

3 Responses to “Book Buying and Reading Demographics”

  1. Scott Says:

    Hi. Was curious, what year do these statistics apply to? (2010 from a 2011 article?) and/or what was the date of the Book Business magazine article? THANKS!

  2. Natalie Says:

    I think it was the May/June 2011 issue of the magazine, so I assume these stats refer to 2010. That’s my guess, anyway!

  3. Will Conley Says:

    Thanks for the helpful info! I found this via a Google search for “book reader demographics”. It seems the ideal book buying reader is a 44- to 50-year-old woman with ten bucks to spare.

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