With Canadians Spending More Time Reading in 2020, Here’s What Was Trending

January 6, 2021

With stay-at-home rules firmly in place and more time than usual spent indoors, it seems that many of us took the opportunity to catch up on our reading this year! According to Rakuten Kobo‘s annual Book Report, Canadians are reading more than ever, with individuals spending 20 per cent more time reading on average at the peak of the pandemic than at the same time last year. Some page-turning factoids from the report:

  • Canadian Kobo readers spent the equivalent of 6,932 years reading in 2020, 570 more years than 2019.
  • Among the major cities, Vancouverites increased their reading the most, up 53 per cent overall; while Torontonians read 49 per cent more year over year.
  • Seasonally, Canadian Kobo readers spent the most time reading March through May, and reading was up 25 per cent year-over-year in May.
  • May 3rd, at the heart of the pandemic’s first wave, was the most popular reading day of the year, and Sunday was the most popular day of the week.
  • Vancouver Kobo readers uniquely read the most during the morning hours, with the highest spike at 9 a.m. Torontonians read most at 10 p.m.; readers were also night owls in Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg, spending the most time at 1 a.m.

Below, some of the 2020 bestelling Kobo eBooks in Canada, so you can up your reading game, too! —Vita Daily

All the Devils Are Here (St. Martin’s Publishing Group) of the bestselling mystery series featuring main character Chief Inspector Armand Gamache by Louise Penny, was the most read book by a Canadian author.

Where the Crawdads Sing (Penguin Publishing Group) by Delia Owens was the most read fiction book. Notably, it was also the most-sold book in 2019.

Too Much and Never Enough (Simon & Schuster) by Mary L. Trump was the most-read nonfiction book.

In Five Years (Atria Books) by Rebecca Serle was the most-read romance book.

Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin Publishing Group) by Celeste Ng, which was adapted into a miniseries that launched in March 2020.

The much discussed American Dirt (Flatiron Books) by Jeanine Cummins.

With Black Lives Matter top-of-mind, compared to global trends Canadian Kobo readers were notably interested in books about identity, race and racism, with the following titles among the bestsellers: How to Be an Antiracist (Random House Publishing Group) by Ibram X. Kendi; From the Ashes (Simon & Schuster) by Jesse Thistle (Canadian); The Skin We’re In (Doubleday Canada) by Desmond Cole (Canadian); and So You Want to Talk About Race (Basic Books) by Ijeoma Oluo (Canadian).

The top five Kobo audiobooks “most listened to” by Canadians in 2020 were: The Warded Man (Recorded Books, Inc.) by Peter V. Brett’s debut fantasy novel; Long Road to Mercy (Hachette Audio) by David Baldacci; Knife of Dreams (Macmillan Audio) from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan; Crooked River (Hachette Audio) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; and Of Blood and Bone (Brilliance Audio), from Chronicles of The One series by Nora Roberts.


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