News Release: December 1, 2003
ABEBOOKS SURVEY REVEALS SECONDHAND DOESN'T MEAN SECONDCLASS
WHEN GIVING USED BOOKS AT CHRISTMAS
(Victoria BC, December 3, 2003)-Abebooks.com, the Victoria-based
website for used, rare and out-of-print books, today announced
the surprising results of a recent buyer survey. Eighty percent
of survey respondents say they regularly purchase used books as
gifts for others, and 70% said they would be happy to receive
a used book as a gift.
"We're amazed-these results reveal a shift in consumer perception.
Finally the stigma of giving a used book as a gift has lifted,"
explained Marci Crossan, Abebooks spokesperson.
One reason for this change in consumer beliefs relates to how
collecting books has shed its reputation of being a hobby for
old people. More than 95% of survey respondents over the age of
eighteen described themselves as book collectors.
"Ten years ago a book collector was seen as a hardcore connoisseur
with specialized knowledge of rare books based on years of study,"
explains Crossan. "Today, our survey reveals that people
identify themselves as book collectors when they discover a favourite
author-such as Toni Morrison, Carl Hiaasen, or Patrick O'Brian-and
collect all their books, whether these are used paperbacks or
signed first editions."
Several factors have helped create this new climate:
- the Internet makes it easy to see which rare books exist in
the world and how they're priced;
- baby-boomers are seeking books they read as children to give
their own kids and are collecting nostalgic titles (i.e. Hardy
Boys, Nancy Drew);
- international bestsellers like the Harry Potter and Lord of
the Ring books have ignited global excitement about books and
the value of collecting rare editions;
- television programs featuring on-the-spot book and antique
appraisals support the popular idea that anyone might have a
collectible book treasure in their attic.
The survey was completed online at www.abebooks.com by over 2,000
people during October and November 2003. Additional survey results
are available from Abebooks.
Abebooks is the world's largest online marketplace for secondhand,
rare, and out-of-print books with over 50 million books listed
by 12,000 independent booksellers. Abebooks is a global company
based in Victoria, BC, with sites dedicated to bookbuyers in North
America (Abebooks.com), the UK (Abebooks.co.uk), France (Abebooks.fr),
and Germany (Abebooks.de). Through strategic partnerships with
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and eBay, Abebooks has become the
most important virtual supplier of used books while expanding
sales avenues for booksellers.