NWReporter logo
Serving More Than 25,000 Real Estate Professionals in the

June 2016

Seattle retains title as most well-read city in U.S.

Most Bookish Cities: 1. Seattle, Wash. 2. Portland, Ore. 3. Washington, D.C. 4. San Francisco, Calif. 5. Austin, Texas 6. Las Vegas, Nev. 7. Tucson, Ariz. 8. Denver, Colo. 9. Albuquerque, N.M. 10. San Diego, Calif. 11. Baltimore, Md. 12. Charlotte, N.C. 13. Louisville, Ky. 14. San Jose, Calif. 15. Houston, Texas 16. Nashville, Tenn. 17. Chicago, Ill. 18. Indianapolis, Ind. 19. Dallas, Texas 20. San Antonio, TexasSeattle kept its first-place position on Amazon.com's ranking of most well-read cities in America. The Emerald City (and headquarters for Amazon) outperformed other metro areas based on a compilation of sales data for all books, magazines and newspapers in both Kindle and print format from April 2015 to April 2016.

The list included four other West Coast cities: #2 Portland, #4 San Francisco, #10 San Diego, and #14 San Jose.

The unveiling of the "top 20" coincided with the annual blog post by Bill Gates with his recommendations for five books for summer reading.  In that post, the Microsoft co-founder/philanthropist said his list -- including his brief reviews -- "has a good dose of books with science and math at their core," but he noted there was no science or math to his selection process. Instead, he said his recommendations were simply books that he loved, made him think in new ways, and kept him up reading long past when he should have gone to sleep.

In a statement accompanying its list of most well-read cities, Amazon said researchers uncovered some interesting trends across the cities, revealing:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was the top-selling Kindle and print title in five of the top 10 cities: Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Albuquerque, N.M.; San Diego, Calif.
  • Readers in four of the top 10 cities cleaned up their act this year, with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing as the most sold print title in Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; Albuquerque, N.M.
  • In Austin, Texas, reading and cooking go hand in hand, with Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto among the top-selling Kindle and print titles.
  • California is for bookworms, with three cities making the top 20 list for the second year in a row: San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose.
  • Denver, Colo., Las Vegas, Nev., San Diego, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. all channeled their inner child this year, with adult coloring books being among the top-selling print titles in each of the cities.
  • What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, with Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian (Fifty Shades of Grey Series) as the top-selling Kindle title in Las Vegas, Nev.