The long-term trend of consumers buying more books on impulse at bricks-and-mortar stores than at online retailers continued in 2012, according to Bowker’s 2013 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Book Buying Behaviors Annual Review. In 2012, 28% of all books purchased in stores were bought on impulse, while only 13% of books bought at online retailers were sold on impulse—an increase of one percentage point in both cases over the previous year. Planned purchases accounted for 43% of books bought at online retailers last year, up from 42% in 2011, while planned purchases at physical retailers accounted for 29% of units, up from 27%. In 2012, a third buying option began to gain some traction, as consumers used smartphones and mobile devices to make all sorts of purchases. Mobile book buyers tended to favor planned purchases: 37% of units bought via smartphones were titles that consumers had intended to buy in advance.

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