People Are Reading More, Print Books Alive and Well

ThriftBooks inaugural Reader Survey offers insights into the mind of a reader.

Seattle, Washington, UNITED STATES

Seattle, WA, April 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ThriftBooks, the world’s largest online used bookstore, commissioned a study of 1,000 readers to learn about reading habits. Praxis Research conducted the inaugural annual survey, and respondents were a mix of ThriftBooks customers and a panel of readers from both Canada and the United States.

According to Marcelo Nacht, Praxis Research Partners, “The robust sample size employed yields results which are highly projectible to the entire US reader population (+/- 3% at the 95% level of confidence).  Further, the incidence of reading by specific formats (print, e-book, audiobook) are consistent with other recently published studies, adding additional credence to these results.”

The results showed a variety of differences. To share the learnings, ThriftBooks is publishing a series of infographics highlighting some of the most interesting insights.

Key learnings:

  • Women enjoy Mystery more (37% citing as their preferred genre)
  • 2% of men admit to reading Romance as a preferred genre
  • 70% of respondents prefer print over e-books
  • Women prefer reading in bed, and 13% of people read while they commute (hopefully not while driving)
  • Men and women were equally likely to read in the tub

“A hot topic among readers is adaptation of books to movie or television. It was fascinating to see just how deep the rift is among the responses we got in the survey,” said Nicole Cox, VP of Sales & Marketing. “Only 35% of respondents always read the book before seeing the movie, 16% claim to have read a book when in fact they’ve only seen the movie, and a big surprise was 23% of people said that watching a movie is the same as reading the book.” 

  • 55% of audiobook listeners listen during a commute
  • 52% listen to audiobooks while they exercise, and 27% while they work
  • 81% of people with kids read at bedtime
  • 12% of men with kids say they never read aloud to their kids
  • 92% of kids ages 10-17 borrow books from the library
  • Only 22% of respondents dog-ear the page to keep their place
  • 73% of readers never write in a book

The large number of people who never write in books could explain books being shared after reading; 16% said they gift their books, 15% donate them, and 8% sell them. Finally, 2% are recycled (after reading in the tub, perhaps?) 

  • 48% of readers indicated they are reading more than they were 5 years ago
  • Average annual spend is $162 on books, 80% of that on print books
  • On average we read 8.6 hours per week and 23 books per year
  • The average backlog of books to be read is still a staggering 15

“Of course, we liked confirming that 70% of respondents prefer reading print books,” said Nicole Cox, VP of Sales & Marketing. “It was also encouraging to see that people are reading more, with 28% of people reading 2 or more books at a time.”

  • 30% indicate they utilize a study guide instead of reading the book
  • 1-in-10 admits to lying about having read a book
  • 75% have re-read a book they enjoy
  • 66% will pause reading at the end of a chapter
  • 81% of people will make a recommendation

We’re looking forward to next year’s results to see how the state of reading will change. 

Learn more about the reader survey results and check out the infographics at


About ThriftBooks Global, LLC

Based in Seattle, WA, ThriftBooks is the largest online seller of used books in the world, having sold more than 100 million books since its inception. Founded in 2003 and backed by KCB Management, ThriftBooks employs more than 750 people and operates 9 fulfillment centers in the US that purchase, grade, and distribute used and collectible books. ThriftBooks relies on proprietary software to identify and list books, as well as a sophisticated pricing model that dynamically prices books across a variety of online platforms, including,, eBay, and others. 

About Praxis Research Partners

At Praxis, we bring pragmatic marketing insight to state-of-the-art research tools and methods. Our guiding principal is to measure and create growth opportunities for our clients, through:

  • Revenue driven targeting
  • Positioning and communications guidance that leverage dimensions that drive purchasing
  • Brand extension that measures where a brand has viable growth opportunities    
  • Product development focus to maximize return, not just appeal

We offer hands-on, partner-level involvement in every engagement, throughout the duration of each project, from initial study design, questionnaire development, data analysis and implications. Praxis Research Partners ( research and consulting services to some of the biggest and most established companies/brands in the world


ThriftBooks 2017 Reader Survey infographics

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