The percentages shouldn’t really come as a surprise:
According to a new study from Bowker Market Research, released Thursday, 55% of buyers of books designated for children aged 12 to 17 are actually age 18 or older. Buyers between the ages of 30 and 44 account for the largest percentage of young adult sales, according to Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age, an ongoing biannual study from Bowker.
The adults are not purchasing the books for others, the study found; 78% of the adults who reported buying young adult titles said they were purchasing the books to read themselves.
The remainder of the article – for those of you vehemently deny the courtesy of your eyes to any other blog, and for that I salute you – explains that 50% of readers of both The Hunger Games and Divergent – full-circle, baby – are adults 18 or older.
It also points out that The Hunger Games sold 50+ million copies, which boggles my subpar mind as much as the fact that some people defend Suzanne Collins’ writing ability. But I digress.
In my previous post, I questioned whether or not freshly printed YA titles were enjoying strong sales due to standing on the shoulders of The Hunger Games. And, in a fist-pumping moment of vindication, Kelly Gallagher of Bowker Market Research confirms my suspicions.
The extent and age breakout of adult consumers of these works was surprising. And while the trend is influenced to some extent by the popularity of ‘The Hunger Games,’ our data shows it’s a much larger phenomenon than readership of this single series.
Her last line confirms that this trend does not begin and end with The Hunger Games, but it was most certainly pushed forward by the series – the trend itself beginning with the explosion of H-Potts & The S-Stone.
The next question would be why are adults reading so much YA? And, after I find the other half of my face that melted off while roasting in the Sunday football sun, I’ll be tackling that question.
Enjoy the pun(t).