Like many forms of entertainment over the past year of the pandemic, books have become an important way for people to pass the time and relax. In a recent CivicScience survey, book readers report preferring new, printed books at a higher rate than they did in April 2020 (39%). This is in line with a BookScan study that reported an 8.2% rise in print book sales in 2020, a rise that has continued throughout the first quarter of 2021.
Around three-fourths of people prefer to read books in print (73% new and used combined) over ebooks or audio options.
Since the same April report, the majority of people still say books are important parts of their lives (87%). In a new survey, CivicScience data also show that 44% of U.S. adults who read, do so for fun every single day.
Overall, more than half of U.S. adults report that they have purchased a physical book within the last year. And it was most likely a physical book rather than an ebook. Twenty-two percent of adults read on a Kindle or other reader and ownership of ebook readers is not increasing at a noticeable rate.
Frequent readers — those who read every day to several times a month — report buying physical books more recently than people who don’t read as often. But even those who read for fun just a few times a year have recently bought a book. In fact, nearly half (47%) have bought a book at least within in the last year.
Considering many people are rearing for a vacation or summer trip, it’s no surprise that those who reported over the past six months that they planned to travel by plane have bought a physical copy of book at a higher rate than people not traveling or traveling by car only.
And lastly, people who say books are an important part of their life also happen to believe shopping at locally-owned establishments to be very important.
As more people return to shopping at brick-and-mortar businesses, and ahead of the season for buying “beach reads,” there’s a very good chance bookstores, particularly local ones, will see their usual browsers back between the stacks.