Apr 22, 2021|

JD Data: Three Key Findings from JD’s Reading Report


by Ella Kidron

Ahead of World Book Day (Apr. 23), JD Books, the books division under JD.com, and the JD Big Data Research Institute released a report on how consumer reading habits have changed in China on Apr. 21. Here are a few highlights from the report:

1. The types of books people are reading has changed under COVID-19

The pursuit for reading books which provide a sense of comfort is a clear trend of 2020. In particular, the types of books with the most growth (as compared with 2019) are answer-seeking, childhood and hometown-reminiscing, a rejection of maturity, realism, and self-healing. Among female consumers, interest in literature, foreign language and parenting books declined, while economics, finance, law and psychology rose.

2. Different types of books are bought at different times of the day

JD Data shows that motivational books are typically bought between 7-9 a.m., love and marriage between 2-4 p.m., foreign language books between 5-7 p.m. and fashion and beauty in the wee hours between midnight and 2 a.m.

Types of books bought at different times of day

Types of books bought at different times of day (Source: JD Big Data Research Institute)

3. Higher incomes are associated with a broader reading repertoire

The data finds that the high income consumer group has the broadest tastes in terms of books. Topics of interest include computing and internet, finance and investment, law, art, painting, biographies, and novels are among the categories not found in the consumption patterns of other income groups. More generally, higher income groups’ reading habits were more associated with spiritual exploration, literature and history and quality of life, with top categories including cooking, painting, calligraphy and more. Mid-to-low income consumer groups were associated with buying more practical books focused on production, work and study. One of the main drivers for the explosive interest in photography and film is the dramatic rise in popularity of livestreaming in lower-tier markets.

Fei Lu, Senior Analyst at the JD Big Data Research Institute, said: “Much has changed in 2020. For those who believe that reading can change your destiny, note that picking a book is merely picking a direction. Real growth comes from the test of life.” The data indicates that COVID-19 has not only increased people’s interest in reading, but also inspired them to rethink how they approach their lives.

Fei Lu shares highlights from book report at a media event at a JD office in Beijing

Fei Lu shares highlights from book report at a media event at a JD office in Beijing