The 20 Most Well-Read Cities in the United States: Today in Critical Linking

Today, Amazon.com revealed their annual list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities across the U.S., just in time for summer reading season. The ranking is determined by a compilation of sales data from cities with more than 500,000 residents on a per capita basis and includes purchases of all books, magazines and newspapers in both Kindle and print format from April 2015 to April 2016.

This list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in the United States is of course just one, strikingly narrow measure, but it is still fascinating.


David Mitchell, a regular contender for the Man Booker prize, is used to his novels being picked over by the critics. So it’s something of a relief, says the British author, that his latest work – completed at 1am one Tuesday morning before a car arrived to take him to the airport to catch a flight to Norway – won’t be seen by anyone until 2114.

First, The Future Library came for a Margaret Atwood work. Now, it’s taken a David Mitchell text. This thing must be stopped.


The British Library has made over 300 literary treasures relating to 20th century writers available online for the first time, including literary drafts, rare first editions, notebooks, letters, diaries, newspapers and photographs from Virginia Woolf, Ted Hughes, Angela Carter and Hanif Kureishi among others. The items relate to some of the 20th century’s greatest writers and can be viewed for free on the Discovering Literature website. 

I am not exaggerating when I say that this is a literal treasure trove.

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