SOURCE: Bowker


December 15, 2009 12:31 ET

One in Three Americans Cutting Back on Book Purchases Due to Economy, According to Bowker's New PubTrack Consumer Survey

Latest "Bowker Book Facts" Data Release Provides Insights Into Impact of Current Economic Climate on Consumer Book Purchases

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - Nearly 34 % of Americans report they are cutting down on how many books they are purchasing due to the economic downturn of the past two years, according to newly released data from PubTrack Consumer.

The most recent PubTrack Consumer survey polled Americans of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds regarding what impact the current economic climate has had on their book buying habits. In addition to its finding that more than one-third of Americans have reduced their book purchases, the survey also discovered that 19 % of consumers are either buying more used books or swapping books with others due to the economic downturn. Interestingly, while only 14 % of men reported they were more likely to adopt this frugal behavior now, more than 23 % of women said they were doing so.

Another interesting gender disparity emerged when respondents were asked whether the economic climate has impacted their book buying in any way. While a strong majority of 57 % of men said that the economy had made such an impact on them, more than two-thirds (68 %) of women said that it had such an impact.

Other interesting findings in the survey included the following:

--  Nearly 13% reported buying fewer hardcover books and more paperbacks
--  Roughly 12% are buying books only at deep discounts or on sale
--  More than 10% are going to lower cost outlets for their book purchases
--  Only 2.6% of consumers are buying more books as a less expensive
    alternative to other forms of entertainment
--  Less than 2% said they were buying more e-books to download
--  Seniors (consumers over the age of 65) are the least likely age group
    to be cutting back on book buying due to the economy (26%)

PubTrack Consumer, a service of Bowker, is the publishing industry's exclusive resource for understanding consumer book buying behavior. Data are derived from a nationally representative panel of U.S adult men, women and teens that complete weekly online surveys about their book purchase behavior.

The statistics announced in this document are the latest in a series of "Bowker Book Facts" data releases to journalists who cover the book publishing industry and other industry observers. As a service to the publishing marketplace, Bowker occasionally draws on its vast information resources to distribute interesting statistics regarding the business of book publishing and consumer book buying behavior.

About Bowker

Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, as well as providing services to publishers that help them better understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker is a member of the ProQuest family of companies and is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., with additional operations in England and Australia. For more information, please visit

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