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National book count tallies Canadians’ love of reading

Canadians love to read, and now we have the numbers to prove it.

For the second year in a row, the literacy advocacy coalition known as the National Reading Council has tallied book sales and library loans for a typical week in January (which, it should be noted, is a notoriously slow month for the book trade). The group found that, across Canada, a total of 3.4 million English- and French-language books were bought and circulated from Jan. 23 to 29, up 26 per cent from a comparable period last year, when the figure was 2.7 million. (However, the NRC describes the count as offering a “snapshot” of the industry as opposed to systematic analysis and “cautions against over-interpretation” of the data.)

One reason for the increase is the fact that, for the first time, the count included sales of English-language ebooks, which totalled 111,053, or 10 per cent of overall English book sales. Other highlights from the report:

  • 1,153,081 print books were sold by retailers including Indigo Books & Music, Amazon.ca, other national chains, and more than 260 independent bookstores. English-language print book sales for the week increased 4 per cent over 2011
  • 2,141,553 print books were borrowed from 28 participating public library systems tracked by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with 63,196 ebooks downloaded. Canadian libraries saw an 8 per cent increase in print circulation and a 50 per cent increase in digital circulation for an overall increase of 9 per cent total circulation for libraries that participated in 2011 and 2012
  • French-language print book sales increased 35 per cent over 2011, though the report cautions, “This number primarily reflects increased count coverage, not necessarily a surge in book purchases. No French language [ebook] sales were captured this year.”

The book count paves the way for the NRC’s third annual National Reading Summit, to be held in Vancouver May 2“4.


February 16th, 2012

1:15 pm

Category: Book news

Tagged with: comedy, ebooks, National Reading Council