Amazon Ranks most well Read Cities

On the weekends you make your trek to the local Barnes and Noble and sit among an endless supply of readers checking out books.  You can’t go anywhere without seeing Kindles adorning the grasping hands of multitudes of readers, whether it is in a mall or just those leisurely enjoying lunch at the local tavern.  So when Amazon released its ranking of the most “well read’ cities, you absolutely sure that yours is on that list.

Well it would appear that if you’re around a big college town or atmosphere, you just might be right in this case.  When we take a step back and examine some of the cities that made this list, a familiar theme likely emerges and that is that many are home to large Universities.  Courtesy of Amazon.com and CNN.com, here is the list of the top 20 most well read cities:

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 

It should not be any surprise that Cambridge, Massachusetts tops the list.  Home to what is considered one of the nation’s top universities, Harvard, students are expected to be a cut above the rest and thus when they have free time you can usually find them nestled with a book under a tree or in a library.  Alexandria, Virginia might come as a surprise to some, but it should not.  Adorned with an old town feel to it and home to a well educated population, the city is but moments from Washington DC and is a favorite hangout for any number of college campuses that are around that area.

Some might find it interesting that cities such as Gainesville or Orlando find their way on to this list.  Orlando does not have a college in its midst and Gainesville does have the University of Florida, but it is not in that Ivy League mode if you will.  Throw in Miami and folks might be perplexed.  That is until one starts to consider what those towns are famous for and that is beaches and resorts.  Plenty of pools and sand make for reading time and hence a large amount of book buying and consuming.

There is an important factor to consider when assessing this list though and that is what goes into compiling it.  Amazon put together the list by grabbing their sales data for various media including books, magazines and newspapers.  This though was not just based on hard cover or paperback books.  It also took into account purchases made for materials on the Kindle as well.  They took all of this material starting from the first of this year, and then calculated via the population numbers who bought the most per capita.

As you look at the list again and see names like Columbia, SC or Ann Arbor, Mich, you begin to understand why this list is so heavily weighted towards college based cities.  Remember this is Amazon running this ranking and their business is the sale of books and materials online as opposed to the corner bookstore or retail chain.  Teens and college students are part of the Internet age now and prefer the ease of looking online and simply placing an order there.