May 22, 2022 Releases Annual “Most Well-Read Cities in America” List

Of course the rankings are only based on sales and there are plenty of other places to purchase and borrow reading material. Nevertheless, it’s always fun to review lists like this one when you understand the caveats and purpose. releases this list to help promote the summer reading season.

Below the list are a few “fast facts” about some of the top-ranked cities.


The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since June 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

1. Alexandria, Va. 11. Pittsburgh
2. Cambridge, Mass. 12. Knoxville, Tenn.
3. Berkeley, Calif. 13. Seattle
4. Ann Arbor, Mich. 14. Orlando, Fla.
5. Boulder, Colo. 15. Columbia, S.C.
6. Miami 16. Bellevue, Wash.
7. Arlington, Va. 17. Cincinnati
8. Gainesville, Fla. 18. St. Louis
9. Washington, D.C. 19. Atlanta
10. Salt Lake City 20. Richmond, Va.


In taking a closer look at the data, Amazon also found that:

  • Berkeley, Calif., is a city full of jet-setters – it topped the list by ordering the most Travel books.
  • Boulder, Colo., keeps the closest eye on its waistline by topping the list of cities that order the most books in the Health, Fitness & Dieting category.
  • Virginia is for lovers – Alexandria, Va., that is, which tops the charts in the Romance book category.
  • Cambridge, Mass., grows the most budding entrepreneurs. These locals topped the list for ordering the most books in the Business & Investing category.
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.