Why People Read Books? Statistics on Consumer Behavior of Readers

From WordsRated:

This report will focus on the consumer behavior of book buyers and avid readers in the United States. We will cover the process of book discovery, factors readers consider when choosing the next book, as well as why people like to read and engage with books across all formats.

Why do people like to read books?

Reading has multiple benefits for people’s overall well-being, development, and knowledge generation. However, the single most important reason why adult readers (over 18 years of age) decide to engage with books is pure entertainment and leisure:

  • 50.10% of readers (people who engage with at least one book per year) say that the most important reason why they engage with books is for entertainment and leisure. Also, 82.90% of readers stated this as one of the reasons why they read books.
  • For 25.00% of readers, self-improvement is the most important reason why they read books, and 41.40% of them say this is one of the reasons why they engage with reading.
  • 12.80% of people who engage with books do so for the purpose of buying gifts for their friends, family, and colleagues, and 21.20% of people say this is one of the reasons why they engage with books.
  • 11.10% of readers engage with this activity for the sake of education and work, while 18.40% of them state work and school as one of the factors of engaging with books.
Why people buy booksAll reasonsMain reason
Work or school18.40%11.10%

Factors readers consider when buying books

  • The most important factor for readers when choosing their next book is the category/genre of the book – 39.80% of readers consider it to be the most important factor, and over 66.50% of readers consider it to be one of the factors.
  • 23.20% of readers primarily choose the book based on its author, while 61.50% of them consider the book’s author as one of the factors when picking the next read.
  • 15.00% of readers lean on book reviews as the most important factor for the next read, with 43.00% of them having this as one of the factors they consider.
  • Price is the most important factor for 9.20% of readers when it comes to choosing the next book, and 44.00% consider price, among other things.
  • It’s interesting that 3.90% of readers think that the book’s front cover is the most important thing for them to choose the next book, while 23.50% of readers consider the front cover design among other things.
Factors when buying booksThe most important factorAll factors readers consider
Front cover3.90%23.50%
Back cover2.60%13.80%
Publication date0.80%2.30%

There are differences among genders when it comes to factors considered when choosing the next book to read. Men find a book’s genre/category and price more important in the process, while women value their favorite authors and publishers more than men:

Factors when buying booksMenWomen
Front cover4.00%3.00%
Back cover3.00%2.00%
Publication date0.80%1.20%

Link to the rest at WordsRated