Gen Y buys more books than baby boomers


Who says that a generation raised on video games doesn't pick up books?

Members of Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1989, spent more money on books than baby boomers in 2011, according to the 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviours Annual Review.

Baby boomers account for the highest percentage of the general population in North America, and have long been the leaders in book purchases. This changed in 2011, though, as Gen Y members accounted for 30 per cent of book sales (up from 24 per cent in 2010), while boomers' spending slipped from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

The consumer-based report noted that the continued growth of digital book sales may have a hand in this, as Gen Y members purchase 43 per cent of their books online. The report stated that eBook consumption rose from 4 per cent of book sales in 2010 to 14 per cent in 2011. Younger, more tech-savvy consumers may be hunting for better deals and have an easier time buying what they want.

"Consumers can now very easily purchase virtually any book they want, whenever they want it and get it at a competitive price," said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president of Bowker Market Research. "It's more essential than ever before to understand who is buying and what their expectations and habits are."

The annual report results are based on a survey of nearly 70,000 American consumers who bought books in any format in 2011.