More Canadians getting reading material for free: survey

TORONTO — A survey from publishing industry non-profit BookNet Canada suggests a growing number of Canadians are getting their books from a free source.

BookNet says it's the first time in the survey's nine-year history that more than half of readers across all formats got their reading material for free.

It says 51 per cent of print readers got their books from a free source, while 47 per cent bought them.

Meanwhile 58 per cent of audiobook listeners didn't pay for their books -- most of whom got them from free websites such as YouTube -- and 62 per cent of ebook readers got their books from a free source, mostly the library.

More than 1,200 Canadians aged 18 and older were surveyed online in January 2024, and 1,000 of them had read at least one book in the previous year.

The polling industry's professional body, the Canadian Research Insights Council, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press