With sales up in all categories, unit sales of print books rose 9.5% in the week ended Oct. 31, 2020, over the comparable week in 2019, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The top-selling book was The Deep End (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #15) by Jeff Kinney, which sold more than 171,000 copies and helped to drive up sales in the juvenile fiction category by 15.5%. A second new release that landed high on the category list was Jimmy Fallon’s 5 More Sleeps ’til Christmas, which sold more than 21,000 copies. For most categories, sales increases over the week ended Nov. 2, 2019, weren’t driven by hot new bestsellers but by solid sales overall. The #1 title in the juvenile nonfiction category, for example, was Big Preschool Workbook, which sold a modest 7,200 copes. The YA fiction category, which had a 25.7% increase, was once again led by Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun, which sold more than 17,000 copies.
A survey published this month by Booknet Canada found that Canadians prefer reading books in print. It also found that more are opting to do their reading on smartphones, or listen to audiobooks.
The results of the survey, which come from 750 respondents, found that 90% of respondents that had read a book in the last year had read a print book. However, 22% of respondents ranked reading last among a string of leisure activities that include browsing the Internet (33%), spending time with family (32%), watching TV (31%) and going to the movies (23%).
BookNet Canada, a nonprofit book industry research organization, reported that 82% of respondents said they had read a book in the last year, about the same percentage as its 2016 survey found. The number of respondents who had read at least one book during the past year has been declining since 2014 though, when 88% of respondents reported reading at least one book.
Of those that had read a book in the past year, 46% said they went to a library to get the book (be it in the form of e-book, print or audio). This figure is about the same as the year before.
While 90% of respondents who had read a book in the past year said it was a print book, 48% said they had read an e-book in the past year and 26% said they had listened to an audiobook, which is a slight increase from last year.
The use of smartphones to read e-books rose 6% to 20%, up slightly from last year. Thirty eight percent of respondents use tablets to read their e-books, up slightly from last year, while the use of dedicated e-readers has declined about 5%.
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