Who Buys Books in Canada?

Who Buys Books in Canada?, a recent report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series by Hill Strategies Research, shows that a total of $1.1 billion was spent on books in 2001. An average of $196 was spent by each of the 5.7 million households with book spending. The 5.7 million households with book spending represent 48% of all households in Canada.

The report examines spending on books, not all those who read books. There are many ways to enjoy books without spending money on them, such as borrowing from libraries or friends.

The $1.1 billion spent on books is fairly similar to overall spending on newspapers ($1.2 billion) and movie theatre admissions ($1.2 billion) and amounts to more than double the spending on live sporting events ($451 million).

The 1.4 million households that spent more than $200 on books accounted for 64% of all book spending ($720 million). Households that are active in other arts and leisure activities are most likely to spend significant amounts on books. About 12% of all households spent more than $200 on books in 2001. In comparison:

  • 31% of the highest spenders on performing arts spent more than $200 on books;
  • 28% of the highest spenders on museums spent more than $200 on books;
  • 26% of the highest spenders on art, antiques and decorative ware spent more than $200 on books; and
  • 23% of the highest spenders on live sports events spent more than $200 on books.

This analysis implies that an effective book marketing strategy could target households that are active in arts and leisure activities.

Summary: 

Who Buys Books in Canada?, a recent report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series by Hill Strategies Research, shows that a total of $1.1 billion was spent on books in 2001. An average of $196 was spent by each of the 5.7 million households with book spending. The 5.7 million households with book spending represent 48% of all households in Canada.

Legacy ID (artUID): 
50202