Want to know who’s buying books these days? Well, consumer marketing firm Bowker has just released its 2009 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report –-and it’s pretty interesting. Here’s their summary:
- More than 40% of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book in 2009 and the average age of the American book buyer is 42.
- Women lead men in overall purchases, contributing 64% of sales. Even among detective and thriller genres, women top 60% of the sales. Where do men catch up? Fantasy titles are purchased evenly by men and women.
- Baby Boomers spend. The boomer generation is the largest purchasing generation, making up 30% of sales. Their elders contribute 16%.
- More income doesn’t mean more book purchases. 32% of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $35,000 annually, and 20% of those sales were for children’s books.
- Americans like people. The biggest selling nonfiction genre is biography.
So, Shelf Lifers, where do you fit in all this? How many books do you buy a year on average? What’s the last book you bought?