This year’s survey report is now available. It’s taken me quite some time to compile the results because … as you know I spent the last five weeks recovering from a plane crash.
The survey attracted 2418 participants from around the world – 84% female and 16% male.
A few highlights to whet your appetite.
AS IN PRIOR YEARS, THE SURVEY ATTRACTED HIGH VOLUME READERS– 72% read more than 20 books a year; 55% read more than 30
49% of participants USE SOCIAL MEDIA REGULARLY TO SUPPORT THEIR READING
GENDER MAKES A DIFFERENCE– among the differences—women read more than men and use social media more regularly in support of reading; men and women prefer different types of stories and different non-fiction
PRINT BOOKS REMAIN POPULAR– Of 2418 participants, 75% frequently or exclusively use print books
Not surprisingly, ENTERTAINMENT IS THE DOMINANT REASON FOR READING FICTION
Readers say that FEELING IMMERSED IN THE NOVEL’S WORLDis the most important factor for their reading
THE TOP TWO FACTORS when choosing a book are SUBJECT MATTERand GENRE
AGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE – among the differences – interest in fantasy decreases with age; the highest use of phone-based e-readers is for those between 30 and 50
FRIENDS ARE THE TOP SOURCE FOR BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS– chosen by 61% of participants when asked for their top three sources
For reading purposes, CONNECTING WITH THE AUTHOR OF A BOOK is the social media functionality most valued by participants
The 2018 Reader Survey released last week and I thought you might like to have a peek at early results. At this point, it’s unlikely the percentages will change in a dramatic way for these particular questions.
Books per year
Percent of books that are fiction
Favourite non-fiction categories
If you haven’t taken the survey, here’s the link. And please share the link on your favourite social media https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68HL6F2 .
FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)
Well, we’ve looked at sex and at differences between US and UK readers, so I thought we would take a look at age differences in this post. The numbers are: 203 between 20 and 29; 371 between 30 and 39; 537 between 40 and 49; 695 between 50 and 59; 466 between 60 and 69.
My expectation is that the under 30 crowd in particular will have different preferences. Here’s what I found.
Where do you purchase/acquire books?
Bookstores prove to be more popular amongst the under 30 crowd than other age groups with 53% citing bookstores as locations they frequently or exclusively use. The next highest group of bookstore users is the 40-49 crowd at 43%.
In addition, under 30s are more likely to borrow from friends than all other age groups.
What book format are you reading?
under 30s are much less likely to be reading ‘mostly e-books’ (13%) than all other age groups (23 to 25%), and more likely than all other groups to read mostly print books. Seems consistent with this group’s preference for bookstores and borrowing from friends.
What factors are important when choosing a book?
price has the least impact on folks in the 50-59 age group;
cover design is less of a factor the older you are, decreasing from 30% for under 30s to 14% for those over 60. You can’t fool older folks with an eye-catching cover!
All other factors – author, length, subject matter, trusted recommendation and publisher imprint – are roughly equal across age groups.
for paperbacks, under 40s are willing to pay more than other age groups;
for hardback books, willingness to pay higher prices rises with age.
Why do you read historical fiction?
‘to understand the experience of those marginalized by history’ has the greatest appeal to those under 30 while ‘because it’s a form of time travel’ decreases in appeal as age increases.
What type of historical fiction appeals to you?
preferences for romance, for strong female characters and for myth/legend/fantasy decreases with age
series with ongoing characters have less appeal with the under 30 crowd – I find this particular result surprising given the interest in writers like GRR Martin.
What time period do you prefer?
‘choosing widely from different time periods’ has more appeal to those over 50.
Other time period choices were roughly the same for each age group.
Where do you find recommendations for good books?
those under 30 say they get fewer recommendations from friends and more from browsing bookstores
those under 40 are the most like to use social media for recommendations
those over 50 are most likely to use the books section of their newspaper
online retailers and websites/blogs are relatively equal as a source of recommendations across age groups
What do you look for in a book review?
the older you are, the more interested you are in information about the author as part of a book review
Use of blogs, social media, and other online sites for recommendations and book discussion
use of online sources decreases with age
use of book ratings are highly valued by under 30s (44%) – this aspect decreases with age to 22% for those over 60
the appeal of book giveaways, best of lists, opportunity to comment, and ability to track your books decreases with age
Your feedback is welcome – debate encouraged! As in other posts, I’ve included differences only when the data showed significant gaps in age groups. There are lots of other posts about the 2013 reader survey and you can find survey highlights here.