Reading habits of bidorbuyers


book-readingOn bidorbuy, this month (January 2014) is (mostly) devoted to leisure activities such as reading, watching movies and TV, listening to music, dabbling in (or enjoying the finished works of) art and crafts. In short, to the categories which are covered in our Chill Room blog.

We thought that was a good enough reason to try to gauge the most popular activities of this type among bidorbuyers, based on their recent buys in the week ending 14 January 2014.

Of course, we all know how all of us (a round of applause for the few exceptions) spend most of our free time: watching television. However, the top-list of the Chill Room-related purchases concluded on the site during the last seven days is not headed by TV series and shows. It looks like this:

  • Books & Education (1023)
  • Music & Instruments (811)
  • Crafts (327)
  • Movies & Television (217)
  • Art (117)

We won’t go into all the whys and wherefores. We’ll just exclaim triumphantly: there’s the proof that bidorbuyers like to read!

And they read (or at least buy) real books, too. Only about 90 of the 1000-odd books sold during the week under scrutiny were eBooks, though some of the latter were actually libraries, with more than one thousand titles.

Non-fiction was the most popular, with over 400 titles sold, mainly Africana, history and politics, biographies and memoirs, food and cooking, etc.

However, since fine literature is usually associated with reading for pleasure, let’s take a closer look at which works of fiction attracted buyers.


The uncontested leader is Afrikaans fiction. Classics like Andre Brink or Breyten Breytenbach rub shoulders with authors of romance, crime, or adventure, such as Magdaleen Viviers, R.R. Ryger, Ena Murray, and so on.

Fiction in English follows similar pattern, with thriller and adventure, crime, romance and other “light-reads” leading in popularity. Among the authors bidorbuyers are most likely to buy are Marian Keyes, Chris Ryan, Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Wilbur Smith,  Tess Gerritsen; Matthew Reilly, E. L. James (of the Fifty Shades of Grey fame), etc.

Among the classics, bidorbuyers purchased: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Wolf, Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, The Moon and the Sixpence by Somerset Maugham, 1984 by George Orwell, Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, etc. Plus, bidorbuyers bought as many as nine books of poetry in one week! And they chose exquisite poets too: Rumi (translated from Persian by Coleman Barks), William Blake, W.B. Yeats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, among others.

Also popular were antiquarian and collectable books, textbooks, children’s books and comic books.

Read more about book, music, film, art and crafts related matters in the bidorbuy Chill Room blog, and remember to subscribe to the Chill Room newsletter; the January issue is due any day now!*

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