The 20 ‘Most Well-Read Cities’ in America, According to

Where in U.S. can you find the the biggest bibliophiles?

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Where in the U.S. can you find the the biggest bibliophiles? Online e-tailer Amazon just reached into its mammoth pool of purchasing data to pull out its third annual list of cities in the U.S. where the “most well-read” among us apparently reside.

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Here are the top 20, in order:

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.

The company says the rankings were determined “by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since June 1, 2012, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.” This is Alexandria, Va.’s second consecutive year in the top spot, according to the company; newcomers to the list include Vancouver, Wash., Dayton, Ohio, Clearwater, Fla. and Tallahassee, Fla.

The most romance-oriented city? Knoxville, Tenn., says Amazon, which purchased the most books in the “Romance” category, top among them E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Abby Gaines’ Married by Mistake. For business, Amazon says Cambridge, Mass. topped the charts, spending most heavily in the “Business & Investing” category on titles like Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and StrengthsFinder 2.0.

Amazon’s definition of “well-read” leaves plenty to be desired, of course, since it’s based on sales alone. British physicist Stephen Hawking’s acclaimed popular science explainer, A Brief History of Time, was a major bestseller, moving more than 10 million copies since it first appeared in 1988, but it’s also often referred to as one of the “most bought, least read” books around.

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