If being well read is all about the number of books and magazines consumed, then congratulations, Alexandria, Va., because you hold Amazon.com’s title of America’s “most well-read city
” for the second straight year.
For the last three years, Amazon has compiled its list of the most well-read cities
, based on its sales of books, newspapers, and magazines per capita in cities of more than 100,000 people. The sales data includes materials in print and on Kindles.
Of course, this list is more PR stunt than qualitative ranking. What makes someone well read is highly subjective, not to mention the ranking is skewed because cities with more brick and mortar booksellers would likely not make the list.
Still, it’s a talker, plus the data from Amazon reveals several interesting things about readers.
For instance, the top-selling book in Alexandria—our nation’s most well-read city, according to Amazon—is “Gone Girl,” followed by the novels in the 50 Shades trilogy. In a statement, Amazon’s editorial editor of books and Kindle, Sara Nelson, acknowledged the enduring popularity of E.L. James’ steamy books.
“The results of our annual Most Well-Read Cities list is proof that people across the country are reading, and also that we’re still seeing the popularity of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’” she said.
Meanwhile, Cambridge, Mass., No. 4 on the list, is responsible for buying the most business and investing books, along with overall nonfiction. Amazon said the most popular books purchased by Cambridge residents are “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” and “StrengthsFinder 2.0.”
Here are the top 20—did your city make the list?
1. Alexandria, Va.
2. Knoxville, Tenn.
3. Miami, Fla.
4. Cambridge, Mass.
5. Orlando, Fla.
6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
7. Berkeley, Calif.
8. Cincinnati, Ohio
9. Columbia, S.C.
10. Pittsburgh, Penn.
11. St. Louis, Mo.
12. Salt Lake City, Utah
13. Seattle, Wash.
14. Vancouver, Wash.
15. Gainesville, Fla.
16. Atlanta, Ga.
17. Dayton, Ohio
18. Richmond, Va.
19. Clearwater, Fla.
20. Tallahassee, Fla.