Take a look at the interesting and comprehensive PowerPoint study of book-buying habits presented at BEA. 

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This appears to focus on independent book stores. No surprises here. The current state of affairs is extremely fluid, but the rise in e-book buyers and in Amazon customers does forecast the future to some extent. I wonder if the independent stores include used bookstores. Assuming that the younger generation will become like the older one eventually is simply wrong. There are huge differences in education and technological savvy. The current oldtimers are a dying breed.
I'm afraid you may be right I.J. regarding the older generation being a dying breed. There seems to be a small but committed group of younger book readers, but given the technological advances and the expansion of the Internet, I fear that the younger generation of book readers will never reach the number of older book readers we have today. I do a lot of book clubs, and the vast majority are women over fifty or sixty.
Yes, and they resist e-readers and computers, and therefore rely on print versions.
The lesson seems to be to focus on older women and keep the price down. A bit of a broad brush, no?
Ann,
There seems to be little question that 2/3 of "avid" readers today are older and the majority of them are female. Given the economic situation in the country (and the fact that many seniors live on fixed incomes) the continued rise in the price of a hardcover has an impact on their willingness to purchase. Many of the seniors I've met in book clubs get my books from libraries. The key to the future appears to be in converting younger consumers into "avid" readers, but I believe that starts in elementary school. Perhaps "avid" readers and seniors of the next generation will be using Kindles and Nooks and other forms of technology. The price, as with all technology, will become more affordable.

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