The Atlantic has an article analyzing Kindle ownership by city:

To identify the most electronically literate places in America, we analyzed the Priceonomics database of eight million electronics for sale by city. We examined how prevalent the Amazon Kindle was by city to rank how popular e-reading was across the nation (we also examined Nook sales, which didn’t change the results). To our surprise, the most populous and culturally-reputed cities in America did not rank among the most digitally literate.

Lexington, Kentucky is the most e-literate city in America. On its heels are Ann Arbor, Michigan and Anchorage, Alaska. Congratulations, nerds!

A few observations from the rankings:

  • Major metropolitan cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Chicago and LA get crushed in these rankings.
  • College towns like Lexington, Madison and Ann Arbor fare the best in Kindle ownership.
  • Fresno, CA is the most digitally illiterate city in America. We are very disappointed in you. Same goes for Las Vegas and San Diego where a commitment to reading books on electronic devices is noticeably absent.

Full details, including listing of cities, in the article.


  1. As others commented at The Atlantic website, a possible explanation of e-reading popularity in any market is a relative scarcity of bricks and mortar bookstores in that market.

    Unfortunately, The Atlantic article does not analyse to see if there is a correlation between these two factors.

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