Booknet Canada is releasing the results of its Canadian Book Consumer survey in a three-part blog series, the first of which focused on Canadians who bought at least one book in March, June, September or December 2020. Among the highlights:
About 75% of purchases were print books, while digital books made up about 25%. Paperback purchases accounted for about half of book purchases and hardcovers 25%, with paperbacks trending slightly down from 2018 to 2020, while hardcovers were mostly flat. Audiobook purchases hovered between 2% and 8%, trending slightly upwards over the last few years.
At the end of 2019, online purchases had been trending slightly downward, but that altered in March 2020 as pandemic-induced restrictions affected demand. At the end of 2020 in December, online purchases rose to 65%, a 24% increase from the fourth quarter in 2019. Overall in 2020, 65% of purchases were made online (website or app), and 29% of purchases were bought in person.
In 2020, 50% of purchases were made via an online retailer, 23% at a bookstore, 12% from a general retailer or grocery store and 7% from both mobile apps and e-book/audiobook stores. About three-quarters of Canadians bought where they did because of the price (74%). They also bought because the book(s) were in stock or available immediately (71%) or it was a convenient place to shop (69%).
Slightly more than half of buyers bought their books at full price (55%), while 28% bought a discounted book. The rest used a coupon or bought the book as part of a multi-buy deal or subscription.
|Almost Corner Bookshop in Rome
Italy has classified books as "essential," meaning bookshops can remain open even as half the country has been placed in a maximum-level Covid-19 red zone, "in what is effectively a return to the lockdown days of this time last year," Wanted in Rome reported.
ALI Confcommercio, Italy's booksellers association, welcomed the recognition of books as "essential goods, WiR noted, adding that opening is optional for booksellers and the usual anti-covid rules apply, with customers filling in their self-declaration form accordingly. Bookstores located inside shopping malls are also allowed to open, and bookdealers can continue making home deliveries.
The Almost Corner Bookshop in Rome posted on Facebook: "Well, here we go again, from Monday we will be back in lockdown, but there is some good news, the Almost Corner Bookshop will be open. So if you need an excuse to get out the house come visit us, stock up for the coming weeks and if you don't want to go out we will be happy to deliver."
|Livraria Ler Devagar
Portuguese bookseller Livraria Ler Devagar (Read Slowly Bookstore) in Lisbon "was among the few businesses allowed to reopen on Monday as the government slowly eases a lockdown imposed in mid-January to control what was then the world's worst coronavirus surge," Reuters reported. Owner Jose Pinho's bookshop, "in an old factory-turned-creative hub, one of the city's coolest spots, is popular among tourists but they were nowhere to be seen and the streets were nearly deserted."
"There's a belief that never leaves me: this will end," he said. "The problem is how long it will take and under what conditions we are going to live until then. That's the big drama."
Ler Devagar's revenues dropped 52% in 2020, but thus far this year business has gotten even worse, down 88% from last January through March.
"It could become a tragedy if we are not able to make it and have to shut," Pinho said "What motivates us is to think that... it won't be another year." --Robert Gray