When they think of us, tourists think beaches and bars — and sometimes face-eating. What they should be thinking is: books.
Miami ranks No. 3 on Amazon.com’s latest “Most Well Read Cities” list, behind only Alexandria, Va. (No. 1 for two years in a row, where the bestselling book is Gillian Flynn’s thriller Gone Girl) and Knoxville, Tenn. ,(where romance and E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey reigns supreme).
Our neighbors Orlando (No. 5); Gainesville (No. 15); Clearwater (No. 19); and Tallahassee (No. 20) are eating our dust, with the indie bookstore mecca of Seattle, Amazon’s home base, weighing in at No. 13. (Maybe all that coffee gives readers the jitters.)
Amazon determines the rankings by compiling data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in print and Kindle format since June 1, 2012, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents. Miami, which hosts the largest book fair in the country each November, moved up from No. 6 in 2012.
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But don’t get too cocky: Most of us aren’t reading Proust in the original French. Amazon’s editorial director of books and Kindle sales Sara Nelson points out that two of the most popular genres sold in Miami are romance and self-help books, and says that 50 Shades of Grey was the top selling title in all the Florida cities on the list.
On the other hand, Cambridge, Mass., (No. 4) isn’t messing around: Buyers there order the most books in business and investing as well as nonfiction, with the top titles purchased being Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and StrengthsFinder 2.0.
Rounding out the top 10 list are Ann Arbor, Mich.; Berkeley, Calif.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbia, S.C., and Pittsburgh, Pa.