Thursday, June 16, 2011

TOP TWENTY WELL-READ CITIES Names America’s Most Well-Read Cities

Is it any wonder that Cambridge, Massachusetts, which Harvard University calls home, topped’s recent listing of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America?

I lived in Cambridge eons ago. Residents walked along streets reading books, book stores - be they large retail outlets or mom and pop resellits - on nearly every block, citizens in the parks reading magazines or best sellers, riders of MBTA missing their stops while engrossed in Follett or Oates. Add the Kindle and residents are now ordering more books, magazines and newspapers in print and Kindle formats. The survey began Jan. 1, 2011 and was based on cities with more than 100,000 residents. Cambridge residents also ordered the highest number of nonfiction books.

The top 20 list:

1. Cambridge, Massachusetts
2. Alexandria, Virginia
3. Berkeley, California
4. Ann Arbor, Michigan
5. Boulder, Colorado
6. Miami, Florida
7. Salt Lake City, Utah
8. Gainesville, Florida
9. Seattle, Washington
10. Arlington, Virginia
11. Knoxville, Tennessee
12. Orlando, Florida
13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
14. Washington, D.C.
15. Bellevue, Washington
16. Columbia, South Carolina
17. St. Louis, Missouri
18. Cincinnati, Ohio
19. Portland, Oregon
20. Atlanta, Georgia

Happy to see Atlanta, my adopted home of many decades ago, sneak onto the list. St. Louis, my birth place, came in 17.
Echoing results from Sisters in Crime’s recent Mystery Book Buyer Study, nearly half of the cities on the list are located below the Mason-Dixon line.

The Washington, D.C. area includes three of the top 20 cities – Alexandria, Va. (#2), Arlington, Va. (#10) and Washington itself (#14). Alexandria residents also topped the list of buyers of children’s books.

The sunshine state, Florida, has three cities in the top 20 – Miami (#6), Gainesville (#8) and Orlando (#12).

“We hope book lovers across the country enjoy this fun look at where the most voracious readers reside,” said Mari Malcolm, managing editor of Books at

Submitted by
Gerrie Ferris Finger