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A profile of the francophone reader in Canada in the digital era

January 19, 2017

Update : November 16, 2020

What motivates a francophone reader’s choice of book format and genre and the decision to buy or borrow a paper book or an e-book? This is the key question Christian Poirier and his team from INRS’ Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre examined in their study Le lecteur francophone au Canada à l’ère du numérique.
This was one of the first qualitative studies on reading habits. The interviews carried out revealed a variety of reader backgrounds and “what books and reading represent in readers’ daily lives.”
Key points
The following are some of the study’s findings:
  • Books are thought of as learning tools, a way to relax and escape, an essential part of a person, and a source of freedom.
  • There are some very voracious readers who read over 50 books per year.
  • A person’s interest in reading develops throughout childhood and adolescence, with family and school playing a major role.
  • Price is a major consideration when buying books.
  • Practicality is one of the main factors behind the choice of e-books.
Avenues for exploration
The study’s authors identified other themes that are worth looking into further, such as analyzing activities organized by bookstores and libraries, researching the motivations and reading habits of under 18 years-old, and examining aspects such as education and income. They also suggest creating a “map of supply and practices related to reading habits.” 

Le lecteur francophone au Canada à l’ère du numérique, Research report by Christian Poirier, Sylvain Martet, Eveline Favretti, and Coline Sénac, for the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres.