Oline Cogdill

altWe are constantly being told we are not a country of readers. And while, admittedly, some countries, such as Iceland, read more than the U.S., we do read.

Just think of all the mystery writers you know and how many books you read a year, as well as that ever-growing TBR pile next to your bed. (Or in my case, next to the desk in my office.)

By the way, the photograph is courtesy of my friend and avid mystery fan, Jordan Foster.

And, for a change, there is some good news about the publishing industry.

Total book publishing revenue rose 3.1% in 2010 to $27.9 billion and posted two-year growth of 5.6%, according to figures released recently by BookStats, which is part of a joint program developed to create a comprehensive analysis of industrywide sales. As expected, the gain was due almost entirely to increases in digital products which offset declines in all print formats.
Among the major formats, e-book sales across all categories rose 38.9% in 2010, to $1.62 billion, according to BookStats.

So where are all those readers? Here's Amazon's list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America. The list was based on the number of sales on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

The most well-read city? Cambridge, Mass., which is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cambridge also was at the top of the cities that ordered the most nonfiction books.

Boulder, Colo., was most well-read in the cooking and food and wine category.

Alexandria, Va., orders the most children's books.

I'm pleased to note that Florida, where I live, is the state with the most cities in the Top 20. Miami, Gainesville and Orlando made list.

Here's the list. Where does your city fall?

1. Cambridge, Mass.

2. Alexandria, Va.

3. Berkeley, Calif.

4. Ann Arbor, Mich.

5. Boulder, Colo.

6. Miami

7. Salt Lake City

8. Gainesville, Fla.

9. Seattle

10. Arlington, Va.

11. Knoxville, Tenn.

12. Orlando, Fla.

13. Pittsburgh

14. Washington, D.C.

15. Bellevue, Wash.

16. Columbia, S.C.

17. St. Louis, Mo.

18. Cincinnati

19. Portland, Ore.

20. Atlanta