Sales of English-language print books in Canada, for the first six months of 2018, were down 1% compared with the same period last year. The numbers were released by BookNet Canada and BNC SalesData, the national sales tracking service.

BookNet's just-released quarterly survey of adult book buyers indicated that the sales through various channels have remained stable, with online retailers accounting for 52% of purchases, up 1% from the same period last year. General retailers, including independent bookstores, saw a drop of 0.5%.

When it comes to formats, paperbacks are the most popular, accounting for 51% of book sales. Meanwhile, hardcovers are at 23%, ebooks at 18%, and audiobooks at 4%.

The fluctuations in these percentages from the same time last year were slight, with ebooks down 2%, and audiobooks up just 1%. That said, BookNet noted that the survey may be underreporting sales of audiobooks, as so many people access audiobooks through subscription and streaming services.