Amazon's Most Read City In America List Puts Seattle At The Tip Top, But Where Is Everyone Else?

The land of lattes at Starbucks and fish tossing at Pike's Place can add another honor to its name: America's Most Read City. After researching its own sales data for all book, magazine and newspaper purchases in every U.S. city with more than 500,000 residents — and yes, it counted both Kindle and print copies — Amazon put Seattle at the top of its well read city list. Seattle came in first overall, but also topped the list for each individual category in the e-book side of things, with more Kindle books, magazines, and newspapers purchased. They need something to read while they have their morning coffee.

Amazon pulled its data from April 2014 until April 2015. And while Seattle is no slouch in the literary department, I'll give my side eye because it also has the distinction of being the home to Amazon's own headquarters. I won't say anything more than that lest Jeff Bezos strike me down from atop his ivory tower of books.

Wondering if your city pulls into the top 20? Let's see who came up short behind Seattle:

  1. Seattle, Washington
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. Las Vegas, Nevada
  4. Tuscon, Arizona
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. San Francisco, California
  8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Louisville, Kentucky
  11. Charlotte, North Carolina
  12. Baltimore, Maryland
  13. San Diego, California
  14. Houston, Texas
  15. Indianapolis, Indiana
  16. San Jose, California
  17. Jacksonville, Florida
  18. San Antonio, Texas
  19. Nashville, Tennessee
  20. Chicago, Illinois

Did you all see Las Vegas coming in at No. 3? I'll let my stereotypes speak and say that was a bit of a surprise, but with all the warm weather, it's like it's pool reads season all year round. Las Vegas residents also purchased the most romance titles of any U.S. city, which seems to suit Sin City just perfectly.

I'll also admit another bias and outrage over the fact my hometown, and the home of Harvard and MIT, Boston, Massachusetts didn't even crack the top 20. Washington D.C., of course, no surprise broke into the top five and even beat Seattle in the overall sales of print books.

It's with absolute shock (read: zero shock at all) that I tell you Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was the top-selling title in seven of these top 20 cities: Houston, Austin, Charlotte, Tuscon, Louisville, Albuquerque, and Baltimore.

The elephant in the room, of course, is that this is only counting Amazon's own sales. It doesn't take into account people buying locally or reading from libraries, and we know that U.S. local bookstores are thriving (thank goodness). But for this year, you can wear the crown, Seattle, until I read a hundred million books myself just to put Boston at the top.

Image: Benjamin Haines/Flickr