Cambridge, Mass. tops ‘well-read’ cities list

booksAmazon has sorted through all of its sales data – covering book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since January 1 this year – and come up with a list of “the most well-read cities in America.”

According to its results, it’s the shelves of Cambridge Massachusetts folk that are bending the most under the weight of books, magazines and e-readers. Alexandria Virginia takes the number two spot, while Berkeley California is in third position. Seattle, where Amazon has its headquarters, appeared in ninth position.

Amazon also points that Cambridge Massachusetts, home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came top in the list of cities that bought the most non-fiction books. That’ll be all the students then, shelling out for textbooks.

Boulder Colorado, which came fifth in the overall list, came top in the list of cities that order the most books in the category of cooking, food and wine. Whether those books are actually used, or simply serve to decorate the coffee tables of Boulder homes, isn’t clear.

The kids of Alexandria Virginia are a lucky bunch. It headed the list of cities that order the most children’s books, suggesting that, there at least, the tradition of the bedtime story is as strong as it ever was.

Here’s the top 20 list of what Amazon consider to be the most well-read cities in America (though some might prefer to call it simply a list of places where Amazon is popular among book buyers): 1. Cambridge, Mass. 2. Alexandria, Va. 3. Berkeley, Calif. 4. Ann Arbor, Mich. 5. Boulder, Colo. 6. Miami 7. Salt Lake City 8. Gainesville, Fla. 9. Seattle 10. Arlington, Va. 11. Knoxville, Tenn. 12. Orlando, Fla. 13. Pittsburgh 14. Washington, D.C. 15. Bellevue, Wash. 16. Columbia, S.C. 17. St. Louis, Mo. 18. Cincinnati 19. Portland, Ore. 20. Atlanta

Talking about the findings, Amazon’s managing editor of Books, Mari Malcolm, said, “We hope book lovers across the country enjoy this fun look at where the most voracious readers reside, and that everyone gets the chance to relax with some great summer reads.


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