A survey from BookNet Canada, the Canadian organization that compiles sales and other data about Canadian publishing, found that 33% of Canadians reported having read a book daily, while half of all Canadians read at least part of one book per week last year. This is unchanged from 2020. What's more, the survey, which covered 1,282 Canadians, found that approximately 80% of Canadians had read or listened to a book in the previous year. Of those, 94% had read at least one print book in 2021, 64% had read at least one e-book, and 45% had listened to at least one audiobook.

Other takeaways from the survey include:

  • 42% of readers are using smartphones more to listen to their audiobooks, up from 28% of readers in 2020.
  • Print book readers read more adult nonfiction in 2021 than they did in 2020 — 69% in 2021 up from 61% in 2020. YA books also continue to rise in popularity.
  • Nearly all readers, 90%, agreed (58%) or sometimes agreed (32%) that it is important that books should be representative of a variety of experiences.

When asked what kinds of things did readers do to engage with books other than just read them, the responses included:

  • • 38% searched for other books by that author;
  • • 22% shared the experience, book, or photo of the book with others;
  • • 17% went online to read about the author or follow them on social media;
  • • 16% added the book to a list of books they were currently reading or had
  • finished reading;
  • • 11% made notes or highlighted text;
  • • 10% read parts of the book aloud;
  • • 10% took an action as a direct result of the book;
  • • 7% bought a copy of the book they had borrowed;
  • • 7% bought or borrowed the book in another format; and
  • • 7% considered the book part of a reading challenge.

Finally, when asked about book discovery and their awareness, the survey revealed word of mouth was the most popular means of discovering a book (36%), bookstores were next (27%), followed by public library (25%), while using online book retailers for discovery dropped from one in four readers in 2020 to one in five readers in 2021. Podcasts rose in terms of a discovery method and are up from 5% in both 2019 and 2020 to 8% in 2021.

Literary awards and “Best of” lists continue to fall in their influence, dropping from 14% of readers saying they found books this way in 2019, to 9% in 2020, and now 6% in 2021.

The full survey is available to download for free.