Print books still dominant in Canada, survey says

Published On October 11, 2012 | By | Business

Canadians are still turning to print, with 86 per cent of people still choosing books over the e-book option.
PHOTO BY VICTORIA BROWN

By Victoria Brown

It appears most Canadians are paper people.

A survey by BookNet Canada reports 86 per cent of Canadians still buy printed books.

Despite a 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus report finding Canadians lead the world in time spent online, only 19 per cent buy e-books.

Pamela Millar, director of customer relations at BookNet, said they anticipate a growth in e-book sales however, quite a bit of survey respondent’s feel they want to unplug and hold a book.

The popularity of printed books may stem from convenience, as Canadians seem to be buying books while on the go.

“We found that about 25 per cent of books were unplanned purchases,” said Millar. “Whereas 75 per cent of purchases are planned in some capacity.”

The survey has found that buying in-store remains dominant.

Millar said they’re finding many book purchases are happening at non-book related stores.

“I think quite a few purchases are happening when people are buying other goods,” said Millar. “They’re buying groceries, they’re buying coffee, and they’re also picking up a book at the same time.”

Dijana Kladnjakovic, senior library technician at Humber College, said the library’s e-book selection has grown 67 per cent since 2010 but students are still opting for print.

“They do ask for more print then they do for e-book,” said Kladnjakovic.

Students at Humber are slowly beginning to inquire about e-books said Kladnjakovic, but are often unsure how to deal with the electronic format.

“They’re not always clear with the faculty on if they can use [E-books] for assignments [e-books].” said Kladnjakovic.

The hesitation towards e-books will eventually disappear for students said Kladnjakovic, and adds that she can see students are becoming more comfortable with e-format this year.

The BookNet survey data available reflects the just first six months of 2012 survey.

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