Best-Read Cities – Did Yours Make the Cut?

In a clever marketing ploy, Amazon published its List of Best-Read Cities – places where readers read the most, based on Amazon’s retail sales of books, magazines, and newspapers.  Readers from B&N or independent bookstores were not included.

The list was more amazing for the cities it did not include than for the ones that made it.  Not included – those bastions of the literate Northeast:

  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Boston

Harvard Yard

Cambridge topped Amazon’s best-read list with an explanation that confirms that town’s hubris:

Not only do they like to read, but they like to know the facts: Cambridge, Mass.–home to the prestigious Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology–also topped the list of cities that ordered the most nonfiction books.

Other “Amazoning” comments were a little demeaning:

  • Boulder, Colo., lives up to its reputation as a healthy city by topping the list of cities that order the most books in the Cooking, Food & Wine category.
  • Alexandria, Va., residents must be reading a lot of bedtime stories – they topped the list of the city that orders the most children’s books.
  • Summer reading weather all year long? Florida was the state with the most cities in the Top 20, with Miami, Gainesville and Orlando making the list.

But, the marketers insist that it was, after all, only a “fun look.”