I had to write about this since the number 1 spot was taken by my neighboring city, Alexandria, Va., and the 18th was also a Virginia city, Richmond, where my son is in school. Go VA!

Here’s the complete list, compiled by Amazon, and based on sales numbers of books, newspapers and magazines, both print and electronic, since June 2o12.

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.

I did a quick check of the list, and I noticed all the cities had something in common: Universities or well-regarded community colleges. Clearwater had the least number of college enrollees, but I think they make up for it by being close to a beach.

I was hoping for other commonalities, like all of them being beach cities or all in cold weather regions where everyone curled up by the fire and read during cold winter days, but the data didn’t support that. It seems like we read in quantity in just about every climate in this country.

I also noticed that blue states greatly outnumbered red states, but I hesitate to draw any conclusions there. 😉

Any statisticians out there want to point out interesting trends that I missed? I’m sure there’s plenty here to analyze if we wanted to.


  1. Sheer number of books purchased from Amazon tilts the scale in favor of larger cities. Number of books purchased divided by population of respective city would probably give a different, possibly more accurate, result.

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