According to a press release from Amazon, Alexandria, VA is the best read city in America. Arlington, VA, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA also made the list.
But what some people whose city is surprisingly absent from the list are asking, is this an accurate statement?
The answer is an emphatic yes and no. Amazon’s data I assume is accurate, but the key here is that it’s Amazon’s data. “The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since June 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.” No bookstores, libraries or other sales avenues were included in the analysis.
It’s safe to assume that Alexandria buys a lot of books and Kindle format books from Amazon. But are they the best read?
I guess that’s up for debate. They could be, but then again maybe they buy a lot of books and don’t read them. Or maybe other cities’ readers choose to purchase their books from other sources. Until someone compiles demographic book sales data across sources and library lending, we won’t fully know.
It’s still fun to see Virginia cities make the list. If it were a different source other than Amazon I’d take more exception. I don’t see any issue with them making a statement like this off their data as long as it’s transparent it could be skewed.
So, who made the list? And what some of them are reading? See below.
1. Alexandria, Va. – Romance
2. Cambridge, Mass. -Business & Investing category.
3. Berkeley, Calif. - Travel books.
4. Ann Arbor, Mich.
5. Boulder, Colo. – Health, Fitness & Dieting
7. Arlington, Va.
8. Gainesville, Fla.
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Salt Lake City
12. Knoxville, Tenn.
14. Orlando, Fla.
15. Columbia, S.C.
16. Bellevue, Wash.
18. St. Louis
20. Richmond, Va.