An Ill literacy survey

When it comes to those surveys about cities that are the smartest and/or best-read, Minneapolis has dominated. So it comes as a shock to our ego that the Twin Cities don’t even make the top 20, in the “most well-read survey” from Amazon. Of course, by “well read,” Amazon means, “cities that ordered a lot of stuff from Amazon…”

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, Tenn.

12. Orlando, Fla.

13. Pittsburgh

14. Washington, D.C.

15. Bellevue, Wash.

16. Columbia, S.C.

17. St. Louis, Mo.

18. Cincinnati

19. Portland, Ore.

20. Atlanta

We’ll just remind Amazon that Minnesota not only has one, but two cities on the top 10 list of Most Literate Cities.

1 Washington, DC

2 Seattle, WA

3 Minneapolis, MN

4 Atlanta, GA

5 Pittsburgh, PA

6 San Francisco, CA

7 St. Paul, MN

8 Denver, CO

9 Portland, OR

10 St. Louis, MO

But only the Twin Cities, Denver, and San Francisco don’t appear on Amazon’s list.

The Culture Mob blog also points that Minneapolis is the top-5 in lists for most newspaper subscribers and most bookstores.

  • JackU

    The Culture Mob blog also points that Minneapolis is the top-5 in lists for most newspaper subscribers and most bookstores.

    I would be interested to know if the other cities not listed on Amazon’s list but on the 10 most literate cities list also have a high number of bookstores. The other ranking that is needed for this is libraries. I don’t read a lot (mostly science and history of science), but my wife does, and most of what she reads comes from the library. (Even ebooks on her new reader device are coming from the library.) Both of these factors would impact Amazon’s sales in a given area.

  • Jeanne

    I saw the Amazon listing also. It’s merely a listing of where Amazon has its best book sales. To get a more accurate assessment of ‘well-read’ you’d have to factor in the number of bookstores and libraries per capita and library usage. Maybe the Amazon lists speaks more to ‘cities with disposable income to purchase books.’ When I was a kid my parents didn’t have a lot of money, but I considered myself well-read because I had a well-worn library card. It’s the place I still get most of my books.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Is Mr. Amazon one of those guys who have all of the legal rights of a human being, but none of the responsibilities? Such as telling the self-interest based truth behind his data?