Australia is the third-largest, English-speaking book market after the United States and the United Kingdom. Three quarters of the Australian adult population report reading for pleasure on most days of the week. Book demand exceeds US$1 billion. Australians purchase books as gifts or for recreation. Imports supply over 40 percent of the market, with 28 percent originating from the United States. The sale of reference books and non-fiction works is increasing.
Nearly 30 percent of all books read in Australia are bought new. 50 percent of Australian readers will read either fiction or non-fiction, with one quarter preferring fiction and the other non-fiction. The highest demand for books in the Australian market lies in educational books, including professional and reference books, followed by general non-fiction books.
10 percent of readers choose to purchase a book by an Australian author. 88 percent of readers, however, say the author’s nationality does not affect their choice. 46 percent of Australian readers say that price is important when choosing books.
Income, gender, and education also determine book demand. Demand for books generally increases with income. Low income earners in Australia purchase books similar to those in the middle income bracket. Females tend to read more than males, on average reading 8.9 hours per week compared to males’ 7.3 hours. Individuals with tertiary education qualifications also have a greater propensity to read. Prior to the December holiday season, book purchases increase dramatically. Nearly 40 percent of book buyers acquire books for relaxation over the holiday, and 10 percent of books buyers give them as gifts.