Culture

Can You Guess the 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America?

Culture

Can You Guess the 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America?

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Nobody reads books anymore. It’s a premise that seems self-evident, right?  Surprisingly, it’s not true. In fact, book sales rose 6.2% in 2012, thanks in large part to e-books. The industry itself accounted for around $7 billion in sales that year alone. Clearly somebody is reading, although it’s definitely not me, because my attention span has been ruined by Twitter. I can barely finish reading the words  I’m typing as I write them. I don’t live in Alexandria, VA, however, the most-read city in the country, according to stats released by Amazon this week. (Fun fact: I did, however, shit my pants on a bridge in Alexandria once when I used to live in D.C., so I’m not sure if that counts into the numbers somehow.)

Alexandria makes sense as a reading hot zone. It’s right outside of D.C., home to, presumably, lots of very earnest information professionals, such as, say, politicians, and the type-As that want to stand next to policiticans at publicity opps. As does number 4, Cambridge, MA, home to the nation’s best universities, tech companies, and aging hippies. ” Cambridge, Mass. continues to grow the most budding entrepreneurs,” their data points out. “This locale topped the list for ordering the most books in the Business & Investing category, as well as overall nonfiction, with the top titles purchased being Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and StrengthsFinder 2.0.” I think it’s pretty safe to say if you notice either one of those titles on a friend’s wishlist they’re either going to buy your company and outsource your job, or melt your bones down for a stew in their basement.

The second and fourth spots are a bit more surprising, being Knoxville, TN, about which I don’t even know enough to make at least a half-hearted joke (I should read more), and Miami. Does reading the labels on vodka bottles at table service count?

Let’s not let our stereotypes tell the whole story, however. The top titles in Alexandria weren’t exactly political-science texts. As the study points out, “Blockbuster novel Gone Girl was the best-selling book overall in Alexandria, Va., followed by the three titles in the Fifty Shades trilogy.”

Here’s the rest of the list, compiled by adding up book, magazine, and newspapers sales, both print and digital. Did your city make it?

  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.

 

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