Foot Traffic Data Makes America's Favorite Book Store Very Clear

Whether you prefer a dramatic romance, a sci-fi adventure, or a chilling thriller to read as you get into the spirit of spooky season, there's nothing quite like diving into a good book. But let's be honest — the only thing better than reading a book is shopping for a new one. Maybe we're hopeless romantics, but there's something whimsical about bookstores that make you feel like the main character as you wander the fiction section. Book lovers unite in respectful silence as they marvel at the newest additions and the hidden gems amongst the aisles. But when you're in the market for a new book, which bookstore do you visit?

To find out which bookstore is the most popular, The List created a graph via Data Herald that tracked monthly foot traffic trends amongst three of the most popular bookstores in America over the past two years. According to the data, one bookstore reigns supreme as the ultimate shopping destination for readers everywhere. 

To no surprise, this bookstore remains the fan favorite

While Barnes & Noble has seen their fair share of struggles in the digital age, book lovers keep coming back to the popular book retailer. The pandemic was a rough period for many retailers, but foot traffic data shows that Barnes & Noble has made a fairly smooth recovery since the closures in 2020. Average foot traffic has fallen slightly in the past few years: pre-pandemic, Barnes & Noble saw approximately 100,000 monthly visitors, and now they expect about 80,000 each month. Even still, they see 60,000 more visitors each month than competitors Books-A-Million and Half Price Books. One of the biggest factors when considering bookstore popularity could be the number of locations.

Books-A-Million, who sees around 20,000 monthly visitors, has 260 locations in 32 states (via Zippia). Half Price Books, "America's largest family-owned bookstore," only has 120 locations per their website, and ranks third in overall foot traffic numbers. According to Barnes & Noble, their company has over 600 locations in all 50 states, making it the easiest for most shoppers to access and visit most frequently. Barnes & Noble also offers a wide selection of additional goods like games, gifts, and children's toys, increasing their popularity amongst shoppers.

No matter which retailer you prefer, there will always be a need for books. Once you've treated yourself to a shopping spree at your favorite bookstore, here are five ways to make sure you always have time to read.