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The National Book Count Says Canada Is a Nation of Readers

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Well, it’s official: Canada is a country that reads... a lot! The National Book Count, sponsored by the National Reading Campaign, did the math and discovered that in a typical January week 3.4 million books were bought and borrowed in Canada. That’s more than five books sold or circulated every second!

The second annual National Book Count looked at the week of January 23-29, 2012 for a snapshot of Canadian reading habits in a typical week. The NBC tabulated sales from retailers including Indigo Books & Music, and other national chains, as well as over 260 independent bookstores across the country. The circulation results of 28 participating public library systems were also included in the count.

For the first time, ebook sales and circulation figures were counted, revealing an interesting glimpse at the dynamics of reading in Canada. Here are some of the results:

—Ten percent of English book sales are now in digital format.
—English language print book sales for the week increased four percent over 2011.
—Canadian libraries saw an eight percent increase in print circulation and a 50 percent increase in digital circulation for an overall increase of nine percent total circulation for libraries that participated in 2011 and 2012.

The emerging digital readership indicates that Canadian reading habits are evolving quickly. These results will help the NRC prepare for the National Reading Summit which will be held in May in Vancouver.

“The Book Count provides more evidence that Canadians are enriching their lives through reading” says Rick Wilks, publisher of Annick Press and Co-Chair of the National Reading Campaign. “It sets the stage for the National Reading Campaign, which will engage Canadians across the country to make reading a central feature of 21st century citizenship.”

Thank-you to Simon & Schuster for providing OBT with the results of the National Book Count.

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