When I first saw something about Bowker releasing a new research report “on who buys books and why,” I was thinking about a post on how I fit — or didn’t fit — the mold. But then a particular statistic grabbed me:
32% of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $35,000 annual [sic] and 20% of those sales were for children’s books.
It’s very refreshing to see that, even in a recession-plagued economy, those who may be struggling still are wiling to purchase books for themselves and their children. Given that the Census Bureau indicates the median household income of every state in 2008 exceeded that $35,000 figure, it is gratifying to see that one-third of books are being purchased by those who fall below the median.
This doesn’t mean I’m no longer going to support libraries and organizations that get books into the hands of children. Likewise, no one would suggest a family skip mortgage, rent or utility payments to buy books. But I think this shows people understand just how important books are in the overall scheme of things.
The book is an endless supply of nourishment.
Victor Nell, “The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure,”
Reading Research Quarterly (Winter 1988)