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14.10.11 | Graeme Neill
The average price paid for a Christmas gift of a book is £8, 15% higher than the average price for adult books overall, a new survey has found. According to UK figures from BML Bowker’s Books and Consumers survey, non-fiction hardbacks account for the bulk of Christmas purchases for adults, worth 58% in value terms and 50% in volume terms. Despite the seasonal glut of new releases, non-fiction paperbacks are still worth 24% in value terms of the adult market and 26% in volume terms.
Biography was the most popular area during Christmas last year, worth 17% in volume terms and 19% in value. Cookery (13% volume and 15% value) was next, followed by humour (10% volume, 8% value), popular fiction (6% volume and 4% value) and sport/games (both 5% volume and value).
Women have been steadily increasing the volume of books they buy online for Christmas, from 10% in 2008 to 16% in 2010. The survey said this increase has mainly been at the expense of purchases from chain booksellers. Women aged between 45 and 59 are a crucial buying group for the Christmas period. The survey found their purchases accounted for 20% of total in both volume and value. They usually account for 15% of book purchases. Gift requests are the most likely driver of purchases (33% of volume and 38% of value), with browsing prompting 31% of all purchases and 26% of total spending.