Where Are America’s Most Well-Read Cities?

And spare us the 'Best Read' vs. 'Most Well-Read' crap, pedants.

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If someone asked you to guess the most bookish city in the U.S., you might suspect Cambridge, Mass., home to hyper-academic institutions like Harvard and MIT, or maybe Berkeley, Calif., long considered a bastion of intellectual inquiry. But according to Amazon’s new rankings, the most well-read city in the U.S. is Alexandria, Va., just south of the nation’s capital.

Though if Cambridge and Berkeley did come to mind, kudos — they clocked in at numbers 2 and 3, respectively. Rounding out the top five were Ann Arbor, Mich., and Boulder, Colo.

To compile the 20-city list, the online book retailer gathered information for cities with populations of 100,000 or above, tallying data from sales of books, magazines, newspapers and eBooks since last June, Reuters reports.

(MORE: Which Cities Are Setting Music Trends? Not the Ones You’d Think)

Amazon took a closer look at the specific types of books piquing readers’ interest in each locale, as well: residents of  Berkeley, Calif.,  ordered the most travel books, while folks in Boulder, Colo., focused on health. In Alexandria, readers went big on romance, while Cambridge residents ordered the most business and investing materials. The full list is as follows:

1. Alexandria, Va.
2. Cambridge, Mass.
3. Berkeley, Calif.
4. Ann Arbor, Mich.
5. Boulder, Colo.
6. Miami
7. Arlington, Va.
8. Gainesville, Fla.
9. Washington, DC
10. Salt Lake City
11. Pittsburgh
12. Knoxville, Tenn.
13. Seattle
14. Orlando, Fla.
15. Columbia, S.C.
16. Bellevue, Wash.
17. Cincinnati
18. St. Louis
19. Atlanta
20. Richmond, Va.

MORE: Where are America’s Most Peaceful Places?

1 comments
delta2flat
delta2flat

Ordering a bundle of Travel Books isn't a good definition of well-read.... that's analogous to buying a pile of magazines.    I'm suspicious as to the usefulness of their gauge...