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Barnes & Noble survey: Americans turn to books on Thanksgiving Eve more than any other day of the year

National Poll Conducted by Barnes & Noble Finds Most Americans Turn to a Good Read to Get Through Stressful Holiday Travels

New York, 2017-Nov-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, recently commissioned an independent survey to explore consumer reading habits around the holiday season, and the results revealed that Americans turn to books and periodicals on Thanksgiving Eve more than any other day of the year to help ease the stress of traveling. Historically, the Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year, notorious for transportation delays burdening travelers at every turn.

“The holiday season is an exciting, but hectic time for people all over the country. At Barnes & Noble, we know our customers want a stress-free holiday experience, whether shopping for gifts in-store or purchasing a good read to enjoy during their holiday commutes,” says Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books.  “Knowing that Thanksgiving Eve is the busiest reading day of the year, we’re excited to welcome customers into our stores to take advantage of one-of-a-kind bookseller recommendations and exclusives.”

It’s Official: Thanksgiving Eve Is the Busiest Reading Day of the Year
Holiday travel is often characterized by crowds, delays and traffic jams. However, when survey respondents take the time to read while traveling, 73 percent report that reading makes the trip more relaxing, while 72 percent say reading a book they enjoy makes their trip more enjoyable. Reading is indeed the antidote to holiday travel stress.

  • Over three-fourths of Americans (77 percent) read at least one book, newspaper or magazine during Thanksgiving travel or a typical holiday travel day.
  • Nearly three-fourths of respondents (73 percent) generally think that traveling on Thanksgiving Eve is a good time to bring a book they would enjoy and be able to read.
  • When thinking specifically about traveling on Thanksgiving Eve, 60 percent of travelers typically pack, purchase or borrow reading materials (books, newspaper, magazines, digital books) specifically for their planned travel.
  • Slightly more than one-in-four Americans (28 percent) think that bringing a great book along for Thanksgiving could give them a way to get out of an uncomfortable or awkward conversation with a relative or other guest.

Consumers Look Forward to Reading During Holiday Travel
Because of the hustle and bustle of daily life, particularly during holiday season, more than half of respondents reported that they don’t get to read or enjoy books as much as they would like. In fact, reading tops the list of what most consumers wish they had more time to do, followed by spending time with loved ones and exercise. Travel provides a respite of sorts; 71 percent of respondents think that travel time is a good opportunity to catch up on a good book or magazine they have been meaning to pick up.

Respondents also found that the top five benefits of reading a book while traveling, rated in order, are:

  • Reading is a good pastime if I get delayed while traveling. (56 percent)
  • Reading is relaxing and helps ease the stress of hectic traveling. (53 percent)
  • A good book “transports” me somewhere else. (47 percent)
  • I can catch up on books that I have wanted to read, but normally do not have the time to read. (47 percent)
  • Reading gives me a chance to learn something new. (46 percent)

In addition, when respondents find the time to read a book they enjoy while traveling, 73 percent say that reading makes their trip more relaxing, and 72 percent say reading a book they enjoy while traveling makes their trip more enjoyable. This is a particularly noteworthy finding in today’s travel environment, which is often characterized by stressful and unenjoyable moments.

Holiday Travel Recommendations from Barnes & Noble Booksellers to You

To help travelers make the most of their travel time – whether spending two hours on the road or 10 – Barnes & Noble booksellers can recommend the perfect read. Customers should visit their local Barnes & Noble store and speak with a knowledgeable bookseller or go online at to find the ideal book that will help them get through their holiday commute.


Barnes & Noble commissioned the survey, conducted as an online poll among the U.S. General Population – 18+ years of age, nationwide representative sample (n=1,028). The online poll was conducted October 27-29, 2017, and the margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points ( Confidence Level).

About Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is the world’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The Company operates 632 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, (  The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4.5 million digital books in the US (, plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company’s corporate website at

Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers® and Barnes &® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK®and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.

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All Contacts:

Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3323

Mei Sanchez
Corporate Communications
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(212) 633-3579

Source: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

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