Atlanta No. 20 on ‘most well-read cities’ list

We read.

Atlanta is No. 20 on a new list of most well-read cities. compiled data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since Jan. 1. The figures are calculated on a per capita basis for cities with more than 100,000 residents.

As you’d expect, college towns dominate the top of the list, with Cambridge, Berkeley, Ann Arbor and Boulder in the top five.

The big cities, like NYC, LA and Chicago, did not make the top 20.

And our neighbor to the south, Florida, had the most cities in the top 20 among the states — Miami, Gainesville and Orlando.

Most Well-Read American Cities

1. Cambridge, Mass.

2. Alexandria, Va.

3. Berkeley, Calif.

4. Ann Arbor, Mich.

5. Boulder, Colo.

6. Miami

7. Salt Lake City

8. Gainesville, Fla.

9. Seattle

10. Arlington, Va.

11. Knoxville

12. Orlando

13. Pittsburgh

14. Washington, D.C.

15. Bellevue, Wash.

16. Columbia, S.C.

17. St. Louis

18. Cincinnati

19. Portland, Ore.

20. Atlanta

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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18 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

May 31st, 2011
7:56 am

The Amazon compilation is mere kindling.

Heywood Jublome

May 31st, 2011
8:11 am

For Atlanta to be #20, they must have included billboard reading.


May 31st, 2011
8:26 am

Well, we do our share. But I’m not sure it’s sinking in! I’ve always given magazine subscriptions to the chiildren in our lives. It is so important.


May 31st, 2011
9:27 am

Punyplaza 91

What does that has to do with the article? I know have tried my best in pushing Atlanta up the ranks since I got my kindle for Xmas.


May 31st, 2011
9:38 am

Reading is one thing, learning is another.


May 31st, 2011
10:03 am

I love that this guy is so lazy that he couldn’t even put what states certain cities are in. And beyond that, when he does, he’s still using the standard abbreviations that were changed over a decade ago. When is the last time you saw someone abbreviate California as ‘Calif.’? 1994.


May 31st, 2011
10:22 am

@John Actually, he’s not lazy. He’s absolutely correct in using the AP Style to refer to the states. It is entirely appropriate and expected from a journalist.


May 31st, 2011
10:31 am

@Heywood Jublome: You made me spit out my coffee (pun intended)


May 31st, 2011
10:35 am

I read a book once!!


May 31st, 2011
11:08 am

Columbia and Knoxville on the list??? If reading self-serving football blogs is included, maybe, but real books, print or electronic? No way. Looking over my credit cards bills, though, I may be part of the reason ATL is as high as it is.


May 31st, 2011
11:14 am

Amanda is right, John. You mustn’t get your nose out of joint because Mr. Unger didn’t use the Postal Service Style Book.


May 31st, 2011
11:26 am

I’m guessing Athens isn’t on there due to being under 100,000 people?

Kind of shocked that Austin and Madison aren’t on there.


May 31st, 2011
11:34 am

Glad to see Columbia as #17 – go USC! Also known as a top rated mid-size city to attend college.


May 31st, 2011
11:55 am

I’d enjoy seeing a breakdown of exactly what people are reading.


May 31st, 2011
1:15 pm

@ first I thought, that can’t be right. Then it occurred to me, we’re probably the #1 readers in the world of People magazine.


May 31st, 2011
3:25 pm

What a dumb stat if it only includes Amazon purchases. Despite its awesomeness, Amazon is not the source of all reading materials. There’s Barnes and Noble, Borders, the LIBRARY, Walmart, the doctor’s office, etc. etc. And of course college towns would top that list – there is more compulsory book buying in college.


May 31st, 2011
4:30 pm

Amy – I agree this is a dumb stat for determining “most well-read cities”. Just another way for Amazon to promote itself as the “go to” source for reading in America. I’m not buying it. This report just tells us which cities buy the most stuff on Amazon.


June 1st, 2011
6:41 am

Read to succeed!