It’s not your grandpa’s book market anymore. While the world’s eyes may often be focused on the effects kindles and nooks and iPads and other e-reader options may be having on literature and book sales, there’s an entirely different “coup” happening in the population of book consumers. Baby Boomers have long dominated the book-buying market, but no longer; Generation Y has taken over that honor.
Baby Boomers may account for the highest percentage in the population, but Generation Y (those born between approximately 1979 and 1989) is whipping their butts in book sales.
This comes from a report based on a Bowker Market Research consumer panel:
While the report, the “2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review,” documents the changes in such high-profile industry areas as format and channel, a significant shift that has been a bit under the radar unearthed by the study is the change in who buys books. With Baby Boomers accounting for the highest percentage of the general population, that age group has historically spent the most on books. In 2011, however, that changed, when Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1989, took over the book-buying leadership from Baby Boomers, accounting for 30% of book expenditures in the year, up from 24% in 2010, while Baby Boomers’ share of spending fell from 30% to 25%.
As Comics Beat points out, this means that the generation buying the most books these days is also the generation that was raised on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’re not surprised; rather, we are proud. It’s nice that the torch has been passed, and maybe this means good things for the more recent generation (Generation Z? That seems ominously final…) in terms of future consumer habits.
Additionally, about 43% of Gen Y’s purchases are focused online, and the shift to digital channels is increasingly undeniable. But as professional wisdom-giver John Green once said, “I don’t care how people read, I care that they read.”