The Most Well-Read U.S. City Is Alexandria, Va., According to Amazon

On Tuesday, Amazon.com released what they call their 2014 list of "Most Well-Read Cities in America." The top 20 ranking is compiled from sales data of print and digital books, magazines, and newspapers from April 2013 to 2014, "on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents." (So, sorry if you're reading the entire literary canon in the village of Boring, Ore. — you don't count. A for effort?)

Number-crunchers found that for the third year in a row, Alexandria, Va. held the number one spot on the list. The best-selling book in Alexandria? Dan Brown's Inferno (despite Dan Brown's popularity taking a nosedive nationally), so take the label of "well-read" as you will. Divergent followed at No. 2, and The Goldfinch held at No. 3. That's an interesting trio to appear together.

Noticeably absent from the the best-read cities list are major urban centers like San Francisco, Chicago, and, of course, New York. Guys, what are you doing on your train rides into work? Are you really going to take that punch in the mouth from Orlando? Alexandria, which is practically part of D.C., seems to get that whole reading-on-the-commute thing.

Anyway, here's the full list:

  1. Alexandria, Va.
  2. Miami, Fla.
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.
  4. Seattle, Wash.
  5. Orlando, Fla.
  6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  7. Berkeley, Calif.
  8. Cambridge, Mass.
  9. Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. Columbia, S.C.
  11. St. Louis, Mo.
  12. Pittsburgh, Penn.
  13. Vancouver, Wash.
  14. Salt Lake City, Utah
  15. Atlanta, Ga.
  16. Gainesville, Fla.
  17. Dayton, Ohio
  18. Clearwater, Fla.
  19. Richmond, Va.
  20. Tallahassee, Fla.

Not mentioned: Whether any of these people are reading books from Hachette, whose titles have been, um, mysteriously delayed by Amazon.