A survey published this month by Booknet Canada found that Canadians prefer reading books in print. It also found that more are opting to do their reading on smartphones, or listen to audiobooks.
The results of the survey, which come from 750 respondents, found that 90% of respondents that had read a book in the last year had read a print book. However, 22% of respondents ranked reading last among a string of leisure activities that include browsing the Internet (33%), spending time with family (32%), watching TV (31%) and going to the movies (23%).
BookNet Canada, a nonprofit book industry research organization, reported that 82% of respondents said they had read a book in the last year, about the same percentage as its 2016 survey found. The number of respondents who had read at least one book during the past year has been declining since 2014 though, when 88% of respondents reported reading at least one book.
Of those that had read a book in the past year, 46% said they went to a library to get the book (be it in the form of e-book, print or audio). This figure is about the same as the year before.
While 90% of respondents who had read a book in the past year said it was a print book, 48% said they had read an e-book in the past year and 26% said they had listened to an audiobook, which is a slight increase from last year.
The use of smartphones to read e-books rose 6% to 20%, up slightly from last year. Thirty eight percent of respondents use tablets to read their e-books, up slightly from last year, while the use of dedicated e-readers has declined about 5%.
Not surprisingly the age of the respondents tended to indicate the preference of formats. Readers aged 18-44 tended to prefer audiobooks over print and e-books. Readers aged 45-55 spread their preferences evenly across print, audio and e-books, while readers over the age of 55 tended to prefer print.
Canadian respondents also said word of mouth (50%) was generally how they found out about new books, followed by browsing in physical stores and searching online (both 38%). Less popular methods of discovery included visits to the public library and social media (both 30%). Thirteen percent of respondent said they found out about books via print newspapers and magazines, while an even smaller group cited e-reading apps, radio and TV.