Ann Arbor ranks sixth on Amazon.com 'Most Well-Read Cities' list
By Ben Solis
Amazon.com released its third annual list of the most well-read cities in the country Wednesday, with Ann Arbor coming in sixth.
Amazon’s list is complied annually using its data of book, magazine and newspaper sales of both print and Kindle format materials on a per-capita basis in cities of more than 100,000 population as of June 1, 2012.
Last year, Ann Arbor placed fourth. The 2013 list ranks Ann Arbor behind Alexandria, Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Miami, Fla.; Cambridge, Mass.; and Orlando, Fla..
The list “is proof that the country is reading,” Sara Nelson, Amazon's editorial director of books and Kindle, said in a press release.
Ann Arbor's most-purchased book was "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.
Although a drop in ranking might give the appearance that citizens in Ann Arbor are reading less, an Amazon spokesperson said that the list is based purely on sales, as opposed to the literacy of the city.
With that in mind, are Ann Arbor’s residents buying more books locally than online?
Nicola Rooney, owner of Nicola’s Books, located at 2513 Jackson Ave., said yes and no. For Rooney, any upswing in sales locally has mostly to do with the closure of the downtown Borders bookstore.
Rooney added that some customers appreciate talking to human beings with expertise rather than relying on a computer picking suggestions.
“Places like us have something else to offer,” she said. “Convenience is one thing, but talking to another human being, some who is skilled in the art of what they are doing, is helpful.”
Said Nelson, "The results of our annual Most Well-Read Cities list shows that Ann Arbor continues to have a healthy appetite for reading year over year. We love people who are as passionate about reading as we are - so, we’re proud that Ann Arbor is part of our tribe. And we hope Ann Arborites are proud of it, too."
Amazon's full top 20 list:
1. Alexandria, Va.
2. Knoxville, Tenn.
3. Miami, Fla.
4. Cambridge, Mass.
5. Orlando, Fla.
6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
7. Berkeley, Calif.
8. Cincinnati, Ohio
9. Columbia, S.C.
10. Pittsburgh, Penn.
11. St. Louis, Mo.
12. Salt Lake City, Utah
13. Seattle, Wash.
14. Vancouver, Wash.
15. Gainesville, Fla.
16. Atlanta, Ga.
17. Dayton, Ohio
18. Richmond, Va.
19. Clearwater, Fla.
20. Tallahassee, Fla.