Friday, May 28, 2010

An Interesting Book Survey. . .

Book lovers! This post will certainly be of interest to you, especially those who purchase book of Christian genre. Tim Challies, one of the most popular and prolific bloggers in the Christian world has just completed a survey entitled: "Where and Why We Buy Our Books."

The results are not exactly the kind of Barna Group or Gartner organizational kinds of studies. However, it does gives us an idea on what a specific audience has in mind. In this case, Challies's audience I suspect are predominantly reformed, Calvinist persuasion. As usual, when we read surveys, the data itself is one thing. Interpreting them is another.

My Comments
I note the continuing rise of as the preferred place to buy books. It tells me that the typical Christian book buyer is more price conscious. Hence, few will claim to be loyal to their denominational or religious bookstores. Money talks loudest.

Secondly, there is an overwhelming preference for printed books, rather than digital formats. I suppose books require a longer attention span. Reading online or on a digital reader is preferred for shorter articles, say less than 50 pages.

Thirdly, the reputation of publishers among the views of the respondents is rather curious. I had thought Thomas-Nelson is more reputable, but it still ranks quite negatively in the list. With Zondervan having the lowest credibility, I am not sure if respondents are responding to the 'quality of the books they release,' or the 'big market share' they currently enjoy. Crossway is the one with the highest credibility, so I guess that is consistent with the predominantly Reformed audience.

Fourthly, I am intrigued by the majority of users preferring the ESV version. It seems to me that the NIV is quickly losing its lustre.

Finally, I am encouraged that more than half of the people still purchase at least 1 book a month. That is a boon for publishers, authors and the Christian public. This is good news for the publishing industry.

Have a look at the survey. It is not rocket science, but gives us a glimpse into the mind of a reformed, Calvinist of today.


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