The Washington Post

Alexandria: 2nd best-read city in U.S., or just’s 2nd best customer?

Author Ray Bradbury at a book signing. Let’s see Amazon do THAT online. (Steve Castillo/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cambridge, Mass., which has a college or something there, was ranked first, among cities (or counties, since they’re including Arlington) with a population of at least 100,000. Alexandria also ranked first in purchasing of children’s books, Amazon’s press release noted.

But when you’re releasing a “Most Well-Read” list, does that take into account books checked out of libraries, printed materials purchased in actual stores, or e-books purchased through someone other than Amazon?

So I called Amazon a couple of times this week to see how they compiled the list, but they were much too busy to call me back. It seems like gathering data from actual brick-and-mortar bookstores, and libraries, and other e-book sellers, would be a lot of work, and the press release discussed sales in the Kindle format, which is Amazon’s alone. So it’s safe to infer that Alexandria and Arlington are not necessarily the best-read cities in America, they’re simply two of’s best customers. Woo hoo.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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