These States Have The Most Bookstores

Where do people have the most access to bookstores? Well, thanks to Book Riot's infographic of bookstores per capita in each state, you can get an idea. And where some states fall may surprise you.

As Amazon continues to dominate U.S. book sales, putting pressure on brick and mortar bookstores and forcing some to close, losing access to a local bookstore is a real concern for a lot of people — which is a shame, because local bookstores are fantastic. And, fortunately, they seem to be making something of a comeback. But there are still lots of states without a lot of bookstores per capita. And interestingly, the ones that do have plenty of bookstores per capita seem to almost all be in middle America. More population dense states, on the other hand, seem to be the ones where book stores are more scarce, at least in proportion the population.

So could it be that people in big, highly populated states just don't read as much? Are they more likely to order their books online? Or could it be that bookstores in those states tend to be bigger, and thus there are fewer of them? After all, big stores like Barnes and Noble tend to be found in larger cities whereas in regions with a less concentrated population you might expect to find more small, local stores.

Whatever the reasons may be, according to Book Riot these are the five best and worst states if you're trying to find a bookstore. Do you live in any of them?


5. Connecticut

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There are 102 bookstores in Connecticut, which isn't bad for such a small state, but given that the state has over 3 million people, it isn't actually as much as you'd think.

4. Hawaii

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This state might not seem like so much of a paradise if you're a book lover. Despite having more than 1 million residents, Hawaii only has 36 bookstores.

3. New York

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There are 505 bookstores in New York state — which sounds damn impressive. That's more than any of the states in the top five, after all. But considering those 505 stores are shared between almost 20 million residents, it's not as cool as it sounds.

2. Rhode Island

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Our nation's smallest state is also one of the hardest state in which to find a bookstore. There are only 27 for the roughly 1 million people who live there.

1. New Jersey

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Well, it seems New York's distain for New Jersey is justified in at least one respect. Although almost 9 million people live in the Garden State, there are only 217 bookstores — in other words, which is roughly one bookstore for every 40,000 people. Bummer.


5. Tennessee

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Tennessee has more than 6 million people and 369 bookstores, making it one of the more book-lover-friendly states in the country.

4. Alabama

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Almost 5 million people live in Alabama and can happily enjoy the state's 286 bookstores.

3. Vermont


Vermont is the only state from the Northeast that seems to do pretty well when it comes to providing lots of bookstores. The state only has around 600,000 residents, but it does have 38 bookstores. Congratulations!

2. Wyoming


There aren't a whole lot of people in Wyoming — only about 576,000 — but the people who live there do apparently appreciate a good bookstore. The state has 35.

1. Montana

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Right next door to the runner-up, Montana managed to edge out its smaller neighbor by just a bit. The states about 1 million residents and a total of 64 bookstores, meaning roughly one bookstore for every 15,700 resident. That's better!

To see how more states do at supporting a large number of bookstores, you can check out Book Riot's infographic here.

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